Sunday, May 13, 2012

Facebook Marketing Fail - A mini case study

Hi guys, I just witnessed a massive marketing failure this last week on facebook (ok… I kinda, sorta, am partly to blame), and I’m going to tell you how it went down.

Facebook Blowup

So my favourite local meat deli decided that they needed to do some facebook marketing, and set up a group on facebook, and they even managed to get 680 members in the group. That’s pretty amazing for a local deli.

The problem was that they started sending marketing messages directly to all 680 members. While most of us are happy to get a bit of marketing in our news feed(Especially if it’s for a great bargain) nobody like getting spam direct into their inbox. What makes it worse, is that whenever somebody replies to this message, the reply goes to all 680 members also.

Now add in mobile devices with facebook plug-ins that let you know every time you get a direct message and things start getting heated. 

Then on Thursday, it all came tumbling down. 


Some random guy with only goodness in his heart, decided to point out the pink elephant in the room.
Yes, that's me... and no, I did not plan this.

One reply led to another, and then another, and on it went from 2:00pm until about 5:00pm, every 5 or 10 minutes my cell phone would beep with another irate or confused reply. Towards the end, some people were getting really mad and using explicit language, as you can see from the screen shot below.

I really did not mean for this to happen, and apologise profusely to the company and the users. In my defence, I was not the first user to reply.

Yes, Marketing your brand on facebook is a great idea.

But, and this is important, you have to know how to do it properly, or you could end up with a PR nightmare. There are a lot of companies out there who have leant the hard way that marketing in social media is a highly specialised skill and doing it wrong can cause irreparable damage.

If you want to be the Social Media specialist at your company, or want to market your own brand but don’t have the funding to hire a specialist, then check out Facebook Marketing For Smart People.