Typos are a fact of life. We all make them.
Sephora’s recent typo, however, was an lesson in how quick – and unforgiving – social media audiences can be.
Here’s What Happened:
A Sephora employee accidentally left the letter “O” out of the word “count.”
But wait! There’s more.
Sephora Australia created a photo album on Facebook to hype up the opening of a new store in Sydney, Australia.
The name of the Facebook photo album was supposed to be “Help Us #CountdownToBeauty at Westfield, Sydney.”
The typo inadvertently created the hashtag #C*ntdownToBeauty.
Sephora social media managers corrected the typo a few minutes later but it was too late.
There Will Be Screenshots
I feel for Sephora. This was a mistake that anyone could make.
Unfortunately, there is no ‘Undo’ button for this sort of thing.
Of course someone took screenshots. Someone always does.
If this was where it ended, it wouldn’t be so bad, right?
However, it wasn’t long before that hashtag ended up on Twitter.
The Hashtag That Could Not Be Shaken
Although a hashtag that they created did gain popularity, it was not the one that Sephora was hoping for.
What They Did Wrong
Again, everyone makes mistakes, especially typos. I make them all the time.
There are also a ton of other examples of typos in printed advertisements.
This one was pretty funny though.
I guess they could have used a proofreader, but most social media managers have to move fast and rarely have that luxury.
What They Did Right
Sephora Australia immediately corrected the typo. From the looks of it, they also changed the album name to not include the hashtag, though the correct one was still in the description.
Overall it looks like they didn’t even acknowledge it.
In this case I think that was the right thing to do. It was a small error and got blown out of proportion.
If people were offended, they could take that up with Sephora directly.
A public apology would have likely called more attention to it than necessary.
I’d say this is definitely a little different than the recent Twitter fail by the New England Patriots that allowed a racist screen name to be superimposed over a Pats jersey.
The Patriots error – caused by automation that someone didn’t think through – might have been innocent but could also be considered negligent. They should have known that if someone can abuse their automated system, then they will.
For the Sephora example, however, the typo was an error that most people can relate to.