“More Birthdays,” American Cancer Society’s Facebook Page dedicated to making a world with less cancer and more birthdays, had a major blunder on their Facebook page Saturday afternoon that spammed over 440,000 people’s Newsfeed. The page represents an incredibly good cause which is why this marketing campaign gone wrong with so much backlash is an important case study on how to piss off your Facebook following. Imagine if it was a less well-to-do brand? Could have been way worse.
What Happened: More Birthdays set up a photobooth at the Essence Music Festival where people could come through, have their photo taken and automatically uploaded to Facebook Fan page. See the album here.
The Problem: The photo booth technology they were using started uploading the pictures individually to the Wall. 238 photos in all were posted within an hour to the Wall which caused havoc on 440,000 people’s Facebook Newsfeed.
Backlash: Dozens of comments, most from cancer survivors or families of survivors were posted to the Wall raising red flags, threating to Unlike or worse, reporting the page to Facebook. In the time it took me to write this article the total number of fans dropped from 440,000 to 439,000. Here are some examples:
Shayna D’Egidio: I’m not gonna unlike you but I am removing you from my news feed
Charlotte Emerson: Too many pictures!! I use my iPhone and too much to scroll through. I am a survivor but sorry I am unliking this page.
Thomas Harrison: Just spammed my news feed…unliked and reported
Christopher Fyn: Seriously. Although I’m happy for the achievement, the photo blasting is too much. Maybe an albumn, but each individual photo… Come on!!
Solution: This could have been easily prevented. More Birthdays could have simply batch uploaded the pictures to one album instead of having each individual photo post to everyone’s Newsfeed.
Takeaways: It’s a damn shame that More Birthdays didn’t have someone moderating the page who could have fixed the problem or at least responded to their 440,000 pissed off Fans before things got too out of hand. [Editors note: they eventually did respond to everyone who commented which was a smart move.] Since it’s a very charitable page I think most people will let it pass but other brands need to be mindful of this to avoid making the same mistake.