Failures on social media

With everyone going gaga over the social media campaigns and their better return on investments, there are many such campaigns which were drastic failures. Some are heard of and some are unheard. Let us have a look at few examples:

Advani’s Political Campaign

Indian politician Lalchand Kishan Advani, tried to position himself in lines of Obama as a ‘change agent’.With an average spent 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.”

Zivame failed to used right channels for Breast Awareness Campaign India’s leading online lingerie store is organising screening for breast and cervical cancer for 1000 women from rural areas in association with Bangalore based NGO Milaap. Milaap is setting several medical camps across Trichy working with Gramalaya Microfin Foundation and Harshamitra Women Screening Wing. is also raising awareness among general public using their social media channels.

Why it failed and what could have been the improvement?

The brand could have taken this campaign to other visual media like Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube sharing real stories of the women in Trichy and using those media to create awareness on breast and cervical cancer as well. While Zivame has understood that pictures are good shareable material, video is far more convincing when it comes to social and medical issues that they were trying to support.

Many more conversations could have been started on groups on Facebook, on quora, linkedin and discussions could be initiated using the brand’s twitter presence. The subject of breast and cervical cancer has serious and far reaching impact, and therefore lots of questions could have been answered bringing experts on board. The way the brand used their presence on social media was only as announcement boards – photos on Facebook and Twitter talking about the campaign and not really starting any real conversations.

The brand should have consciously stuck to one communication. Peppering the Facebook page with photographs and new product launches might not be ideal to do when you are creating awareness of a serious issue. The same can be said about their twitter feed.

What was lacking was the conversation backing such a noble cause – what is really required to create real awareness about the issue. Maybe if they picked up this cause on a larger scale they would have had more reason to invest in bringing on board experts to actually talk about the subject in depth and not just benefit the 1000 women in Trichy but have far reaching benefits to the women who are actually reading and participating in discussions.

These examples convey the message that if campaigns are not executed in the right way they fail to create impact although social media is a very powerful medium to reach people.


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