Managing Social Media Campaign Failures – A #KonvoConnect Recap

Managing Social Media Campaign Failures – A #KonvoConnect Recap
November 27, 2017 Dhruva Gandhi

This week on #KonvoConnect, we talked about Managing Social Media Campaign Failures! The community talked about worst social media campaign failures, why they fail and if there’s a failure management for social media campaigns. We also talked whether businesses should keep a Plan B when Plan A fails and what care needs to be taken to build a failure-free campaign. We also asked for suggestions of tools which are a must use by a social media manager.

This week we had, the awesome Ayushi Srivastav (), Social Media Marketer, Brand strategist and Copywriter, joining in the discussion as our special guest!

Read on to discover all of the amazing insights that were shared during the chat!

Catch our weekly Twitter Chat, #Konvoconnect, every Friday at 9PM IST for healthy discussions and insights on incredible Social Media topics and meet several social media enthusiasts.

This Week’s Statistics:

Tweets: 745 | People Participated: 46 | Reach: 2,575,676

Q1: Which according to you were the worst Social Media Campaign Failures till now?

From Ayushi Srivastav:

  • Many; but the recent case in social-Indian context is . Although social media was just an extension of the on-ground story, the fall can leave any stakeholders in nightmares.
  • They just didn’t manhandle the customer, but also manhandled the crisis situation. Another case is when a brand tried to cash-on a sensitive topic such as ; apparently, the campaign could not pick-up.

From the community:

  • An off-beat response. Many might not recall this but launched a provocative campaign on the beauty of being all natural – “Au Naturel”. Not only did this make loyalists uncomfortable but it also turned off potential customers because of its sexual overtones. A lot of brands make the mistake of inappropriate messaging disguised in the name of humour, trying to capitalise on current events. All that it does is create brand dissonance and distance users from a brand due to ill-thought of campaigns.  
  • I remember the one of Kingfisher Airlines, people started commenting clear your employees salaries. It was very disastrous.  
  • There are many though, This one got my attention, when “DC thought Pakistanian is a language”.  
  • United Airlines.  
  • Dettol’s “End of the day challenge” has to be 1 of the eg. Men had to post a pic about how they felt after 5pm and the most liked pic would b awarded Adidas vouchers. No product significance, no resemblance with brand.  

See all answers to this question here!

Q2: Why do Social Media Campaigns Fail?

From Ayushi Srivastav:

  • A lot depends on how do we plan & execute a campaign; having said that i would broadly mention following reasons:
  • First, Undefined Goals. What is the outcome a brand wants to measure? Is it brand awareness, engagement, counting social media footprints??
  • Second reason is lack of platform strategy. For instance, try running this chat on Facebook 🙂 How would it be? Convenient, less convenient, too hectic to follow a thread? Maybe, FB live could do a better job there.
  • Third, Confusing messaging or communication. For instance, post your pictures with xyz hashtag, tag the brand, tag our partner brands, tag your friends, use our partner’s hashtag, or the worst seek votes for your newborn’s pictures on some random sites. Phew!
  • And last reason – Collaborating with influencers of less sort. I remember back in 2016 I was working with a premium fashion brand, and the fashion blogger (I wouldn’t name) had tweeted the picture of the brand tagging its competition brand!

From the community:

  • Because they are many a times not created in mind the long term TOM recall aspect from the target audience POW. Campaigns need to be In the KISS format.  It should connect with the Psyche of the target audience. 
  • Mainly, Lack of case study. 
  • not understanding the business goals & objectives and of course fail to analyse the persona of target audience i.e defining their preference, choices etc. Also on should not be ignored.  
  • Due to 3 reasons – 1. Inadequate knowledge of target audience & their preferences. 2. An attempt to be funny/sarcastic/witty that spectacularly backfires – getting ahead of oneself. 3. Placing undue emphasis on one’s track record – always start from scratch.  
  • Campaigns that fail are mostly not aligned with the positioning of the brand and are complex or non-relatable. 
  • 1 when the brand being promoted is worthless in reality 2 negative sentiments among masses for sure specific subject 3 Wrong TG, Segmentation and approach 4 Creating too much hype for social causes 5 if offline & online presence has no match. 
  •  Exaggerated claims, improper response & poor execution. 
  • When brands try too much and instead forget to follow the basic steps to engage their audience. This is when their cocial media campaigns fail.  
  • Not choosing the appropriate platform, delay/no engagement with the customer generated from the campaign, wrong timing or targeting or demographics, and tracking progress of the campaign. 

