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FAIL: Learning from Social Media Disaster

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FAIL: Learning from Social Media Disaster

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What can you do when your marketing and PR efforts get engulfed in fail? Two social media strategists walk through candid case studies of how brands have faced down an angry Internet — and sometimes even came out better for it.

What can you do when your marketing and PR efforts get engulfed in fail? Two social media strategists walk through candid case studies of how brands have faced down an angry Internet — and sometimes even came out better for it.

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FAIL: Learning from Social Media Disaster

  1. 1. David Griner Dave Peck Director of Digital Content Social Media Strategist Luckie & Company Meshin @Griner @DavePeck
  2. 2. This slideshow was originally presented at BlogWorld & New Media Expo – 2011 NYC. Special thanks to: Deb Ng Arik Hanson Chuck Hemann + all the BlogWorld sponsors
  3. 3. And now on to the case studies…
  4. 4. #DoucheFail
  5. 5. When Summer’s Eve bought a recent advertorial piece in Women’s Day, the focus was on closing the salary gap.
  6. 6. But women didn’t really appreciate Step 1 of the plan.
  7. 7. But women didn’t really appreciate Step 1 of the plan.
  8. 8. To their credit, Summer’s Eve wasted little time in responding to the “alternative conclusion” some readers had read into the ad.
  9. 9. To their credit, Summer’s Eve wasted little time in responding to the “alternative conclusion” some readers had read into the ad. “ I would like to first of all apologize if this ad in anyway has offended anyone. We are taking immediate next steps to remove the ad from ” circulation. — Angela Bryant, Sr. Brand Manager, Summer’s Eve
  10. 10. But the brand didn’t stop there. They quickly launched a national series of “open and frank discussions” with U.S. women.
  11. 11. But the brand didn’t stop there. They quickly launched a national series of “open and frank discussions” with U.S. women. (40% of whom apparently “misidentify the vagina on an anatomical diagram,” according to a corporate press release)
  12. 12. Bryant even recapped the experience in an op-ed piece.
  13. 13. The lessons: • Social media disaster can strike even when you’re not marketing in social media • Respond quickly and humbly • Clarify how a poor decision was reached • Show that you’re learning from the experience and committed to doing better
  14. 14. #TweetFail
  15. 15. Five years after the launch of Twitter, social media professionals still keep using it to make asses of themselves.
  16. 16. Oh no! Hackers?!
  17. 17. Nope. Just an entry-level agency staffer, forgetting to change his mobile app login.
  18. 18. Repercussions: 1.  Employee fired by agency 2.  Agency fired by Chrysler
  19. 19. The lessons: • Create safeguards • Be selective in your account admins • Stay attentive and involved • Avoid the allure of convenience • Recognize that mistakes will happen, and don’t take yourself too seriously
  20. 20. #TrueLoveFail
  21. 21. A 23-year-old man and his 47-year-old fiancée in Singapore took their forbidden romance to Facebook and YouTube, asking for support.
  22. 22. Garnering 3,500 Likes on Facebook, they promised to stream “the big day” live.
  23. 23. At the last second, Mark remembered the ring and ran back toward the house.
  24. 24. Then viewers heard the sound of a crash.
  25. 25. Then viewers heard the sound of a crash. The screen went black, and a message appeared, saying “Unexpected things happen in life. Be insured to have your loved ones assured.”
  26. 26. The lessons: • Know the lines between narrative storytelling and hoax • Real life is full of great stories to be told, so why make them up? • Give your audience an earnest reason to connect and see the value of your brand
  27. 27. Also, avoid pretending to be a bear, as Philips learned in Singapore when it created footage of a supposed bear in a large residential area.
  28. 28. “In retrospect, perhaps we should have made the bear do something more obvious like a dance at the bus-stop to ensure that consumers knew that this was a humorous stunt.” — Philips corporate statement
  29. 29. #EAFail
  30. 30. To promote the release of Dante’s Inferno, EA’s marketing team launched a nine-month series of guerrilla efforts tied to the circles of Hell.
  31. 31. Then things hit a snag. The game’s “Lust” promotion offered prizes for committing “an act of lust” on a Comic-Con “booth babe.”
  32. 32. “ We wanted to be more Eyes Wide Shut than Van Wilder, and with 'Sin to Win' we were a ” little too Van Wilder. — Phil Marineau, Senior Product Manager, EA
  33. 33. “'Sin to Win' was a great eye-opener for us, and we're glad it happened early on, so we could learn from it."
  34. 34. The lessons: • It never hurts to temper controversy with common sense • But don’t let criticism grind your marketing to a halt. Learn, evolve. • You can still be smart without being “safe.” Avoid the urge to dial back too far.
  35. 35. #FocusFail (?)
  36. 36. In March, Ford launched a series of YouTube videos about Doug, the new “spokespuppet” for the 2012 Focus.
  37. 37. Voiced by Paul F. Tompkins and directed by Paul Feig, the spots earned buzz — and skepticism.
  38. 38. By May, the newest videos were getting little more than a few hundred views.
  39. 39. So is it a fail?
  40. 40. “ The bottom line is, we've only just started, and we haven't committed any paid media to it yet. If you look at the number of fans he's garnered on FB, the interactions he has with people there and on Twitter, and the people who say that they wouldn't have paid attention to the Focus if Scott Monty it weren't for Doug, then you've got Social Media Chief, ” a better picture. Ford Motor Co.
  41. 41. “ It was definitely a risk for the company to go down this road, and there are still divided opinions on Doug. He's not your typical spokesperson. But he's fun and different, which is what the all-new Focus is, so it's a ” good match. — Scott Monty
  42. 42. The lessons: • If you’re going to create strong content, have a strong promotion plan • Don’t abandon a good idea just because it hasn’t reached its potential • It’s not always about big numbers. Quality of engagement can be important (50 Focuses sold = $1M)
  43. 43. In Summary
  44. 44. • It’s only a fail if you refuse to learn from it
  45. 45. • It’s only a fail if you refuse to learn from it • The real failures happen every day. They’re the campaigns you never hear about, and we never talk about.
  46. 46. • It’s only a fail if you refuse to learn from it • The real failures happen every day. They’re the campaigns you never hear about, and we never talk about. • “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan
  47. 47. Thanks for your time. David Griner Dave Peck TheSocialPath.com TheDavePeck.com @Griner @DavePeck

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