Social Media campaign failures in India & lessons learnt

Failed Social media campaign in India

 What truly defines a failed social media campaign? What are the factors and elements that drive a social media campaign to its doom? What are the worst social media campaigns online? What can be learned from the mistakes they have made?

Ad-vani’s Political Campaign:

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. One of the famous Indian blogger writes about Advani’s campaign as follows:

“We saw Advani becoming Ad -Vani with his aggressive adwords campaign targeting every indian site. At one point there were only his ads on every site we browsed.  The first and foremost reason it failed – We hate Ads.’s Hash Tag gone wrong:’s Twitter campaign is another social media strategy that lacked a strong theme. wanted to increase their number of followers on Twitter and so they called out supporters to recommend their brand using the hash tag FollowFriday. Unfortunately, Kiva’s message was lost somewhere in the large amount of Twitter chatter surrounding this hash tag, and they received only a small number of (targeted) followers. They chose the wrong audience using the wrong social media strategy.

#RiceBucketChallenge – An Indian twist to #IceBucketChallenge

#RiceBucketChallenge is the Indian desi twist to #IceBucketChallenge on Social Media. Manju Latha Kalanidihi, a journalist from the city of Hyderabad came up with the idea for a Rice Bucket Challenge. Rather than washing down the water in a country with scarce water supply, her train of thought was to feed the hungry for the inception of this challenge. However the momentum could not catch up for long and lost the battle.

Flipkart’s Big Billion day 

The Big Billion Day sale that started at 8 A.M. was one of the biggest sale that the country has ever witnessed. However, the day wasn’t smooth operations for the company – from server crashes to shopping cart glitches the company has been blamed to be cheating customers in the name of heavy discounts. Flipkart may state these to be normal glitches, Twitter trends have clearly given the verdict in favour of Snapdeal which is dominating the trends with #CheckSnapdealToday followed by #AsliDealsONeBay. #BigBillionDay was trending in the morning but is nowhere to be found now. Besides Amazon has hijacked the hashtag to create a website called ‘‘; no points for answering that it leads to the Amazon website!

Learning’s from the mistakes!

  • Revise your marketing messageonce, twice, three times and even more to make sure you will get the least amount of attacks or negative feedback from your audience.
  • When using Facebook for your social media campaign, try  not to restrict comments and feedback to your Facebook page as “Wall Posts” instead, create a discussion board for more effective and dynamic two-way communication.
  • Never stray from the coreor try to be something that you’re not. Being authentic, transparent and sticking to your overall image is very important.
  • Do not try to sell yourself too bluntly. If you feel you have a need to do so, do it through communication and involvement with communities and individuals on different suitable social media channels.
  • Be ethical;lying or purposely deceiving will not pay off as some might suspect!
  • Use Facebook techniquesthat are sure to pay off because not every Facebook feature or tool will fit into your image, vision or goals.
  • Learn when to stick to the “old school style”. The “more the merrier” concept does not always work. Remember: sometimes less is more!
  • If you mess up by mistake,always have a “damage control” plan. Luck is overrated and you need to be prepared in case anything goes wrong.