Social media campaigns have become a must, with almost one third of world population present on some platform or other. Brands have made good use of the same to promote brand awareness and products, but sometimes, these marketing campaigns turn out to be super fails. What are the characteristics of a bad social media campaign? Take a look at our compilation of some of the worst social media marketing fails so that you avoid the same blunders.
6 examples of bad social media campaign
Fail reason: Insensitive to abuse victims
Image Source : thesun.co.uk Snapchat mistakenly seemed to believe that ‘all publicity is good publicity’, because we can’t think of any other reason why they would have run the ‘Would You Rather?” game. Ostensibly, their purpose was to get people engaged and answer questions which were ‘rather’ impossible. The ad referenced the domestic abuse incident when Chris Brown hit Rihanna, in 2009, saying Would You Rather: “Slap Rihanna?” of “Punch Chris Brown?” Snapchat felt the backlash immediately with a whooping $800 million loss in market value, and a lot more in publicity as Rihanna refused their apology. The company tried to save face by saying that the ad was created by another app, but it raises the question that Snapchat bosses and those in the say would have seen it, because we just can’t believe that they ran it blindly. The lesson from this is that, never run a campaign mocks any form of abuse, and never trust a third party app. Use your own reasoning and sense of right and wrong before starting a campaign which is insensitive, especially on topics such as domestic abuse. Snapchat is a textbook example of bad social media campaign and one of the worst business mistakes till date.
Brand: US Air Force
Fail reason: Lack of empathy
Image Source : assets.rbl.ms US Air Force’s tweet which made light about the drone attacks and their bombing victims. The tweet claimed that the bombing victims would rather listen to Laurel or Yanny than their drones. This ad is a classic case of a brand jumping into a viral sensation bandwagon (The Dress). The intensive backlash from the press and people led to the Air Force deleting the tweet and apologizing for it. This ad is an example of bad social media campaign, as it was not clearly thought out. There are certain things which are acceptable and some which are not, and the lack of empathy was clear in the tweet. To avoid marketing fails like this one, you must be keenly sensitive to all humanity, and not just promote your product or brand.
Fail Reason: Stereotyping
Miele made the mistake of stereotyping the modern woman by showing an image of four glamorous women atop a washer-dryer, and being incredibly excited about it. As expected (by all except Miele), the Facebook ad created a stir and the ad had to be deleted. Failing to know their target audience is the reason why the ad became known as one of the biggest marketing fails. You must make the effort to know what drives your audience and use it to avoid a bad social media campaign.
Fail reason: Politically unaware
Image Source : i.guim.co.uk Team Coca-Cola Russia made one of the worst business mistakes ever. The ad enraged Russians and Ukranians and gave the opportunity to some Russian politicians to use the campaign to their advantage and showing up the US! If you’re wondering what it was all about – it began when the Russian Coca-Cola team decided to advertise the product using the map of Russia. The problem was, it excluded Crimea and the Kuril Islands as well as Kaliningrad. The Russian internet was angered by this. When pointed out another ad was published which now included Crimea, it made the Ukranians angry, as Crimea is an annexation from Ukraine and which officially, the US and European govt. does not recognize as part of Russia! This was Coca-Cola’s all time bad social media campaign and marketing fails, as people of Russia and Ukraine both called for the ban of the beverage. Many of the company officials apologized, and the map ad had to be taken down. This geographical misadventure cost the company millions in revenues and generated bad publicity, which will be hard to live down, in both the countries. The lesson here is to be politically accurate on social media, or rather avoid politics, geography, religion, language, culture and government policies to stay out of trouble. This ad is therefore a characteristic of poor branding, and a big example not to follow.
Fail reason: Blatant racism
Image Source : img.thedailybeast.com DOVE promotes the ‘real beauty’ of women so their Facebook ad in which a woman of a particular race was shown being transformed into a completely different one was in very poor taste. The ad did not fit with their brand message at all. It managed to alienate a huge number of women due to the unspoken racist message. After facing the ire of women belonging to all races, Dove had to remove their ad. They released an apology, which did not go down well after they had hurt the sentiments of millions. Lesson to learn from this is that you should always review your marketing strategy from all perspectives and make sure that it fits your branding, otherwise it will be another case of poor branding.
