10 Social Media Campaigns that Failed! Avoid their mistakes!

What truly defines a failed social media campaign? What are the factors and elements that drive a social media campaign to its doom? What are the worst social media campaigns online? What can be learned from the mistakes they have made?

Success is 99% Failure - This is why we like to also learn from the failed campaigns!

Success is 99% Failure - This is why we like to learn from the failed campaigns!

In my previous post entitled “10 Social Media Campaigns that Rock…“, I listed and discussed, in details, the 10 best social media campaigns that I was able to find online and that had a great the ability to grab my attention and gain my interest. Furthermore, and in the same post, I added a list of elements and advices that should be considered to ensure the success if any social media campaign.

For this post, as promised, I will be mentioning 10 social media campaigns that failed with a few following tips of how to avoid falling into the same trap!

10 Social media Campaigns that Failed:

  1. Wal Mart‘s Facebook Campaign – Wal Mart here tried using Facebook pages feature to market itself in a different image, “practicality” vs. “style”, and failed miserably as opposed to Target, the company!
  2. Skittles Twitter Campaign – Although it should have worked out in their favor, skittles underestimated the power of tweeting when it utilized Twitter, which in turn turned what could have been a great campaign against them through the attacks they received about their product through the Twitter community!
  3. Kiva.org‘s Twitter Campaign – By applying a the “#followfriday” concept, Kiva.org tried to tremendously increase the number of followers and sadly, they failed (we think it’s due to choosing the wrong audience).
  4. Starbucks Social Media Campaign – Though their idea to leverage the customer community to drive co-innovation is a great one in theory, Starbucks less than planned or integrated campaign failed to gain the feedback sought.
  5. Advani‘s Political Social Media Campaign – Though his people were on the right track utilizing a blog, a Facebook page, a Youtube channel and others, there was too much emphasis on advertising rather than communication which lead to a less than desired outcome.
  6. Molson Canadian Facebook Photo Contest Campaign – The photo required to enter the draw for a trip to Cancun promoted irresponsible drinking and lead to the plummet of the campaign!
  7. Target Rounder‘s Facebook Campaign – One which utilized a lie created just to gain more fans and a larger community!
  8. Brinpopcorn.com‘s Social Media Spammer – They tried to bribe top diggers to place them on the first page!
  9. General Motor‘s SUV “create your own advert” Viral Marketing Campaign – The problem was that the environmentalists created negative ads!
  10. Resident Evil‘s Viral Marketing Campaign – Sony’s Resident Evil mobile marketing campaign backfired when people thought they are receiving actual mobile viruses!

Things to do & things to avoid!

  • Revise your marketing message once, twice, three times and even more to make sure you will get the least amount of attacks or negative feedback from your audience.
  • When using Facebook for your social media campaign, try  not to restrict comments and feedback to your Facebook page as “Wall Posts” instead, create a discussion board for more effective and dynamic two-way communication.
  • Never stray from the core or try to be something that you’re not. Being authentic, transparent and sticking to your overall image is very important.
  • Do not try to sell yourself too bluntly. If you feel you have a need to do so, do it through communication and involvement with communities and individuals on different suitable social media channels.
  • Be ethical; lying or purposely deceiving will not pay off as some might suspect!
  • Use Facebook techniques that are sure to pay off because not every Facebook feature or tool will fit into your image, vision or goals.
  • Learn when to stick to the “old school style”. The “more the merrier” concept does not always work. Remember: sometimes less is more!
  • If you mess up by mistake, always have a “damage control” plan. Luck is overrated and you need to be prepared in case anything goes wrong.

If almost 50% of social media campaign will fail, is it wise to keep spending resources to try to create campaigns that rock? I do believe so!

Finally, I’ll leave you to think about the following questions: How dangerous do you think social media and viral marketing campaigns can be? And do you have any more advice or experiences that you’d like to share?

Comments and Reactions

54 responses to “10 Social Media Campaigns that Failed! Avoid their mistakes!”

  1. Benyoung says:

    Not really the end of the world if you use exclamation marks, great post

  2. Sound advice, a good eye opener.

  3. Broomjenny says:

    Totally agree. Good review!

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