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How Not to Market on Facebook
Monday, November 26, 2007
As Facebook popularity continues to soar, marketers are looking for ways to leverage the social network as a viral promotional tool to market their products. Of course there are going to be success stories and some not so successful stories. Case in point, Molson Breweries recent promotion they ran on Facebook.

The promotion in which they dubbed the The Molson Canadian Nation Campus Challenge focused on the theme of “Be the #1 party school in Canada”. Why was this an unsuccessful promotion for Molson? Well in response to growing criticism from universities and parents, Molson has pulled this controversial photo contest on Facebook. This is a great example of the challenges that companies face in trying to pitch their products on new social media.

According to a story in the Globe and Mail,

Molson's online marketing campaign, in which students were encouraged to post pictures of themselves partying on campus, was “misinterpreted” as promoting irresponsible drinking, said Ferg Devins, a vice-president at Molson Coors Brewing Co.

After a Globe and Mail article ran Friday, the brewer decided to end the contest one week early, he said.

“The whole realm of social media – there's lots to learn,” he said. “It's really a new area. We're probably groundbreaking and leading in a lot of things we've been doing.”

Social networks tend to be frequented by users with like interests and hobbies. As a result these online communities tend to have a lot of trust between members. It may be a matter of time before users of these social communities stop being as trusting due to the participation of advertisers and marketers in the same environment. People are sick of having products pushed at them all of the time. They create these social networks to vent and rant about their experience with marketers and businesses and their satisfaction or (lack-there-of).

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posted by Jody @ 2:03 PM  
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