Social Media Fail, Brought to you by Jenny McCarthy

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When the US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is chaired by a 90 year old who says things like “I’m really more fearful of freezing. And I don’t have any science to prove that,” I suppose we shouldn’t be shocked to hear that our celebrities aren’t the most informed on the science front.

Jenny McCarthy, who launched her film and television acting career by posing nude for Playboy in 1993, is most well known for her tireless anti-vaccination crusade. She claims that vaccines cause autism. While there is nothing wrong with McCarthy’s career choice, it definitely doesn’t give her a lot of credibility in, say, a medical sphere. But for some reason, people look to the actress/television host for advice on medical treatment for their children.

Despite having a House Science Committee full of grey-haired men who think that a vagina has automated shutdown capabilities, we can have faith in the future: tweeps stood in solidarity defending science this week.

Jenny McCarthy tweeted the question: “What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks.”

#JennyAsks First

She could not have anticipated the response. Or, maybe she could have if she would have googled her name. Alas, ol’ Jenny got some backlash.

#JennyAsks 1 #JennyAsks 4 #JennyAsks 3 #JennyAsks 2

Some of the more creative Internet-ers out there even made websites. I love this one: http://howdovaccinescauseautism.com. This one is a little more serious, and allegedly publishes the total number of vaccine preventable deaths in the US since 2007. They call it the Jenny McCarthy body count.

Jenny took it all in stride, even sarcastically thanking her haters.This tweet got almost double the retweets and more than six times the favorites than the original question.

#JennyAsks Haters

The Lesson for Businesses

Social media is a great way for small and medium businesses, SMBs, to grow their audience and amplify voice. Guide your SMB clients to experiment with their social media accounts. If they understand the perception people hold of their business, they won’t be inundated with negative responses because they can construct a relevant question. There’s evidence that suggests using certain kinds of questions on Twitter can drive higher engagement. Encourage your clients to try asking different kinds of questions at different times and track engagement — see what is good for their audience. Don’t let them pull a Jenny.

Nykea Marie Behiel

Nykea is the Director of Content at Vendasta, where she heads up our content marketing team and inbound marketing initiatives.