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The editors at MBA in Marketing Degree Guide decided to research the topic of:
Biggest moments in social media marketing
2012's wins and fails
As the worldwide social media audience grows, the impact of wins and fails is amplified. Win, and your victory is that much sweeter; fail, and your disgrace will be played out on an extremely large, virtual public stage.
A snapshot of social media users
Internet users who visit social networking sites by age:
- 18-29: 92%
- 30-49: 73%
- 50-64: 57%
- 65+: 38%
While the wins don't generally reach the level of notoriety of the fails, most generated a viral response and positive publicity that would make any PR team drool.
Dollar Shave Club
- What happened: A new company with an offbeat approach to the pedestrian business of selling razor blades, Dollar Shave Club, received a huge bounce from its viral YouTube video. The ad included a bear costume, the phrase "Our blades are f***ing great" and a smackdown of tennis great Roger Federer.
- Response: More than 7.7 million views
- Platform: YouTube
- What happened: Nike's campaign honoring everyday athletes targeted London billboards and the social media sphere during the 2012 Olympics; positive feedback outpaced that of official sponsor Adidas.
- Response: More than 16,000 tweets and a 77 percent boost in Facebook page interaction during the Olympics
- Platforms: Twitter, Facebook
- What happened: Sephora engaged customers with its "15 Days of Beauty" promotion on Facebook and by placing iPads and iPod Touches in retail stores to drive mobile traffic.
- Response: Mobile app downloads exceeded 2 million.
- Platforms: Facebook, mobile apps
- What happened: Honda, turning social media convention on its head, offered $500 to the most active Pinners on Pinterest to take a 24-hour break (called a Pintermission) from the site to promote the new CRV. Winners created a board about the activities they engaged in during their day off.
- Response: Honda reached more than 5.5 million followers of the high-powered Pinterest users, plus no doubt thousands of others.
- Platform: Pinterest
- What happened: To promote a movie about the impact of bullying on families, The Weinstein Co. launched a social media campaign that also brought celebrities onboard.
- Response: More than 31,000 followers; awareness helped change Motion Picture Association of America's rating of the film from R to PG-13
- Platform: Twitter
Naturally, the fails get more attention than the wins. These gaffes absorbed attention and generated reaction, retweets, reposts and media backlash.
- What happened: McDonald's hoped to generate some heartwarming anecdotes with promoted tweets around the hashtag #McDStories. Instead, the Twittersphere echoed with viral tweets about fingernails found in Big Macs, baby chickens being scalded alive to make McNuggets and consumers hospitalized with food poisoning.
- Reaction: Campaign pulled within two hours.
- Platform: Twitter
- * In early 2013, McD's again flirted with social media failure with a campaign asking readers to share their stories of how they eat the company's sporadically appearing McRib sandwich.
- What happened: A dustup over Chick-Fil-A donations to anti-gay charities enflamed passions on both sides of the issue, with much of the debate playing out on the company's Facebook page. After Chick-Fil-A was inundated with negative posts, a profile purported to belong to a teenage girl defending the company was revealed to be a hoax account. While the company has denied any involvement in the fake profile, it's still never a good day when your company's name is used in connection with the words "Facebook profile hoax."
- Reaction: The company denied participating in any scam.
- Platform: Facebook
- What happened: American Apparel offered a promotion for Sandy victims, sending this email: "In case you're bored during the storm, 20% off everything for the next 36 hours." Those 36 hours would prove to be devastating for the East Coast, as Sandy crashed ashore, killing more than 130 people, leaving more than 4 million without power and causing billions of dollars in property damage.
- Reaction: Company apologized and said the ad came "from a good place of trying to keep the machine going - for the sake of our employees and stakeholders."
- Platforms: Email ads, Twitter
- What happened: During the second presidential debate, in response to a comment President Barack Obama made about his grandmother and health care reform, the official company Twitter account dispatched the following: "Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president. #nbcpolitics"
- Reaction: Company deleted the offending tweet and immediately apologized; individual responsible meant to post tweet to individual account and wasn't allowed to tweet in the future for Kitchen Aid.
- Platform: Twitter
- What happened: Celeb Boutique's official Twitter account dispatched: "#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress :)" In reality, the trend was a reference to the mass shooting the same day in Aurora, Colo.
- Response: Company deleted the offending tweet and apologized.
- Platform: Twitter
- May 18: Facebook IPO trading sets record IPO volume
- May 20: Nasdaq 'embarrassed' over Facebook trading issues
- May 21: Facebook drops below $38 IPO price
- May 22: Investors sue Nasdaq over Facebook IPO
- May 22: The Facebook carnage continues
- May 22: Facebook among the worst big U.S. IPO starts in 5 years
- May 23: How Facebook's IPO was fumbled
- May 23: Knight Capital: Facebook trading losses may rise to $35 million
- May 23: Underwriters make $100 million on Facebook IPO
- May 23: Lawmakers look at Facebook IPO deal
- June 4: Facebook stock down almost 30%
- June 6: Nasdaq plans $40 million payout for Facebook losses
Twitter stumbles at the Olympics
- July 30: As America succeeds at the Games, back home all the talk is of #NBCFail
- July 30: Journalist writing about #NBC Fail tweets outs NBC exec email address
- July 31: #NBCFail: Backlash as Twitter locks out reporter Guy Adams
- July 31: Twitter 'sorry' for suspending Guy Adams as NBC withdraws complaint
- USA Today; NPR; New York Daily News; LA Times; AdWeek; Forbes.com; CBS News; Huffington Post; The Telegraph; Mashable.com; AdAge; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post; Twitter; The Independent; The Guardian; Fast Company; Econsultancy; imediaconnection.com; automarketingblog.com