Some Failed Social Media Campaigns in India…

Till now we have learned about the power of social media and have also seen successful media campaigns in India like Narendra Modi 2014 general election campaign, a.s.o. But there are numerous cases of failed social media campaigns in India. The reasons for the failure of social media campaigns are as follows:

  • Disconnect between the campaign and the target segment
  • Not following social etiquettes
  • Campaign not consistent
  • Making silly mistakes

In these blog we will study some of the failed social media campaigns in India and analyze where they went wrong.

  1. Fortis Healthcare – #AgarMaKaDoodhPiyaHaiTo campaign

To celebrate the Breast Feeding Week, Fortis Healthcare came up with Mamma Mia campaign on social media.

“And the CONTEST starts! Use #AgarMaKaDudhPiaHaiTo as the hash tag and post creative one liners!! 😀

— Mamma Mia (@mammamia_off)”

Apart from the hashtag sounding very similar to the 1980’s dialogue of the Indian actor Dharmendra it cause outrage among the social media community. The learning from this social media campaign is that the sensitivities of the local (target segment) society are to be kept in mind before posting anything on the social media.

  1. MTV India – Happy Birthday John Lennon

This major blooper was not expected from MTV – a bridge between the western music & India before the dot com boom. This campaign was to remember John Lenon on his birth anniversary.

“We wish John Lennon, the vocalist of Beatles a very Happy Birthday and a joyous year ahead!

Join us in wishing, click here: http;//”

This tweet came 32 years after John Lennon’s assassination. But MTV salvaged the campaign to some extent by the admitting their mistake gracefully.

“To all the John Lennon fans – Long live John Lennon. We made a mistake. We are sorry. You want to be cool? Keep tweeting! We love trolls!cool? Keep tweeting! We love trolls!”

  1. Inox Cinemas – Like Fiasco

This social media campaign was to promote the movie “Teri Meri Kahaani”. A wonderful way to engage users but stuck in facebook syndrome.

“Hit “Like” if you are going to watch Teri Meri Kahaani today and tell us your favorite scene from the movie!”

The only mistake they made was that there is no “Like” button on twitter!


  1. Ford Fiesta

Brothers in arms of Inox cinemas. Ford Fiesta made the same mistake as Inox cinemas of “Liking” on twitter.

“A very good morning everyone. Hot like if you had a fun weekend!”


  1. First Post – Breaking News!

Being in a news business doesn’t mean that you have to tweet every minute. The following tweet sounded like my neighborhood aunties chatting about me when I visit home after a long time.

“My how Obama’s daughters have grown



  1. Vijay Sales

One has to understand that social media is not a platform for discussing personal messages. Here Vijay Sales used the customer feedback platform on social media to send personal messages to a particular individual. The learning here is to be consistent on social media platform.




Calculating the ROI of Social Media Campaigns

Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein

This is exactly the dilemma faced by marketing managers when then look for ways and methods to calculate the ROI (Return on Investment) of social media campaigns. There are various ways in which ROI can be measured for a social media campaign. We will discuss some of them in this blog.

The simplest way to measure social media ROI involves measuring ones followers on Twitter, ones likes on Facebook, and all other social media sites that one’s associated with. Keeping a spreadsheet to track the growth of ones followers and fans can help one identify trends and the success of specific campaigns. Tracking engagement through shares on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, and other social media shares is also vital to explaining success. Simple tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics allow one to track how successful a specific post was, which can be helpful in pinpointing the content ones customers respond best to. While this type of data is relevant and easy to measure, it should not be the only measure of social media ROI.

Click-through rate is most commonly used to measure the success rate of ads on social media. Click-through rate, or volume of click-through, is vital to proving that one’s brand is visible on social media. Click-through rate, is the ratio of how often people who see your ad, keyword, or brand on a particular site actually click and follow it.

Or in a simple formula, CTR = Clicks ÷ Views (or Impressions).