Fail reason: Underestimating/poor knowledge of target audience
Image Source : cdn.newsapi.com.au ALDI posted a campaign, which it hoped would engage their audience and generate a lot of hype and send consumers running to their stores. The opposite was true as their ad became the target of crude jokes, and the campaign had to be terminated. So lesson learnt – always check the slogan from the perspective of people who have no feeling for your brand. Also, never run ‘Fill in the blank’ campaigns, as the net is full of people who can fill anything in the blanks. Looking at all of these massive fails, you can understand what to do – be politically correct, do not display any offensive jokes and understand what your target group wants. Have a strict social media policy outlining the acceptable and unacceptable, and juniors should always get the approval from the higher-ups before posting any updates.
9 Innovative Ways of making your Instagram stories stand out
We live in a world where the social status is pretty much determined by the social media activities among other things. So it is a must for all to master the art of creating a social media profile that gathers interest and praise alike. Social media marketing is a huge sphere. But, in this article, our focus will strictly be on the betterment of the Instagram stories which is among the most regular activities an Instagram user indulges in. It is thus important for the Instagram story to be good and of some solid substance as much of the goodness will translate into how you can build audience and gather more followers.
Some ways to make your Instagram stories appealing
The quality of photo or video:Instagram stories stay on for a few seconds only. In such a situation the first impression is often the ultimate impression. There is thus no scope for a compromise on the quality of the photos you post or the videos you put up. Try to use simple editing to make them picture perfect. Mute the awkward sounds in the videos. Make sure that the photos that you have put up are in focus and not hazy or blurred by any means. Instagram stories are not supposed to be very formal and so there is a scope for you to put up some of the more natural pictures here.
Do not write long texts:If you are attempting some content marketing, one of the first and foremost things is to entertain the audience. A long text makes it difficult to read the text background and is also not going to be read by many viewers. So such Instagram stories are of little use. Instead write very little and yet make the most of your words. Words indeed are powerful things to have at your disposal and the text background boosts your stories like few others.
Have a context included in the story:Some Instagram stories seem to pop out of nowhere. They have no context whatsoever and only cause confusion for the viewer. While we do not recommend that you write huge texts to provide that context you surely can make good use of the stickers which are available to the top right corner of the photo editing screen. It will help the viewer know what your stories are all about. With this you can add a few words with the type screen and together they will make for a nice context to hold onto.
Make it unique and interesting:Like we already said the Instagram stories are more personal in nature and explore a casual and personal side of your life. There are thus enough opportunities for you to make them interesting for the viewers. You can make use of the boomerang videos and voice over if you want to build audience. Another easy way out can be using of the focus filter to stress on the object you want to show. Playing some videos in rewind too can be entertaining to view and make your profile a more popular destination.
Use the GIFs stickers emojis:They add more context and dimension to your stories and are thus an useful addition when you make a story on Instagram. There are too many of these to choose from and you would literally be spoilt for choice.
Ask questions:For this, you can use the poll sticker or the slider sticker and put in your question. While the poll sticker would mean that you would have your answer in the exact binary opposite, the slider allows more balance of views. Once the Instagram stories are interactive they will engage a large number of viewers who would be eager to interact with you by answering these questions. Just make sure that the questions are interesting enough.
Build a community:One of the drawbacks of the Instagram stories are the lack of direct comments on them that others can see. Thus to build an effective community you can try posting a screenshot with the results of the poll conducted by you. However, just be sure in this regard that an individual’s privacy is respected and that you tag them only after you have the permission to do so. This way you will build audience more effectively than before and people will also get to see the impacts of the polls you conduct.
Branch out when you feel the need:It is a misconception that you cannot promote your other social media accounts in the Instagram account. In fact this is how many successful Instagrammers gain more followers. The key is to give the links in the bio unless of course you have more than ten thousand followers, because then you will be permitted to use a link directly. So whenever you feel like promoting yourself or even some brand which struck a deal with you, feel free to do so in your stories. The link should be provided in the bio like we said unless your followers are more than 10000 in number.
Use the live filters wisely:These are capable of capturing videos which will show your face as being funnily distorted. Such videos are pretty popular on Instagram. Since they are so short you can put them up as your stories any time you want. The wise usage of your filters can be a great way to stock up on more followers.
Now that you are well acquainted with the tips to better the Instagram stories, it is time to put these to use. In today’s times of content marketing these tips will help you set your profile apart from the others. Social media activity will show in your increased popularity and followers and you will discover a new you with a lot more confidence. We wish you luck in your endeavors.