Why to be Cautious in Social Media Marketing

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

social-media-marketingSocial media marketing is nothing new. Companies have been doing it for some time now and over time more and more companies have joined the movement. There have even been experts that say that if a company wants to remain engaged with their audience, then it is a must to have a social media marketing campaign. However, these campaigns are often prone to much abuse.

Most recently, it was a condom giveaway that was hijacked by pranksters. This would be a prime example of something that could go wrong in a campaign. The condom company Durex, asked Facebook followers to pick a city that should receive their new SOS condoms. These condoms are provided on rush basis to its customers via an app on smartphones.

Of course it seems that they were just asking for pranksters to join in on this one. After the votes were tallied, the city that received the most votes was a city by the name of Batman. This is a city in a conservative Muslim province of Turkey, in which condoms are unwelcome.

This is not an unusual occurrence among brands marketing on social media sites. Even McDonald’s had their share of this after a tweet asking users to post of their favorite McDonald’s experience. I’m not sure if McDonald’s was simply being naïve or not, but instead of happy, friendly posts, McDonald’s got to read an assortment of different snarky comments.

One of the posts was “My memories of walking into a McDonald’s: The sensory experience of inhaling deeply from a freshly-opened can of dog food.”

In all honesty, McDonald’s should have known better than this beforehand. They ended up taking the site down within 2 hours its debut.

This is not to say that companies should take down every type of social media marketing, it is just saying that they should simply be wary of things to post. For example, if Durex would have simply limited the number of choices for cities, instead of allowing users to freely choose anywhere, then they wouldn’t have had the issue.

In the end, it is a great benefit to use these social media sites for marketing, but it must be done with caution and should be monitored.


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