How NOT to Run a Social Media Campaign: The NOM Trap

Leveraging social media is on the agenda of any NGO nowadays. Through social media, some organizations have been able to reach out to people they never dreamed to get in contact with; to cast a wider net for donations and to connect with other parties they didn’t know that they collaborate with. The reality is that social media is becoming a core element to the marketing strategy of many organizations and NOM, the national Organization of Marriage, is no different.

Recently, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) received KO caliber punch when the brains behind their social media strategy, Louis Marinelli, had a change of heart about what he wants to stand for and decided to leave NOM and actually start campaigning for equality instead of against it.

The New Protect Marriage Page

Besides losing Mr. Louis’s talent, whom they have been underplaying his role at the organization by painting him as being just another driver, they have lost access and control over many of their Facebook, Twitter and Blog pages that Louis was responsible for. Whether you are agree with NOM’s cause or not, from a social media point of view, they committed various mistakes when it came to managing their social media campaign.

For instance, Louis was acting independently when he created the Twitter account “NOMUpates” and the “Protect Marriage” Facebook page, so he had complete ownership and control over them. Due to his hard work and effort, the popularity of his page increased and he got noticed by NOM and was hired by them and brought on board. At this point, NOM should have taken control of the page by adding their own administrators, documenting the transfer of ownership legally, but they didn’t and hence they lost a page that had close to 300,000 fans.

Their damage control has been impotent, they have sent emails to their fans asking them to unlike Louis’s page and like the NOM page. The pace at which fans has responded has been slower than molasses in January. So far only 2,896 have liked their new page while Louis’s page still has more than 280,000 fans. So, in the mean time, all of those fans are getting exposed to the arguments that convinced Louis Marinelli to change his mind and NOM stands the chance to lose even more supporters now that they are hearing from someone whom they have known and followed for over a year and developed a relationship with through the Facebook page.

In conclusion, any organization should plan and develop a recovery strategy in case the person or group of people that are responsible for their social media campaign go rogue. The best option available is for them to always maintain control and only give limited control to the administrators of the page rather than allowing them to completely control the page. It’s also helpful to actually own the pages and feeds that are being used in your name.

So What do you think about the way NOM ran their Social Media efforts? What will the extent of damage be? Share with us your thoughts and comments below.

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    Excellent analysis. Your conclusion “any organization should plan and develop a recovery strategy in case the
    person or group of people that are responsible for their social media
    campaign go rogue” is very important and everyone who plans to begin a social media campaign should keep this point in mind.

  • http://www.gbmaccounts.co.uk Nick Goddard

    Interesting insight, and very relevant for risk management.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com M.Bamieh

    Absolutely and I bet you that a lot of companies rely on a select number of individuals to handle the task of maintaining their social media accounts.

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