What are some examples of failed social media campaigns in India?

India is still in the nascent stage when it comes to accessing the vast potential of social media marketing. Many companies and organizations have attempted to use Social Media as part of their Marketing strategy. The following are some examples of India social media campaigns that were unsuccessful or failed due to varied number of reasons
Breastfeeding Week Campaign by Fortis Healthcare invited one liners for a contest on social media that spiralled into negative reactions. It was too late before Fortis could regain control. However they had to stop the campaign on social media as the campaign came nowhere close to the intended outcome and marred the reputation of the company.
Volkswagen’s ‘Feel the Shiver of excitement’ campaign on Times of India generated lot of negative responses on social media and later became distasteful when Volkswagen referred to ‘women as dumb’ if they related the campaign to a vibrator. Volkswagen had to deal with considerable embarrassment and negative reactions due to unexpected consequences and their derogatory statement about women.
MTV India ended up wishing John Lennon ‘a joyous year ahead’ on his birth anniversary spurring lot of negative comments from fans. MTV apologized but blamed trolls for the failure of the campaign.
Burger King asked their fans to unfriend 10 friends on Facebook for one of their social media campaigns. Facebook saw this as a threat to their business model and ask them to withdraw their campaign. However, by the time the campaign was withdrawn fans unfriended many friends and this generated a lot of criticism on social media.
Flipkart’s Big billion day was supposed to a nationwide campaign on both traditional and social media platforms. Flipkart had to face lot of criticism as its sites adopted illegal pricing tactics and also the stocks dint last as expected. Furthermore domain name bigbillionday.com was used by Flipkart’s competition as a result of which Google search listed down Flipkart’s competition names instead of Flipkart. The whole campaign seriously damaged the trust and reputation of the brand and the founders had to write an apology to all its customers.
Social media is a powerful platform that if used in the wrong way can prove disastrous for the brand image of the product or company. Many campaigns fail because they treat social media as just another medium of communication. They forget that the companies are dependent on the people to make the campaigns work. The ‘social’ in social media is crucial and one that determines whether the campaign will be successful or not. Let us highlight some of the reasons why social media campaigns fail
– Company do not have a goal for their social media campaigns
– Too much selling and less of building relationships
– Misunderstanding how social media actually works
– Culture and sensitivity issues are overlooked
– Hiring a wrong agency that is not able to connect the brand with the customers can prove costly
– Ads and campaigns are not consistent with the brand image and values of the company
– No consistency between various marketing channels
– The campaigns are not creative and do not invoke interest
– Campaigns are targeted at wrong audience or social network

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