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The Latest Social Media Fails

There’s one big flaw that all brands have that no one likes to talk about: they’re run by fallible, emotional and sometimes careless human beings.
Every once in a great while, these humans make mistakes—they slip up all too publicly on their brands’ social media properties.
When this happens, most us watch the disaster unfold with bewilderment at the stark stupidity of it all. While these mistakes often create backlash for brands, and sometimes a bit of recovery work, they’re not necessarily the end of the world. Having said that, it may be the end of the career line for the people who caused the problem/s in the first place.
In the interest of learning from the mistakes of others, following are some of the worst social media fails of the last 12 months:
Total Beauty: Confusing Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg
Total Beauty made a pretty serious social media faux pas when they confused two hugely popular African American female celebrities; Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg.
Both are not people whose bad side you want to be on, and the brand may have done so when they praised Oprah Winfrey for having tattoos while it was in fact Whoopi Goldberg in the picture.
To make matters worse, the tweet was released during the Oscars, meaning that Total Beauty not only received the attention of the fans of both women, but of all the viewers tweeting about the Oscars that night.
To their credit, they reacted quickly, taking down the photo as soon as they could and apologised for the misstep.
 
ALDI: Inciting Negative Responses
ALDI Australia didn’t offend other people, but they did accidentally incite others to upload questionable content on their Twitter page. The popular discount retail outlet wanted to run a campaign that would prompt their customers to post positive memories about shopping at Aldi.
After the ‘Fill in the blank’ tweet went live, Aldi received many distasteful responses, with people filling in the blank with offensive imagery like diarrhoea, poison, and many other less pleasant responses.
Fortunately, Aldi quickly stopped the campaign.
Key learning: consider all possible outcomes – negative and positive – when palnning you next social media campaign. Remember, consumers are not constrained by policy, guidelines and corporate imperatives like you are.
Coca-Cola: Released the Wrong Russian Map
The biggest social media rule is the one that always seems to be broken the most: do your research.
In this case, Coca-Cola incited a #BanCocaCola hashtag after they published an ad with the wrong map of Russia.
When you take a closer look, the map is outdated. It doesn’t include Kaliningrad, which was annexed after World World II. Russian patriots were not happy with the ad, and began posting pictures of themselves pouring Coca-Cola into toilets. Ouch.
Seoul Secret: White Skin Helps You Win
There are times when you just scratch your head and wonder what a brand’s marketing/social media department was thinking. This is one of those times.
Beauty brand, Seoul Secret ran an incredibly inappropriate campaign, that basically implied that one of their models was more successful because she has white skin.
To make matters worse, the campaign was called “White Makes you Win”. What was it promoting? Skin lightening cosmetics.
Seoul Secret tweeted about their campaign and included a video of Thai actress and singer Cris Horwang.
In the video, she spoke about her career and made direct comments about her white skin and why it has made her more successful than others.
Seriously.
Most brands fear social media mistakes like the ‘Wrong Russia’ one made by Coca-Cola. Taking it to a whole new – and worse – level is running a blatantly racially offensive campaign. Imagine having to clean up that marketing mess.
There is Life After a Social Media Fail.
While these social media fails were clearly a headache for these brands, you shouldn’t panic if you should stumble into/create a social media firestorm.
The best way to recover from a social media campaign that has gone wrong is to act quickly, apologise (invariably) and show that you’re genuinely trying to fix the mess. A good social media strategy is all about planning and balancing sensitivity with common sense.
If having a successful social media program is something you’re worried about, speak with a social media expert about how to do it right; and what to do when things go wrong.
Tick Yes is a digital and social media marketing agency based in Sydney that uses proven social media strategies to help clients improve their brand. For more information on how we can help manage your social media strategy, contact us.

Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

We’ve all seen those marketing campaigns that went, oh, so very wrong. They’re often around to clog up our social media feeds for a couple of days, garner some negative attention, and then they die off.
But the real question for marketers is: how damaging was the campaign to the brand?
We’re taking a look at whether or not all publicity is good publicity, and whether you can expect to recover from a serious popular culture blunder.
Everyone’s Goal: Good Publicity
Logically, no marketers set out to epically fail when it comes to their latest marketing campaign. One company — Dollar Shave Club —ran that risk but nailed it when it made a promotional video filled with swear words (something most marketers would never do).
The Dollar Shave Club is a subscription service that delivers men’s razor blades. The video that we’re talking about featured Michael Dubin, the startup’s co-founder. It cost roughly $4,500 to make and within a week it had three million views.
In this case, the video greatly helped grow Dollar Shave Club’s brand — even though the swearing may have been offensive to some. They started their own YouTube channel, and they now have two million subscribers to their service. Unilever were so not offended that they paid $1 billion to buy the then 5 year-old start-up company.
But not every attempt at twisting humour is so successful. One hugely controversial example is the Protein World campaign that has marketers divided.
Walking the Line: Good or Bad Publicity?
The now infamous Protein World advertisement appeared across London Underground stations. It featured a model in a bikini and the tagline, “Are you beach body ready?”
The relatively straightforward ad led to a huge ‘body shaming’ backlash and marketers today still can’t determine whether running an ad that’s so controversial is a good idea.
Protesters gathered a petition calling for the ad’s removal and collected more than 70,000 signatures. The campaign even collected it’s very own hashtag – #everybodysready – that took off on social media channels.
According to Protein World, they think the ad was a good move. They maintained that they did not mean to imply that everyone should look like the model, and they became a household brand name. They also claim the ad resulted in 30,000 new customers and an extra £2m in one week.
Maybe the ad drove sales, but it’s a very fine line to walk as a marketer when you disregard public opinion in order to generate leads.
You’re Doomed: Bad Publicity
Sometimes, you just can’t come back from your mistakes. They can’t all be spun into something positive like Protein World’s controversial ad.
When Carrie Fisher, the world-famous actress died, Cinnabon tweeted an image that generated a hugely negative backlash from social media.
The baked goods brand posted a drawing of Fisher as her best-known character, Star Wars’ Princess Leia, with her famous hair buns replaced with Cinnabon’s trademark cinnabon product. They commented “RIP Carrie Fisher, you’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” The backlash was enormous. And in this case, there’s no public proof that the campaign increased Cinnabon sales.
The problem with these types of campaigns is that hindsight is 20-20. How do you know when you’re producing something that it will be seen as funny, middle-ground or widely negative?

Guidelines You can Follow
While predicting the outcome of sarcastic and cultural campaigns is next to impossible, there are some guidelines you can follow.
First, promoting news to people who aren’t likely to become clients or customers, just for publicity’s sake is almost never worth it. In the event that it creates negative public relations (PR), you might end up reducing traffic to your website.
If the outlet or medium through which you’re distributing doesn’t have the best reputation, you can harm your reputation by association. You can control this by posting your content on your own site where you can take it down if needed — just be prepared to take the full brunt of the backlash should the campaign turn out to create negative feedback.
No one knows your audience and your customers better than your brand. Use your best judgement when it comes to generating the best publicity to help your organization stay successful.
 
Image Sources:

Huffington Post
CBS News

Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

Donald Trump teaching you marketing lessons? Seriously? Yes, seriously.
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made the race for the White House fascinating. And fascinating doesn’t happen by chance.
Exceptional marketing combined with good old fashioned, in-your-face salesmanship are central to the success of his campaign – so far.
So putting aside your opinion on his politics, let’s look at what can be learned from Trump’s ‘Making America Great Again’ campaign.

Know Your Audience
Contrary to the opinion of many, Trump is no fool and knows his audience incredibly well. He has identified the pain and passion points of his supporters and has moulded his campaign accordingly.
As a digital marketer, this should be the first thing you do when devising a strategy. You need to know who you’re targeting, how to address their needs with valuable content and then get them to take action.
Yes, it sounds obvious but it’s astounding how many digital campaigns don’t have any compelling customer reasons for being.

Engage Your Audience at Every Touchpoint
Trump is particularly well-known for his power to motivate, outrage, and entertain his audience on Twitter but it’s not the only platform that his campaign uses.
Today’s campaigners are connected through multiple digital channels and are faced with an array of methods to reach out to their voters. This brings opportunity and challenges in equal measure. Get your content’s message, tone, and platform right, and you’ll win loyal supporters. Get it wrong, and your audience clicks over to the next hot thing.
Engaging with your audience through relevant social media platforms is important. While Facebook will always take a leading role, this year’s election campaign has seen candidates reaching beyond the social giant to more niche platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Zig when Everyone Else Zags
From suggesting he paid Hillary to attend his wedding to the claim that Ted Cruz’s father was involved with JFK’s assassination, Trump marches to his own beat.
He does the opposite of what other politicians have been taught to do, but clearly it’s working.
Hillary Clinton says that all is wonderful with the USA; Trump says the complete opposite. By graphically highlighting the country’s problems real or supposed he offers the ultimate solution: him. America will only be great again if you vote for Trump.
The takeaway here is to take chances. Do something different. When everyone is focusing on eBooks and blogs, create a podcast or set up a Periscope account. When everyone goes horizontal, go vertical.