Almost every social media site gives access to these measurements through their ad reporting sections.

Measuring influence on social media platforms can be difficult, and it’s been the topic of debate in much of the industry. It’s not easy to assign a specific number to ones company’s influence, but some tools have attempted to do so. Klout, Social Authority and Brandwatch are popular tools that measure “influence” in one’s industry. It’s helpful to see how people interact with what one’s share on social media, although tracking influence is still an imperfect art.

Another difficult but important metric to track is sentiment. Sentiment is the general feeling and tone of conversations surrounding ones brand, company, or product. It can be painstaking to track sentiment manually, but it is possible. Tools like HootSuite, Klout, Buffer and Social Flow allow one to connect many of one’s social media accounts and track what’s happening on each account from one dashboard. Platforms that track sentiment automatically are becoming increasingly popular. The beauty of these tools is that they also allow one to track what people are saying about ones campaign on social media, which people are talking about the social media campaign, and the general attitude towards ones brand or product.

All this data can be overwhelming and difficult to track at times, as necessary as it is. Another way of measuring the ROI of social media campaign is through dashboards. It’s worth investing in a dashboard that provides real-time feedback from all social media accounts. A customizable dashboard that provides the specific data ones marketing department needs is vital as ones social media marketing efforts expand. Automating all this data through one centralized platform will increase opportunity to analyze future trends and opportunities for your social media marketing.

So to summarize there is no one foolproof way of measuring the ROI of a social media campaign. But one can use one of the above methods to get a fair idea about ones ROI in social media campaign.


Is Traditional Form of Marketing Communication Relevant in Today’s Age of Social Media Marketing Communication?

More often than not, the CMO of a company faces this dilemma: should I go for traditional form of marketing communication or should I go for social media marketing communication? Well, there is no thumb rule to this question. Through this article we would try to understand the difference between the two forms of marketing communication which would enable the CMO to take an informed decision.

One cannot deny that the influence of social media is more as compared to other forms of traditional communication when it comes to making a message or a video viral. A recent example is the ALS ice bucket challenge. This is because social media is transparent where anybody can voice their opinion. So people trust the choice of the majority as compared to the traditional forms of communication where information flow is opaque and controlled by the organization. It is said that the reviews from trusted resources (including channels such as social media and word of mouth testimonials) have a value 12.85 times greater than traditional paid media (broadcast, radio, and other types of traditional advertising).

Another difference between traditional form of marketing communication and social media marketing communication is the reach. Communication through web is without any geographical boundaries whereas traditional forms of marketing communication have constraint in terms of geographical reach. But traditional forms of marketing communication have more market penetration in under developed and developing countries/regions where the internet infrastructure is still not popular.

From the cost aspect, the cost of social media marketing communication is on an average 1/10 the cost of average traditional form of marketing communication cost. This has huge implication for companies working on a low marketing budgets and start-ups.

Since most of the content in a social media platform are user generated, more often than not the social media marketing communication is unstructured.  Here the company has to be extra careful before uploading anything on the web as each and every content is screened and scrutinized. One wrong move and it can be a catastrophe for the company. In contrast traditional form of marketing communication consists of professional content and the communication is made in a controlled way. So in the event of a wrong communication the communication can easily be withdrawn without causing much damage to the organization.

Social media marketing communication use informal language to communicate to their audience. Basically the social media environment is an informal sort of a forum. In contrast the traditional forms of marketing communication use formal language to communicate their message to the audience. This results in active involvement by the audience in social media platforms as it’s an open and inform setting where ones views are encouraged. In traditional form of marketing communication more often than not the audiences are passive by-standers.

As a result of the real-time nature of social media communication platforms the organizations are now accessible at all hours and in all situations. Organizations are expected to respond to inquiries on social media platforms in real time. 42% of individuals using social media expect answers to questions that they ask online within one hour. Unlike traditional media that runs as per a schedule and a plan, social media requires active management and necessitates the implementation of real-time PR strategies.

