5 Brands “Failing” Despite Social Media

A few weeks ago I shared with you a list of 5 brands that were succeeding without an investment in social media. This week, I want to share with you a list of 5 brands that are doing poorly despite their investment in social media.  The following is being written with sarcasm – please take it as such.

Delta Airlines

Let’s hope the merger with Northwest helps things. A recent Airline Quality Rating Report has Delta ranked 12th. Ouch. The stock price is hovering just over $7.00..sad when you compare it to the $20.00 + it was at 1.5 years ago. But, hey they’re on twitter, YouTube, and have a blog so that should ease the concerns of analysts and shareholders…right?

Target


Sales were down 6.3% in March…but that exceeded analyst expectations. When doing bad is perceived to be “good” you know things are bad. The 2008 holiday season didn’t pull them into the black and they recently had a few rounds of layoffs. But, don’t worry, they’re on Facebook.

Segway

A shining of example of hyperbole. Inventor Dean Kamen lauded Segway, “will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.” Only 30,000 Segways were sold between 2001 and 2007. Considering Segway thought they’d sell between 50,000 and 100,000 in the first 13 months, that’s pretty bad. They still aren’t profitable, but they do have their own community network, a blog, Facebook page, and twitter account.

Starbucks

They have a site dedicated to consumer ideas and engage consumers on twitter, yet they continue to close stores left and right. 3 years ago the stock traded above $35, but today it sits at $12. New leadership, new decor, and a new menu haven’t helped. Maybe a blog could be the answer :)

Home Depot


As you’d expect, a soft housing market and declining economy haven’t helped them grow. Their stock has decreased nearly 40% in the last 3 years which isn’t surprising when you consider that both revenue and profit are both down significantly. But, maybe their YouTube page will be the tactic that turns that tide.

The sarcasm above is with good reason. Social Media seems to be the recommended solution for all companies. The reality is it takes more than an investment into Social Media to make a business work. Social Media isn’t for every company and even the companies that it’s right for need more than a presence on twitter to be successful.

I hope this dose of reality was helpful.

  • http://jamiefavreau.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/what-does-william-clay-ford-and-bill-wirtz-have-in-common/ Jamie Favreau

    Are any of these brands listening? Just wondering. Listening to the inner workings and culture of their own organization and then the customers? Just wondering.

    Corporate culture is hard to crack sometimes and if they don’t have brand ambassadors then they probably this could be why they FAIL.

  • http://jamiefavreau.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/what-does-william-clay-ford-and-bill-wirtz-have-in-common/ Jamie Favreau

    Are any of these brands listening? Just wondering. Listening to the inner workings and culture of their own organization and then the customers? Just wondering.

    Corporate culture is hard to crack sometimes and if they don’t have brand ambassadors then they probably this could be why they FAIL.

  • http://www.marketingwithmeaning.com/ Bob Gilbreath

    Great post. It’s a good reminder that there are many other responsibilities of the marketing leader than media or social media. It’s about a great product or service, smart positioning, competitive pricing, etc.

    At the Ad Age digital conference last week, Unilever’s CMO, Simon Clift commented that Dove’s growth has stalled lately because the brand expanded too rapidly into new categories without enough follow up marketing support and innovation. It made me remember that there are many, many marketing decisions to make aside from whether or not to write a blog or start a Twitter account.

  • http://www.marketingwithmeaning.com Bob Gilbreath

    Great post. It’s a good reminder that there are many other responsibilities of the marketing leader than media or social media. It’s about a great product or service, smart positioning, competitive pricing, etc.

    At the Ad Age digital conference last week, Unilever’s CMO, Simon Clift commented that Dove’s growth has stalled lately because the brand expanded too rapidly into new categories without enough follow up marketing support and innovation. It made me remember that there are many, many marketing decisions to make aside from whether or not to write a blog or start a Twitter account.

  • http://chelpixie.com/ Michelle / chelpixie

    I understand your sarcasm.

    The problem isn’t that social media isn’t working but that these companies need a strategy and vision beyond that to accompany their social media efforts. I don’t think that these companies really believe it’d save their companies, but in Starbucks case anyway, they wanted to engage with their market and they have.

  • http://chelpixie.com/ Michelle / chelpixie

    I understand your sarcasm.

    The problem isn’t that social media isn’t working but that these companies need a strategy and vision beyond that to accompany their social media efforts. I don’t think that these companies really believe it’d save their companies, but in Starbucks case anyway, they wanted to engage with their market and they have.

  • http://www.thekmiecs.com adamkmiec

    @Michelle

    Yes, starbucks is “engaging” their consumer. But it isn’t translating into sales. I would gladly trade all the link love and tweets for real tangible sales.

  • http://Www.thekmiecs.com Adam Kmiec

    @Michelle

    Yes, starbucks is “engaging” their consumer. But it isn’t translating into sales. I would gladly trade all the link love and tweets for real tangible sales.

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Digital dad to Cora and John. Love ironing, bourbon and BBQ; no necessarily in that order. Living life, like I stole it. I'm always up for a

spirited conversation. These are my thoughts and ramblings, not those of my employer.
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