Want to Stay in the Game? Don’t Be Boring!
How many times have you listened to Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz? Do you remember a single thing they said or tweeted? I can’t either.
So how about The Donald?
Like most of us, I can easily rattle off any number of quotes, tweets and incidents from his campaign. Many of Trump’s tweets have taken on a life of their own, garnering enormous global coverage.
What does this tell you about his marketing?
Right from the outset, Trump has been outrageous, disrespectful, rude, controversial and, without fail, utterly compelling.
While his opponents were trying to cut through by spending many millions of dollars on advertising, Trump’s messages and style have earned him more free publicity and media time than all of his erstwhile Republican opponents: combined.
In the marketing world, Trump’s content stands head and shoulders above his competitors and makes people take notice. As a marketer, if you market the same old boring content everyone else is putting out there, no one’s going to see it or care.
From a content marketing perspective, be like Donald, not Jeb.

Build Rapport with Everyone, Even the Haters
This is a risky way to approach a digital marketing campaign but if your brand is ready to take a little heat, you can even get value from your haters.
Of course, while most of us don’t want to “feed the trolls,” Trump has a knack for beating his detractors
to the punch. When Ted Cruz didn’t endorse Trump on day three of the RNC, Trump was quick to tweet about it and turned a negative into a positive. Brave and smart.

Manage Your Brand or Domain
You may have heard about Trump redirecting Jeb Bush’s website to his own. Due to poor brand management, Bush’s team forgot to renew payment for their domain which meant that the address became available to anyone else. Trump’s team grabbed the opportunity and automatically redirected all visitors to his website.
Lesson: don’t be a digital dill. Make sure your domain payments are up-to-date or outsource management to someone who knows what the hell they’re doing!

Lessons Learnt
Trump understands just how dramatically digital communication has changed the way we engage and has invested in his online presence. He has more than 23 million social media followers / likes, dramatically more than any his competitors for the Republican nomination. And 50% more than Hillary Clinton.
Like any successful digital marketer, Trump maintains an active presence and regularly tweets, posts and interacts with both friends and foes alike. He also stays abreast of the latest digital trends (he announced his intention to run on Periscope).
Offensive, buffoonish or smart? Whatever you feel about the man, there’s no denying his masterful use of digital marketing. There a thing or two we can learn from The Donald; or at least from his campaign.

Images:
a) Getty Images, Tom Pennington
b) Twitter
c) CNN Money

When the Social Media Circus Leaves Town

David Bowie died almost two months ago. Soon after, we posted about the tawdry British reality TV show making money from his ex-wife’s reactions. Inevitably, her presence on the show at the time and her response to the news created a social media firestorm.
Focus, of course has moved on to the latest deaths, tragedies, political intrigues and sporting victories / defeats. But it’s worth pondering the enduring impact that not being news has on the people who were previously at the centre of the world’s attention. Or at least, the attention of those on Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.
Some crave re-gaining their anonymity. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be related to a global celebrity. There are countless examples of wives, children, parents and siblings of celebrities doing things that reflect negatively – funny isn’t it that it’s always the bad behaviour that grabs the headlines – on their famous relation. Others try to make money from their association

Others, it seems, miss the limelight and do whatever they can to re-capture the attention.
Social media reflects the best and worst of human nature and consequently can destroy as much as it can create. The most popular blog post we’ve ever written by a factor of two discusses ’How social media is helping to beat cyber-bullying‘. There have been far too many examples of social media attention driving people to despair – or worse.
So what’s the take out? Unless you have a clear plan and can stick to that plan, be very wary about exposing yourself too much in these very public forums. While it’s tempting to seek approval and show the world how amazingly fabulous your life is, the other side of the coin can show itself quickly and easily. Someone can post nasty or incriminating content about you and your whole carefully crafted image can come crumbling down. Footballer Mitchell Pearce has recently found that out to his great cost.
We’re quite active on social media but we’re also very selective about what we do and don’t post. In other words, we try to have a foot in both camps: active yet under the radar. When we launched a new business some years ago the media we generated brought several anonymous cowards out of the woodwork posting all manner of nasty comments about the business and me. Or so I was told. I still believe my reaction to our own social media maelstrom was perfect: I didn’t read any of it and never have.
In Greek mythology, Icarus ignored his father’s advice and flew too close to the sun and subsequently fell to earth when his feather and wax wings melted. We see the social media equivalent all the time.
Here’s the key point: you don’t need to be on social media. Or at least you don’t need to be constantly posting photos and videos of every coffee you drink, croughnut you eat or person you kiss. You are entitled to a life where every aspect of it is not pored over by others some of whom may have no good will toward you.
Like sugar, social media can be addictive as it gives you an immediate buzz. But like sugar, the longer-term consequences of living your life on social media can be harmful - or worse.
Images:

Hang Gliding

Latest Social Media Stats for Marketing

We’ve looked at some of the most recent studies on social media topics and trends and picked out our most surprising and revealing ones that all businesses should be aware of. Let us know if you find any other good ones.