So summarize both the forms of marketing communication have its own advantages and limitations. It’s for the organization to decide which form of communication it wants to go for depending on the factors as discussed above. Though social media marketing communication is a threat to traditional forms of marketing communication but traditional form of marketing communication is still pretty much relevant in today’s context and is here to stay. At least for the near future!!!

Is Mr. Kotler Still Relevant in the Today’s Age of Social Media Marketing???

Since the beginning of my social media marketing course, I have been wondering if the concepts of traditional marketing as given by marketing gurus like Mr. Kotler and Mr. Porter still valid in today’s age of social media marketing. The bad news is that the fundamentals of marketing hasn’t changed with internet, it’s just that the execution platform of the marketing strategies have changed. This doesn’t mean that the traditional form of marketing will be a thing of the past. In fact social media marketing will compliment conventional means of marketing in future.

Some of the differences between social media marketing and conventional forms of marketing are as follows:

S.No. Key Aspects of Marketing Traditional Form of Marketing Social Media Marketing
1 Type of Marketing Uniform, Structured and Clear. Ex. advertising campaigns and service hotlines, etc. Dissected, Unclear and Spread. Ex. Status updates, blog articles, twitter messages, etc.
2 Direction of Communication Unidirectional (One to many). Ex. Information spread by the company (active), consumers only listen (passive). Multidirectional (Many to many). Ex. Both company and the consumers talk and listen (both active).
3 Scheduling Long Ranging. Ex. Ad campaigns are planned both over and for long period of time. Spontaneous. Ex. Ad campaigns are not planned in detail but reactions to comments and requests.
4 Communication with customers Well considered and reviewed. Ex. Communication only between the company and the consumers (via phone, email, or letter) & point of discussion is kept secret. Fast and Public. Ex.Reactions to comments are immediate and public, anyone can read and join a discussion.
5 Availability During working hours. No direct support beyond working hours. Permanent (24/7). Constant readiness to react to (negative) comments and consumer requests replies expected within 24hrs max.
6 Scope Specific. Optimized for certain target audience and market. General. Available for anybody and everywhere. (Optimized for public.)
7 Wealth of Experience Analog. Similar successive campaigns and assured legal position. Alternating & Innovative. Changing technical requirements, innovating marketing concepts and legal position unassured.
8 Supervision Customer Protection. Marketing activities supervised mainly by consumer protection and competition. User and Platforms. Marketing activities supervised by authority for consumer protection, competitors, platform operators and users.
9 Language Formal and legally safe. Strict “Marketing Language”, ready-made full sentences. Genuine and Direct. No ready-made sentences but personal responses and short answers.
10 People Involved Marketing department, public relations department, external agencies and sales department. New media marketing department, social media department, public relations department, every employee and user and management.

The business models are in principle same for both social media marketing and traditional forms of marketing. From the cost perspective on an average the cost of social media campaign is one tenth the cost of conventional form of marketing. Also the return on investment of a social media marketing campaign can be calculated with a fair degree of accuracy as compared to traditional form of marketing.

The one major difference between social media marketing and traditional form of marketing is that social media marketing is unforgivable. One single mistake and it becomes viral throughout the web and it stays forever as no one has any control over the web. Compared to social media marketing, traditional forms of marketing can be withdrawn if the response is not favorable.

To conclude the basic fundamental remains the same only the execution change. Sorry folk u have to read Kotler and Porter.

Pitfalls of Social Media Marketing – Beware!!!

After the success of the election campaign of Mr. Narendra Modi, social media marketing has become the new buzz word for businesses and entrepreneurs. Today established businesses and start-ups are trying to increase their social media presence and optimize engagement with the customers. Getting social media strategies right can help a company engage with its target audience in an interactive way which is cheaper than conventional marketing. But a bad social media campaign can drive existing and potential customers away from the company.

