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BizReport : Social Marketing : July 28, 2010

Social media failure should be embraced not feared

Social media marketing is still in an experimentation phase, with success and failures. Marketers should embrace the failures, as well as the successes, in order to learn what drives the best results and to formulate future campaigns.

by Helen Leggatt

Not every social media campaign is successful, just as every ad campaign doesn't win an award. However, we only get to hear about those that have reverberated around the world, spawned Internet stars or been spectacularly disastrous.

While these may be prime examples of social media's power, and valuable lessons can be learned from them, just as much valuable information can be gleaned from social media failures.

In reality, social media marketing is still in its infancy and brands continue to experiment. Failure is a vital part of this phase and should be expected rather than feared.

The subject of social media failure was the topic of a recent post on the Sysomos blog.

"Failure offers insight into activities that were not effective and didn't resonate with users," writes Mark Evans, director of Communications at Sysomos.

"By putting the spotlight on failure, companies can get a better handle on the best ways to approach social media while avoiding strategic and tactical pitfalls."

So what are the most common reasons that social media fails to conjure up success for some companies? According to Sysomos they include:

- Lack of a strategic plan
- Lack of a tactical plan
- Lack of resources
- Lack of engaging and compelling content
- Failure to form relationships

For all the Friends, Followers and blog buzz that a brand can conjure up via social media, the ultimate proof is in the bottom line. New data from SymphonyIRI, which has measured sales for the "Red Zone" bodywash being advertised in the recent Old Spice ads, found a significant uplift in sales.

Despite reports declaring Old Spice hadn't had sales success from its recent campaign, sales for Red Zone hit $1.6 million during the four weeks ending July 11, a 49% jump over the four-week period before the ads were launched.

The other four Old Spice Body Wash products also registered a lift. Overall sales for Old Spice Body Wash rose 105% to July 11.

Tags: online marketing, online strategy, social marketing, social media

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