Twitter shows Companies how NOT to use Twitter

It seems that many people and companies suffer from Twitter remorse –when they hastily post something on a social media site that they instantly regret. In 2015 April, that company was Twitter themselves.
Twitter shares fell drastically after their disappointing first quarter earnings report was shared on Twitter before the end of the trading day. The company had planned on releasing the report after markets were closed, but instead, they suffered great losses after a financial intelligence firm, Selerity, shared the report.
What actually happened was only a very small mistake. NASDAQ, who operates Twitter’s IR website, admitted they had accidentally put the results up for a very short time – less than one minute. This was just enough time for Selerity to detect the new earnings and share them with everyone.
And this is not the first time this has happened to a publically traded company. JPMorgan had a similar issue when their results appeared 2014 October.
This is a great warning for companies about how careful you have to be when using social media. We have already talked about how great social media marketing can be and how quickly it can help expand your customer base, but it can just as quickly hurt your company as well. All it takes is one early leak, false statement, or poorly worded joke, and your company can be all over the Internet for the wrong reasons. And as this Twitter news shows us, it is not so easy to just delete something before people see it. The earnings were only put up for around 45 seconds, and in that time, Selerity was able to find the information and disseminate it to the public. Just because you delete a tweet or a blog post quickly after it goes live does not mean people won’t see it.
Now this does not mean your company should avoid social media completely. The benefit of using social media greatly outweighs the possibility of a small slipup. What is does mean is that you should not take social media lightly. Everything you post online is important, and while one post probably won’t gain you a ton of customers, one post can definitely lose you a lot of customers. Twitter’s story is just another reminder that no one is immune from this type of mistake. The best way to handle it is to make sure you have smart and responsible people managing your social media, and make sure they realise how important every post truly is.
Here are some other Social Media slipups of 2017 and  2018 for you to read.
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A Star is Tweeting…I Mean Born

What’s not to love about Robbie Williams? He can sing, dance and transfix a crowd with his charisma and the feeling that he’s “one of us”. I witnessed this first hand last month in Singapore at his outdoor concert.

Just before he came on at 10.30pm the rain started pelting down and didn’t stop for his whole performance. Instead of sheltering under cover with the rest of his band he came out and was saturated within minutes as he put on a magical show. It made for an unforgettable experience.
So too is the birth of your child. But when it’s Robbie Williams’ child, it’s SHOWTIME!
Thanks to some nifty live tweeting the whole world joined Robbie as his wife Ayda Field went through labour and gave birth to their second child. Words, videos and pictures caught every stage of the process.
You can say that he has one INCREDIBLY understanding wife; and you’d be right. But given the number of retweets, favourites and news stories you could also ask why we need to voraciously devour every detail of celebrities’ lives. It’s as if their music, movies and books etc. are no longer enough. This pressure seems to compel some celebrities to allow access into parts of their lives that for most of us are incredibly private.
All of this begs a very human question though: if the performance never ends and the lights never go down, what happens to that person when we inevitably lose interest?

 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Images Courtesy:  www.straitstimes.com, Youtube.com

Tweet Tweet Hurrah!

Twitter is eight today. Even though it doesn’t sound like much, the microblogging platform is only two years younger than Facebook – a veteran among social networks.
The people at Twitter HQ see it as their mission to “give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers”. Most would however probably agree that Twitter presents its users with one of the most well known social media related barriers of them all; the 140 character limit.
It’s an interesting thing, the 140 character limit. As a Twitter user you may have wondered why there’s a limit to start with. It keeps people from going on and on about stuff no one cares about, forcing users to keep information short and concise. The most plausible reason, however is that a 140 character limit prevents tweets sent to a cell phone to be split into two SMS. The limit was quickly accepted by millions and nowadays about a quarter of a million monthly active users send half a billion tweets each day.
Maybe the limit makes things more challenging and fun, or perhaps it makes the medium more quick and easy-going. Twitter’s role as a broadcasting platform has become apparent for a number of its users; businesses and individuals alike. As it often doubles as an RSS feed, it provides a golden opportunity for users to share content design of their own or others.
So now the little blue bird is an adult and is expected to keep tweeting for many years to come. If you can remember your first tweet, then please share it with us. If you can’t however, then Twitter can help you find it, or anyone’s first tweet for that matter, right here.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
 
Image courtesy: salon.com, creativefolks.sitemaker.com.au

What’s in a Social Media Policy?