The most common error that a marketer makes is by being overly promotional. Social media marking allows a company to engage with customers in a meaningful way rather than being another channel for marketers to sell their products or promote their brand. Creating a buzz around ones product or brand subtly enhances the perception and value of one’s brand or product.

To avoid a social media marketing pitfall one should respond to all comments of ones customers/potential customers on social media forums like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. This applies to both the positive and the negative comments about one’s company. One of the big mistakes that a company does is to delete the negative comments about the company or product. In fact the company should address the issue and swing the odds in ones favors in the same lines as IKEA won over its customers by providing a line by line justification about its products and services.

The other mistake that companies do is to post negative messages and videos about one’s competition. This has two fold effect, one people think it to be unethical and second by posting negative messages about one’s competition one acknowledges in public that its feeling threatened by its competition. One way to neutralize ones competition on social media is to follow thought leaders and news makers of one’s industry and comment on their blog. This ensures that one’s company is always trending in a subtle way.

Another common mistake that marketers make especially for the startups or new launches is that they buy followers or fans to create the initial buzz. The problem with this strategy is that there are chances that the social media campaign can fall flat after the initial buzz as the paid followers or fans are not loyal to the brand or product nor do they spread the word around. The second outcome of the paid followers or fans is that the company doesn’t get the correct feedback or reviews about the product/company/ service.

One of the most trivial things which can explode into a catastrophe for the company is posting or commenting something on the social media without thinking about its consequences. There are N no. of instances where a casual post has caused promising campaigns to fails or have resulting in the marketer losing his job. One should proofread everything before posting on social media networks. Some of the companies have in fact made it a protocol to get a comment or a post reviewed by at least 2-3 people before it goes on the social media. After all it’s better safe than being sorry!!!


2014 general elections may have many “firsts” to its credit, but the one first which is there to stay is the use of social media for election campaigning. Mr. Narendra Modi, an IT savvy politician perfectly executed a campaign involving the use of both social media and traditional forms of campaigning in such a precise way that would envy companies like HUL, Apple, etc. which are known for its marketing.

Mr. Modi’s victory tweet “India has won! Good days are coming.” has become the most retweeted post in Indian history with more than 70,000, confirming the role of social media, alongside conventional political campaigning. Mr. Modi himself wrote in his blog that “This is the first election where social media has assumed an important role and the importance of this medium will only increase in the years to come. It became a direct means of information and gave us the much-needed local pulse.”

From Google Hangouts to social networks, Mr. Modi has used a variety of online tools to gauge public opinion during his campaign and change his campaign strategy accordingly. There were 58m tweets related to the elections between the start of 2014 and the announcement of Mr. Modi’s victory, according to data published by Twitter India, with more than 2m posted on results day itself, estimates which are based only on popular search terms and may well be a vast underestimate. The success of Mr. Modi on social media has brought social media in the limelight. Now corporates are looking for means to create buzz about themselves on social media.

The second successful social media campaign was the “YaarTuGodHai” campaign. The objective of the campaign was to create awareness about the TVC launch and a friend can get you a job. To create awareness about the contest, tweets were posted June 10, 2013 using the hash tag #YaarTuGodHai. They were asking the users various scenarios where there would say there friends YaarTuGodHai. They also seeded Tweets on how friends can also get you a job through Shinedotcom.

The contest was a huge success. It was trending on Twitter at number one position in India and 4th position worldwide. received more than 15000 tweets during the contest period and that was a big achievement within a short period. 400 followers were added on Twitter in just one day and this alone shows the kind of popularity this contest received from the job aspirants. The contest message reached 3 million people worldwide.

What worked for was that it had succeeded in giving a personal touch to the participants of this contest by engaging them with their friends and connecting one to one. This contest became so successful because of the better engagement levels the company received from the participants. The contest created waves not just in India but across the world.

Both the examples show that a human touch in social media campaign is a necessity for its success.