Article- “The Worst Social Media Fails of Hurricane Sandy”

Madison Debes

“The Worst Social Media Fails of Hurricane Sandy”

By: Connor Simpson & Rebecca Greenfield

Atlanta Wire

Oct. 30, 2012


In the wake of Hurricane Sandy I thought it would be interesting to read an article over from the Atlanta Wire on how companies are using social media during this time. Most people have been extremely sensitive to people on the east coast dealing with the hurricane but a few companies have been using social media to promote sales and promotions during this disastrous storm that has left as many as 46 dead.

 1. Gap

“All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We’ll be doing lots of shopping today. How about you?”

This sounds a bit ridiculous doesn’t it? Gap made themselves appear to be capitalizing on the hurricane for their own benefit and to entice their shoppers to shop their sale.


However, Gap did tweet and apology which was completely necessary.

“To all impacted by #Sandy, stay safe. Our check-in and tweet earlier were only meant to remind all to keep safe and indoors”

2. Urban Outfitters

“This storm blows (but free shipping doesn’t)! Today only…#Frankenstorm #ALLSOGGY”

This tweet from Urban Outfitters appears to be them trying to appeal to people stuck inside all day. However, I think it is inappropriate to try to make the hurricane humorous. Such hash tags as “#ALLSOGGY” do not portray the serious or dangerous hurricane that is flooding much of the east coast.

 3. Sears

“Did Hurricane Sandy affect your city? Get your generators, air mattresses & more at one place. #HurricaneSandy”

This tweet may actually be an example of a tasteful, and helpful way of interacting on social media. Many feel that you shouldn’t be capitalizing on the hurricane to benefit your business but I do agree that this tweet is helpful and doesn’t try to create humor or downplay the seriousness of the storm.


The article concluded with a reference to Groupon’s daily deal during the hurricane. The daily deal sent out for Midtown in New York was for a restaurant called Dans Le Noir whose selling point is that they serve you a surprise meal in complete darkness. Many in New York don’t want to pay for something they are receiving at home for free.


During Crisis situations it is important that companies are sensitive to situations and people that experiencing them. I believe some companies are trying to stand out by taking a different approach but it is actually more beneficial to be genuine and sympathetic.


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