We’ve all done it at some point. Whether it’s screenshotting a message that you’ll need to refer to later on, a Tweet that doesn’t seem quite right or even a business you want to look at later, our phones are all likely to be filled with screenshots. The Apple iPhone even has a folder for these gems now since its update, recognising how engrained they have become in our culture. However, there can be serious consequences of living in this screenshot culture and we’ll give you a breakdown on how to avoid being caught out by this.


Screenshots are all too easy
A few years ago, many of us might not have even been aware of how to screenshot on a computer, formerly known as print screen, never mind on our smart phones. We just didn’t have the technology to do it and it never seemed like a necessary addition to our lives. But now, as screenshots have been made more simple, it’s also more problematic for mistakes that are made to be erased or to take back things that have already been said. Look at Trump’s Twitter account for example. If he ever contradicts any of his previous comments, someone will always post a screenshot of one of his related posts which goes against this statement, making trolling the President all too easy and common in 2017. In this case, many might find it entertaining but when it comes to your business, it certainly wouldn’t be.

Trump covfefe

 Once it’s out there, it really is out there
Do you remember the Kendall Jenner and Pepsi advert failure from earlier this year? Of course you do! Pepsi retracted ‘that’ campaign and removed it from its own channels within 24 hours yet the internet was already full of screengrabs and saved versions of the video so it never really went away. Thanks to the nature of our ‘must –save-it’ culture, that campaign will remain on the internet, left to haunt Pepsi for years to come. This case highlights how Pepsi should have looked for an external opinion on that campaign and it’s something to consider for any business, especially before spending a large budget on any form of marketing.

Kendall Jenner and Pepsi

Consider your messaging
The written word in particular, with its lack of tone and expression (despite emojis), can easily be taken the wrong way.  The message Adidas wanted to convey when sharing its ‘Congrats you survived the Boston Marathon’ email campaign is a prime example. Many customers took to social media to remind Adidas about the Boston 2013 Marathon bombing but by that time, the email had been saved and despite issuing an apology, it was too late to retract.


Messages are legally binding
It’s easy to forget this but digital messages are legally binding. So if you say something questionable through your work Slack or WhatsApp groups or even externally through email to a client, this can be used as evidence in the court of law if you are found to be breaking any regulations. Therefore, it’s important to consider each message individually before hitting the send button and think whether this may have an impact on your life or your business further down the line.

 Tips to avoid getting caught out:

  • Check, check and check again everything that you put out online. Once something is out there, it’s impossible to get back.
  • Remember that digital messages can be used as legal evidence, so be conscious of what you’re sharing across all messenger platforms, including Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram and so on.
  • Have consistent messaging across all of your platforms and ensure that your staff are all aware of the brand messaging. This way, it’s less likely that you’ll be caught out by posting something out of the ordinary.
  • Don’t underestimate what people will screenshot. Sometimes these screen grabs can be used to show what you’re doing in a positive way but if it’s not, remember that anything you put out there has the potential to reach a large audience.
  • Invest in security to ensure none of your accounts can be hacked easily. Even if you delete these posts, the screenshot will still have an association with your brand.