Social Media Campaigns: The good, the bad and the ugly

My clients are increasingly asking me if there is space for social media in their campaigns.

Personally, I am a loud advocate of social media and their importance in getting your brand heard in the age of dialogue we live in. However, I do not think that all of my clients are ready for social media campaigns, as they are not ready to engage with their audience in the way social media require brands to engage.

Having seen many successful and unsuccessful social media campaigns, 3 broader categories stand out:

The good:

This is a social media campaign that has everything you expect it to have. It is built on the foundations of dialogue. The brand listens and responds to the public.

But the most important thing is that the brand has a clear vision, an understanding of its position among its competitors and is on a mission to monetise on what it does best, developing at the same time and with the help of the public the areas it might be lacking.

These brands are gaining new fans purely on the basis of being demographic and honest. People like them because they are allowed to participate and contribute to a team effort. As long as the products and services are equally good, if not better than their social media engagements, these brands are on their ways to great successes.


The bad:

Quite often in our office, someone, often me, sends an email around about a new social media campaign that seems exciting. Usually I keep a close eye on them but soon disappointment strikes.

Some brands use social media to brag about how great they and their products are. The use the social platforms to sell and even worst, they measure the success of their campaigns based on conversions the social media campaign drove, rather than on the buzz and brand awareness created as a result .

Often these brands are so arrogant that they do not engage in a dialogue, unless it is to have an argument with whoever dared challenged their greatness. The outcome of their campaigns is negative buzz around their brand and unfortunately, negative buzz is not reversable.


The ugly:

Some brands do everything right apart from one thing; they don’t know how to keep the conversation going.

Social media require constant engagement. Brands, apart from enterprises, are also experts in their field. A bank for example can increase its social media profile by advising people on their banking issues. A telecoms company could participate in conversations comparing handsets. A video game manufacturer can engage and challenge gamers and so on.

But the conversation has to keep going. Because brands who have stopped it will find it very hard to regain the trust of the people who engaged with them in the first place, only to find out that this was just a campaign and not an ongoing collaboration between the brand and the consumer.


So when my clients ask me whether we could launch a social media campaign my answer is always the same: Are you ready to dedicate the necessary time, effort and resource to make this work? Are you ready to commit to an ongoing and evolving relationship with the consumers? If the answer is yes, them I will be more than happy to help you build your social profile.