Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Biggest Social Media Fail Ever

I've written recently about some failed social media activities, including the lack of public announcements by ski hill Sunshine Village during an HR and PR crisis, and negative reaction on Twitter to a new chicken product from Domino's Pizza.

Now comes a story from The Ad Contrarian about Pepsi's recent forays into Social Media. Specifically, that they have failed spectacularly in terms of keeping Pepsi's share of the cola market.

Pepsi recently cut back significantly on their traditional advertising spending, and took that chunk of change over to the social media side. It's likely the largest allocation of money to social media by any company so far. There were some good statistics including 3.5 million 'likes' on the Pepsi Facebook page and 60,000 Twitter followers.

But the one stat that matters most - sales - looks grim. For the first time ever, Pepsi slipped from 2nd to 3rd on the list of most-consumed soft drinks. Do you know what drink moved up the board to take 2nd place behind Coke? Why, Diet Coke, of course.

Overall losses to Pepsi's bottom dollar is estimated to be somewhere between $350 million and $500 million dollars.

So, while social media is certainly a large part of strategic communications going forward, there can apparently be too much of it, and not enough traditional. The trick is to find the right balance.

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another Social Media Fail

As social media develops an almost 'magical' aura in the communication industry, and as it grows in scope and execution, there will inevitably be some blunders along the way. In fact, I suspect that going forward one could create an entire blog out of social media failures.

Enter the Domino's promotion for their new boneless chicken. They invited consumers, right on their delivery box, to tweet their thoughts about the new chicken with a specific hashtag #DPZChicken.

A great idea, upon first glance. Get people talking and sharing their thoughts about the new product. Except that there is just one problem. People are talking and sharing their negative comments as much (if not more) than their positive ones.

A quick search on Twitter of the hashtag shows that many people don't like the product. To my cursory glance, it was well over half. To add salt to their own wounds, Domino's website features a live feed of what people are tweeting with their hashtag - good or bad.

So what is the lesson here? It's that the 'magic' of social media lies in the ability to start, foster and engage in discussions about your brand and your products at a grassroots level. Unfortunately, it's not magical enough to make food taste better.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Twist

Regular readers of this blog may notice that I've been a little neglectful in the past month in writing new posts. That's because I've been busy with my new job.

That's right, folks, I am now Account Director at Twist Marketing here in Calgary. And I'm pretty excited about it.

One of the big things that attracted me to Twist is their appetite to try new things in new media areas. That, and the group of really smart marketers that I now get to work with.

The good news as far as this blog is concerned is that I'll be able to report on some really exciting mobile marketing activities that are currently coming down the pipeline for some of our clients. Stay tuned...