How To Avoid A Condom Disaster
(And Other Social Media Marketing Tips)


If you have a product, you need to engage your customers. No, not in the way the first part of the title in this article would suggest, but in the latter part – with social media marketing. Most startups understand the importance of this by now, but engaging your customers with your product or service can backfire if not done properly. That was the case for Durex condoms and other big brand names recently. Here’s their story and some tips for how you can avoid their mistakes.


The Condom Conundrum

Durex Condoms recently posed a promo question to its Facebook friends on what city should receive their new, on-demand SOS Condoms app. But the social media marketing tactic backfired when hackers managed to spike the votes up for the very conservative Muslim city of Batman, Turkey. Needless to say, condoms are not a welcomed friend of Batman.



So, what was supposed to be a fun, customer-engaging contest for Durex turned into a complete social media disaster. And, they’re not the only brand to blunder. The golden arches of Mickey D’s were tarnished after a similar marketing ploy to have customers share their favorite experiences saw customers painting the fast food giant in a not-so-appealing light. Nokia also managed to offend their customers when they posted, “A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses, and a good lens is essential to taking good pictures!” Apparently, people do not believe lenses are superior to the photographer.


How To Avoid These Social Media Marketing Mistakes

While engaging customers with your product is good, experts say not to use open voting-type tactics when doing so. Our friends aforementioned left themselves wide open for hackers, pranksters, and haters which left a burn for the brands.



So, how do you avoid these social media marketing mistakes?

  1. Don’t give too much leeway to customers. Instead, offer limited options.
  2. Monitor responses. If any abuses occur, make sure you take care of them immediately.
  3. DON’T rely on monitoring software, either.


Best social media marketing tips for startups? Engage your customers through social media marketing, but make sure you monitor the engagement closely. Take it from Durex, protect your brand.


Photo Credits

imagerymagestic | | SOS Condoms | Michal Marcol