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The times companies got it right on social media...and when they misjudged the Twittersphere

Photo: PA

As a Twitter exchange between Poundland and rail company Thameslink grabs the headlines, we take a look at some other social media masterclasses.

Social media accounts for big brands such as McDonalds, Sanofi, and even Southern Rail brought big burns and giggles in 2017/2018.

These companies shut down critics and poked fun at the competition in a way that made millions of followers rethink what's really 'on brand'.

Here a some of the best and worst examples:

  • Poundland

The budget store’s retail director Austin Cooke issued a scathing response to GTR after the train company unfavourably compared its service to Poundland chocolate.

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The response proved a real winners with frustrated passengers.

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  • Sanofi

Ambien manufacturer Sanofi issued a masterfully worded public statement on Wednesday in response to recently-fired ABC TV star Roseanne Barr's Twitter meltdown.

The American comedian claimed that she was "ambien tweeting" when she said Valerie Jarrett, who is black, is the product of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet Of The Apes.

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  • McDonalds

McDonald's left Twitter followers confused last November after posting what appeared to be an incomplete draft of a Black Friday tweet, but they made up for it by poking fun at itself.

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  • Wendy's

Before 2017, no one knew Wendy's could throw so much shade.

The hamburger chain grabbed a lot of attention last year when it came to sassy Twitter comebacks, taking down both trolls and other fast food brands on social media in a series of exchanges.

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  • Southern Rail

The job of Southern's social media team is usually to soak up the anger and frustration of the thousands of commuters left stranded and raging at the company's management.

But when its social media team decided to put Eddie, a 15-year-old student in for work experience, in charge of its Twitter feed, the brand's popularity temporarily soared.

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However, with the successes also come the inevitable fails.

In an effort to be different or be of the moment some brands made mistake by either uploading the wrong picture or accidentally offending someone.

  • Walkers crisps

Even the best ideas can get away from you when social media users get their hands on them.

Walkers found out the hard way with its "Walkers Wave" campaign last May.

The campaign asked social media users to respond to a tweet from the official Walkers Crisps Twitter account with a selfie, using the hashtag #WalkersWave, as part of the chance to win the tickets.

The user's picture would then be incorporated into a personalised video, featuring Gary Lineker, automatically tweeted and captioned by Walkers.

Credit: Walkers Crisps

Pranksters almost immediately hijacked it and started to respond with pictures of serial killers and disgraced celebrities.

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  • Pepsi

Pepsi was forced to pull an online advert starring model Kendall Jenner at a staged equality march, apologising for "missing the mark".

Viewers complained that the video undermined the Black Lives Matter movement and said they were "disappointed" in the reality TV star for getting involved.

Some on social media drew comparisons between Jenner facing the police, and the infamous picture of a woman in a dress confronting police in Baton Rouge following protests after police shot dead Alton Sterling.

  • The National Lottery

It seems the National Lottery missed the news about the "Walkers Wave" campaign when it launched a similar venture to support British athletes at the World Championships with #Represent.

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Within minutes of going live, dozens of trolls changed their names to those of criminals or to racist or otherwise offensive phrases, with the Lottery profile inundated with crass replies.

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  • Nivea

German skincare brand Nivea also said sorry after tweeting out a "white is purity" deodorant advert that was deemed discriminatory and racially insensitive.

Credit: Nivea
  • Poundland

Poundland hasn't always gotten it right on social media with users condeming the "Elf Behaving Badly" campaign – which ran over the Christmas period on Facebook and Twitter – others praised the budget chain for its humorous posts.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 85 complaints that the ads were offensive and unsuitable to appear where children could see them.

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