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5 Failed Social Media Campaigns

5 Failed Social Media Campaigns

Who would think that Starbucks could ever fail in social media? Well, with social media, everything is possible. Find out how quickly it is possible to commit missteps in social media in the following examples below and what to do in order to avoid them:

  • Know your community and products: According to this article, Starbucks’ attempt to build a community around its brand materialized in the “Idea Exchange” campaign – which tried to find innovative solutions about what could be improved to Starbucks products and to what the company can bring back to the community. However, the campaign was launched and immediately the attention was drawn towards one of Starbucks’ weak points: the coffee lid, which was poorly manufactured, so people quickly voted the idea of a new cup lid for Starbucks that would actually work.
  • Do not send panicky unsolicited text messages: The video game Resident Evil marketing campaign manufactured a hoax – they sent unsolicited text messages announcing users that they are infected with a “t-virus”, thus prompting panicked people to call their antivirus companies 🙂  The users were supposed to forward the message in order to receive a code for winning prizes. This was truly a promotional stunt gone bad.
  • Make sure your brand is solid before asking people to share stories about it: Mcdonals tried to encourage fans to interact with the brand on Twitter and thus created the hashtag #mcdstories. People did share their stories, but not favorable to the brand at all – they took opportunity of the hashtag to complain about the restaurant chain.
  • Do not be insensitive: American Apparel tried to take opportunity of a lockdown caused by a major storm by offering 50% on all its online items – people complained on Twitter after finding the offer insensitive and the media backlash quickly followed.
  • And this one last failure needs little description: The Celeb Boutique tweet about the hashtag “aurora” trending on the day of the Aurora shooting is one of the most famous Twitter failures of all time:

What social media failures can you share with us?

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