See all answers to this question here!

Q3: Like crisis management is there a failure management for Social Media Campaigns?

From Ayushi Srivastav:

  • I would say, is an open space and driven by its people. Here, every individual has a voice and flexibility to share their opinions. Hence, the best possible way to manage a failure is to accept it, take learnings and move on.

From the community:

  • To an extent it can be done, like after this Indigo issue, their CEO put out a pinned tweet of clarification. But on social media it erupts so fast that crisis management becomes beyond reach. Best remedy is “precaution is better than cure”. 
    • Yeah, in best PR practices they call it ‘Holding Statement’; however, in case of it didn’t work because of their delayed response or attention the crisis.  
  • At the heart of it all – every brand makes mistakes. The best course of action – own up, apologise, give your failed campaign a humorous twist or divert attention to something more relevant. Learn to make fun of yourself, be authentic & accept when you stumble.  
  • For that, accurate results needed for actual failure. For instance, one can take Twitter’s Poll results.  
  • Accept the failure. Minimise expenses. Start with low budget. Start afresh. Embracing failure is a big challenge for brands. 

See all answers to this question here!

Q4: Should Businesses keep a Plan-B social strategy ready, if Plan-A does not work?

From Ayushi Srivastav:

From the community:

  • Always. Prepare for all possible eventualities. One thing is trend & user behavioural analysis. Another thing is spontaneous response to crises. Make it a point to be as well prepared as possible. Reduce your dependence on “chance” events!  
  • Yes that seems a good approach but sometimes there is no Plan B. Specially when there are multiple stakeholders involved, then communicating to hold A and start B becomes really tough.  
  • Certainly Big yes. Even, may proceed until Z too (if needed). Because, when the germane is Brand/Biz, one shall never compromise on that part. 
  • Definitely. A/B testing is always the best possible approach. We should never bank on only one plan. In this case we can also think of user generated content to be used for other plans.  
  • Yes and No. If Plan A fails, then possibly Plan B may work but then depends on budget. No, because they can wait, watch and learn from their experience. Give it some time and then make a calculated push. 

See all answers to this question here!

Q5: What care should be taken to build a failure-free social media strategy and its implementation?

From Ayushi Srivastav:

  • Fear not the failure, but the lack of action. Having said that, here’s the checklist which you must tune in: 1.Avoid marketing gimmicks on conflicts of national-international interests.
  • 2.Keep your facts right, do thorough research work to back-up your campaign.
  • 3.If possible, include key stakeholders to take internal feedback. Think how it may backfire.
  • 4. You’ve got to eliminate negative words even if it’s a jibe on a competition.
  • 5.Don’t infringe brand guidelines or copyright issues.
  • 6.Social Media is about driving conversations with quirky remarks, but avoid seeing as a sexist or racist.
  • 7.Plan well, plan ahead.

From the community:

  • 1. Be specific (what/when/how). 2. Studying the case is the most mandatory. 3. Finally, Sticking to the niche.  
  • Ensure you consider all possible friction points based on user behavior & reaction. Steer clear of controversial topical issues unless you have the skill to leverage them in a tasteful manner without offending people. Even if you do – admit, explain, leverage.  
  • There never is a failure free strategy but strategies have to cater to both positive and negative responses. Be ALWAYS prepared for failure. 

See all answers to this question here!

Q6: What tools are a must use for any social media manager?

From Ayushi Srivastav:

  • I would like to answer this question in two-folds: Free tools and Paid Tools. For trend tracking and organizing social media stuff at once place i would recommend using Google trends, Buzz Sumo and IFTTT (If this then that).
  • And for Paid tools, every must have an exposure to either of the tools- 1. 2. 3.

From the community:

See all answers to this question here!

Hope you find our blogs useful. Let us know in the comments section below!

A mind that's innovative and a soul that's enthusiast. Dhruva loves to do everything with extreme excitement and creative inputs, which makes her work shine. She creates useful content for Konvophilia and manages its social presence. She is lot more than a Business, IT & Management graduate. Dhruva is a go-to girl for Fashion, Snapchat, Events and Anchoring.

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