Shell’s Huge Social Media FAIL – Or Was It?

I love a good social media campaign like I love deep fried pickles – I just can’t get enough. However, when a social media campaign backfires, well, I kind of love that too.

This week, it looks like oil company Shell is the one who made a huge SNAFU, which has led to some pretty hilarious social media news.

In an effort to involve users in their online activity, Shell allegedly opened up an ad generator for fans of the company to help create upcoming advertising campaigns, bringing awareness for the impact Arctic energy resources could have on our world. From their Arctic Ready site:

Here at Shell, we’re committed to online social media. After all, it’s the fuel that lubricates the engines of internet communication.
In June, thousands of you demonstrated this by explaining, online, how Arctic energy production will transform the world and possibly provide affordable fuel for several years.
Today, we want to take the Arctic Ready message offline, directly to the drivers who benefit from Shell’s performance fuels. That’s why we’re launching a new campaign (deadline this Thursday!), from which the best ads will be printed and posted in strategic locations worldwide.
With your help, we at Shell can tell the world how pumped we are about Arctic energy, and take the Arctic Ready message to Arctic-enthused drivers everywhere.
So take a moment to add your own slogan to our beautiful new collection of images. The next place you see it might be your own rearview mirror.
User generated content is fantastic for companies to leverage, and social media is a great way to involve others in corporate activities. So, this seemed like a good idea, right?

Get Down and Dirty Daily for Greater Marketing Success

I find it curious when clients and companies say that their overarching goal, their “big picture” is Objective X and so they only want to do tactics that lead up to Objective X. The reason this intrigues me is because it leaves so many opportunities available, untouched, and just out of our reach. And obviously we want to reach our goals for marketing (duh, that’s why we’re here), but maybe there should be room for a little flexibility, a little reach, a little daily grind on things not related to Objective X but maybe Brand Plan Y.

My fab friend Adam Singer wrote a killer post today called ‘Rethinking Marketing: Inch By Inch Destroys “The Big Idea.”‘ In this post, he talks about how your brand will succeed if your marketing is active every day, rather than just planned social media posts that feed up to your big idea.

When you analyze organic marketing KPIs, it’s those brands who have a consistent, efficient and interesting drip of content (with the right mix of big ideas) that rule. It’s because they are consistently closing the loop between their marketing and their audience and able to iterate based on data at a rapid pace. They run circles around slow competitors.

He’s 100% accurate – especially when talking about social media marketing. A regular, consistent pattern of posts will help your brand elevate its online reputation and build closer relationships with consumers.

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Social Media in a Tragedy: Flooding at The Lake Superior Zoo

A slew of springtime storms have brought inches upon inches of rain to the area surrounding Superior, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota over the last couple days. Because of this rain, the entire area is experiencing severe flooding – people’s homes are being flooded; streets, sidewalks, and bridges are being washed out; cars are stranded in streets and parking lots…

…and one of the greatest tragedies is that the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN lost many animals due to flooding in zoo itself.

The last reports are that all but one of the animals in the zoo’s “barn yard” drowned because of the flooding, and two bird enclosures were under water. In addition to this, one of the zoo’s polar bears was able to escape its habitat (though it was rescued), and the zoo’s seal escaped its habitat as well, and also the zoo itself!

Both animals were rescued safely, and are now home at the zoo. However, the news spread quickly, and social media took over.

@DuluthZooSeal and @DuluthPolarBear both popped up on Twitter this morning, talking to everyone talking about the flood. Radio stations, news organizations and residents of the area received replies from the seal and the polar bear in quick, short, Twitter fashion. And while we’ve seen this type of thing happen before (with the @BronxZoosCobra account blowing up in popularity when it was lost last year), these two Twitter accounts are using their social media popularity to help in this tragedy.

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