Social Media Strategies That Failed

Social media engagement is the pinnacle of online success, particularly with AuthorRank now on the rise. Engaging with your online audience means you have fans, not customers. And it means that you have a passionate, core audience that will basically do your marketing for you.

There is no easy-to-follow instructions or user guide for Digital Marketers to follow to ensure social media success. But there are warning signs or alerts that you should stay clear of when implementing your strategy:

1. Cut Through The Noise

The first warning sign comes from your posting schedule. You will notice here if you are being reactive instead of proactive. Be sure you’re not just telling people what you’re up to, or what sale you have going on, but more so you’re following a publishing schedule that increases attention and awareness, and improves retention. For example, say you wanted to drive social media sales, your goal is work towards milestones, like promotions and competitions, that will build engagement and cut through the noise. Then when it comes time to promote your latest sales and deals, you’ll have an audience that’s interested in hearing what you have to say.

2. Strategy Management

Engaging in the conversation is great for building rapport, but it won’t scale your growth. A good social media strategy is made up of two parts:

1. Growth management

2. Community management

3. Brand Integrity

Your brand creates promises, expectations, and trust. These ultimately dictate how you run your business, provide your product or service, and the personnel you hire. And it is the reason why someone will decide to buy from you. For example, United Airlines will never have a successful social media presence. They might have a lot of Facebook fans because of their online spending, but they’ll never have a truly loyal customer who give them repeat business, who will continue to purchase their products or spreads their positive experiences like wildfire. Because every few months they’ll make headlines by breaking your guitar, kicking a service dog, losing a 10-year old girl, and disrespecting a disabled war veteran.


Learn From Your Mistakes

1. United Breaks The Wrong Guy’s Guitar


United social media mistakeSocial Media Mistake: United breaks David Carroll’s guitar and makes little effort to compensate him. So David does what David does best and makes a music video. Later, a Times newspaper reports that four days after the videos release, United Airline’s stock price dropped 10%, costing stockholders over $180m in value. Today the video is a smash hit and has over 10m views. Customer service fail.

Lesson Learnt: Respond to customer complaints, quickly.


2. Kryptonite Evolution vs ball point pen

Kryptonite and Bic, milkshake

Social Media Mistake: A man discovers that he can pick the Kryptonite Evolution 200 U lock, dubbed the “toughest lock in bike security,” with a Bic ball point pen. First the man blogs about it, then other blogs and local newspapers catch wind of the story. Worst of all, the brand failed to respond, even when the New York Times ran a featured story.

Lesson Learnt: Listen to your customers, it could really help your product development team.


3. L’Oreal Fake Blog

Loreal Fake Blog, social media mistake, milkshakeSocial Media Mistake: L’Oreal’s social media presence took a huge hit when it was revealed that they created a fake blog. Push marketing in the social media space is always a bad idea, especially when it’s this blatant.

Lesson Learnt:  Don’t create fake testimonials or blogs. Ever.

4. BP Twitter Fail

BP Social Media Fail, milkshakeSocial Media Mistake: BP spills millions of gallons of its oil in the golf of Mexico. Shortly after, it finds its Facebook pages clogged with outraged environmentalists.  As if BP didn’t already piss off environmentalists. Best of all, a group of protestors created this fake, yet super hilarious, Twitter account.

Lesson Learnt: If you’ve already got a shoddy reputation, you’ve got to work three times as hard to fix the mistake.


5. My Dell Hell

Dell Hell, milkshakeSocial Media Mistake: Dell’s reputation went up in smoke after tech blog Gizmodo published this photo of an exploding Dell laptop. This single image spread like wildfire across the blogosphere, causing Dell to eventually recall over four million laptop batteries. Dell eventually responded to the blogs, but it was the delayed response that put a cap on the period known as “Dell Hell.”  Should have responded sooner.

Lesson Learnt:  A single image can be powerful. Use social media to stomp out fires before they turn into wildfires.

6. GoDaddy CEO hunts elephants

Go Daddy Social Media Mistake, milkshakeSocial Media Mistake: In March of this year, GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons killed an elephant, posted it on YouTube, and then preceded to Tweet about his adventure. Although his intentions were noble (see the video), tweeting and posting video of animal killings is not a good idea. The backlash from PETA was swift and immediate.

Lesson Learnt:  Don’t kill anything and then post it to YouTube or Twitter. PETA will destroy you.

What marketers should learn from this?

If you’re using social media, make sure you take it on seriously. Create the proper support channels and oversight so that mistakes don’t happen, because once your message is out there in the universe, it can’t be taken down easily. And if mistakes are made, be prepared to go through the appropriate social media channels to push an apology message out there and you are interacting with disgruntled customers. Not only will this demonstrate to the world that you are listening, but also that you are truly empathetic. Consider hiring a Melbourne marketing expert for all your marketing needs, contact for complete marketing solutions.