Examples of failed social media campaigns in India

Welcome!! Let’s have a look at some of the social media campaigns that took major blow when launched with great optimism.

Fortis Healthcare, decided to celebrate that Breast Feeding Week by asking it users to tweet using #AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo. When the social media community outraged, they came up with the lamest excuse ever: “Our account was hacked”.

MTV India one of India’s topmost social entertainment brands wished John Lennon a ‘joyous year ahead’ on his birth anniversary. Later they had to apologize for their mistake.

Inox India tweeted:  Hit, “Like” if you are going to watch Teri Meri Kahani today and tell us your favorite scene from the movie!

Of course the reply to the tweet was: Twitter does not have a “Like” button to hit boss!!

Even ford India tweeted asking for likes; blood brothers with Inox!

Let’s have a look at some bigger failures.

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.

Indian politician Lalchand Kishan Advani, tried to position himself in lines of Obama as a ‘change agent’.  He spent an average of Rs. 250 crores for his genuinely pathetic ad campaigns. He literally targeted all the Indian sites with his aggressive Adwords. Perhaps, while promoting himself insanely he forgot that ‘Advani is not a new product on the market’ which needs crazy branding! Instead of connecting to the people online in a non-intrusive manner or mobilizing the bloggers to write about him, he preferred spamming the sites of the whole wide India.  His blog also didn’t seem to appeal to the audience much and he failed both in the elections, and on social media.

A final example of Starbucks’ failure. How much ever you invest in Social Media Marketing if you fail to manage your reputation online and do not meet your customer’s concerns on time- all your efforts of spending on a online channel for promotion is worthless. Starbucks India quickly deleted one of the post made by his angry customer without responding to it and that triggered a viral rage on Facebook &  Twitter.  It stayed silent on Twitter despite many people asked for a response to the issue. Starbucks India remained thick skinned and continued to do its other Social Media Marketing content activities.

The tweet made by the customer  had received many automated  and Retweets which included tweets from many influencers and RTs obtained via them thus making this incident reach thousands of individuals including journalists from the mainstream media and triggered awesome support from the twitter community. The brand which has just established its presence in India had a great opportunity to show people that they don’t just claim to sell the best coffee in the world but also offers best customer service – even on Social Media. But it failed to do so.

India being a country where the reach ability of internet is limited and the same time average time spent by people on internet is less than the developed nations, social media marketing has not picked up the fervor. We can expect many more failures of such campaigns in future if the marketers don’t take necessary care.


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