What Can We Learn From Social Media Advertising Campaign Fails?

Written by

Shane Castegnaro

Published on

What Can We Learn From Social Media Advertising Campaign Fails?

1. Create advertising that makes sense

Starbucks Blonde Espresso

Several years ago, Starbucks introduced its blonde espresso. This was a new type of drink that aimed to spice up their variety of offerings. This was all fantastic. However, they made a series of questionable social media and website adverts that had many people confused. The wording was poor, and no one really understood what they were trying to convey! The lesson here is that your social media marketing must be easy to understand!

2. Be careful when jumping on popular trends

U.S. Air Force

Can you remember the bizarre Yanny/Laurel debate that briefly took the internet and social media by storm? When this happened, hundreds of businesses jumped on the bandwagon and attempted to create fun social media puns and marketing. The U.S. Air Force also did this, however, their Tweet was in poor taste. It referenced the sounds Taliban fighters would prefer to hear, instead of the roar of the air force’s A10 guns. The lesson here is to be incredibly careful when trying to utilize popular trends!

3. Consider wider racial and ethnic issues


We are not sure why this Facebook post was ever given the go-ahead. However it did, and it received a huge backlash. Dove created an advert where a African American woman took off her top and effectively transformed into a Caucasian woman. The racial undertones here, whilst not intentional, were not clear to everyone. The lesson here is that you must also consider wider racial and ethnic perceptions when creating social media marketing.

4. Always proof-read your social media posts

Department of Education

Would you expect the Department of Education to make a grammatical error in one of their Tweets? Of course not! But they did! A post they created included a popular quote from renowned sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois. However, whoever typed the tweet, misspelled his name as DeBois! This may seem minor, but the citizens of Twitter immediately lambasted them for a lack of proofreading.

5. Check browser extensions before submitting

New York Times

When creating social media content, you should always check your browser extensions. A New York Times editor unfortunately did not. As a result, they created an article in which every reference of the term millennial, was changed by a slapstick browser extension to “snake people”! The editor promptly apologized, but the damage was already done. Always check and disable browser extensions that could potentially alter your social media marketing!

Whatever You Do, Avoid These Social Media Fails

So what can we learn from these epic fails? There are numerous takeaways. But perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you must be incredibly careful when using social media. When submitting posts as a business on social media platforms like Twitter you are opening yourself up to criticism and backlash.

This can damage your brand reputation deeply. It can also cause you to lose customers. As a business, you should always work on your brand. For example, you can create new logos using platforms like LogoCreator, or invent new slogans. If you make a faux-pas on social media, however, this can immediately undo all of your hard work!

Guest Post Author: Arturo Leonard

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