Almost everything you post online is open for public viewing. This should come as no surprise but you wouldn’t believe how often a lack of common sense is the culprit in social media mishaps. Yes, there are numerous examples we could provide: People posting (what many of us would call inappropriately) silly videos of themselves on YouTube or tweets that were meant to be funny but took to Mama Mia’s leading story within minutes. Then there’s the occasional picture meant for a partner that in some way managed to reach the entire Instagram public. What people do in their free time is their business, but what if they are doing it whilst representing your business? The obvious solution is to ban social media, but as it turns out, it’s also a very bad idea (unless you’re going for a reign of terror, and employees will just find a way anyway).
What you need is a social media policy.
Ah, yes, one of those policy thingies. If it’s well put together, it could save you a lot of embarrassment whilst getting your brand out of harm’s way. But this goes beyond risk management; there are clear benefits in allowing, and encouraging, your employees to update their social media accounts at work (in moderation of course). As experts on most things related to your business they are ideal brand advocates, and all come with their own networks of potential customers.  Your employees are your extra marketing team, customer service team and in house support team. Allow them the opportunity to communicate amongst themselves and with the rest of the world and they will help your business grow. They do however need guidelines.
A social media policy should do two things; provide guidelines to the employees, preventing them from causing or getting into trouble and inform them of the disciplinary actions that will be taken if they do. You could of course Google another company’s policy and use that as a template, but the document will be that much more effective if it’s customised to your particular field with your employee’s particular positions in mind. Ask yourself these three questions;

        What’s the worst that could happen if employees are allowed access to social media?
        How does my social media policy prevent this worst case scenario?
        How would it have employees respond to it if it happened?

Be clear and concise in your policy. “Be professional in what you say on your social media profile” is a good start, however when not put into context this alone leaves a little too much for self interpretation (note, don’t be too precise either, or you’ll risk drowning the message in definitions). It should all be based on common sense; the policy should be a supportive document, not a hindrance. It won’t do you or your company any good if it diminishes social media efficiency.
So, what can be found in a valuable social media policy?

        A paragraph on who the document applies to – are freelancers and employees working from home included?
        Guidelines on what employees shouldn’t do online (what information to disclose, what not to share, what sites not to visit etc);
        Guidelines on what employees CAN do (encourage creative behaviour that indirectly hints at your amazing corporate culture);
        Information on disciplinary measures;
        An educating section on online behaviour, just in case;

The positive effect your employees’ online presence can have on your business is too good to pass up. Make sure to educate employees in the potential dangers of online activity and about sharing information too generously. Present them with so called “Cosmic Law”, coined by Jay Shepherd; always assume that the one you least want to see your post will in fact see it. With this in mind let your people get out there and endorse your brand to help it grow.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image courtesy: thesocialworkplace.com, socialnewsdaily.com

The belVita Trophy

Would you like to get a trophy for getting up in the morning? OK, maybe not as much for getting up as for doing those habitual things you do to get ready for a new day of whatever it is you do. The people at belVita thought that the answer to this question would be “YES!” – with Caps Lock firmly in place. The campaign is simple; tweet @belVita about your morning win, be it finding matching socks or making the perfect omelette, using the hashtag #MorningWin. The one with the best tweet gets an actual trophy with their 3D printed morning achievement on top. Honourable mentions get personalized certificates, videos and virtual trophies from belVita.

This ingenious campaign is a great example of how a company can engage its customers whilst getting a small army of copywriters doing its bidding. User generated content is one of those marketing wants, but “should we use it?” is easier to answer than “how can we get it?” This is why we’re so happy to discover potentially viral campaigns that manage to engage customers, have them contributing to the brand in question, all while merging everything to the product in a way that feels somewhat given.
Depending on your product, you may or may not be in for a hard time creating a campaign of your own that creates such impact and conversation like this one. Grumpy competitors could claim that belVita had a stroke of luck coming up with this little treasure, but they know as well as the rest of us do that it takes an equal amount skill at the very least. It’s about knowing your audience and your product – finding the little things that link them together. It’s a jigsaw puzzle where the last missing piece is the one making all the difference between a campaign being mediocre and genius.
We don’t have access to the minds of the men and women behind the Morning Win campaign, but you can bet that it took quite a lot of brainwork and creative flare. Don’t expect to just sit down on your lunchbreak and come up with a killer idea. Knowing your customers is key to any successful marketing campaign and to do that you need to do your homework. Lazy marketers will most likely be the ones failing, so take the time to care for your product, your customers and your campaign.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Image/video courtesy: lifestyle.uk.msn.com / Youtube: belVita