Why is the thesis of screening important for Social Media Marketing?

Social Media marketing, a marketing campaign that will have a major impact through social media. Marketing is majorly done to ‘signal’ the brand, the value proposition. In earlier, it was just a 2 sided conversation. An advertisement telecasted on television to focus on particular customers but social media provides a platform where a single advertisement is exposed to lakhs of people all across the world. It’s a big advantage that ‘signalling’ can be done at such a large scale but it has also given an opportunity to people to comment on the quality and doubt about the intentions of the company. Whether it’s a genuine marketing campaign or yet another befooling strategy. In simpler words ‘Screening’.

Once ‘Signalling’ is done, the marketing is out for ‘Screening’. If it can withstand the ‘screening’, it’s a successful campaign on social media, if not it can become one of the worst nightmares for the company. The reputational risk has become very high in such scenarios. Just like social media, if successful, can give phenomenal results, if turn bad it can horribly damage the reputation.

Screening basically means withstanding the customer appreciations and derogations after launching the campaign. Conventional marketing majorly focuses on “Signalling” – providing selective information to customer to make him feel reassured in your product or service but “Screening” is standing up with all the after-impacts of launching a campaign. It’s true that the impact of a campaign multiplies on Social Media, even a negative impact multiplies itself.

Like a situation, where if a Bank is not doing well with the Customer Service, it is more likely that once you launch Social Media Campaign, customers may talk about the dissatisfaction that they are going through. So, it may damage the brand more and hence it may not be able to withstand the Screening. Thus, it is very important to evaluate all the options before getting into Social Media Marketing.

Real Life Examples

Walmart :

Rivals’ successful presence on Facebook was not digestible to WalMart and so they thought of running their own social media campaign on the very same medium.  Initially, WalMart managed to attain a large number of fans but sadly they couldn’t make any use of it.Fearing the negative comments/feedback from the members, WalMart restricted the ‘comments’ option from their Wall Posts. This immediately did away with the whole point of creating a Facebook brand page. The lack of interactivity and self-promotion provoked the members as well as the community of bloggers, and soon enough, WalMart was considered little more than a Facebook joke.


Back in 2009, Skittles volunteered its website and brand for one of the first viral experiments in social media user behavior.  They decided to turn their homepage into a live tweet stream which automatically displayed literally every tweet mentioning “Skittles.” Not that it was a totally new social media strategy; this had already been adapted by Modernista on a smaller level.  Let’s just say, this time it didn’t go well.Wall Street Journal badly backfired this experiment.Soon enough the campaigns’ launch, people began to fill the live feed with abusive comments, cursing skittles. Not only this, many social media activists even posted obscene content which defamed the brand’s image badly.