Social Digital Fraud: A Failed Social Media Campaign


I was recently reminded of a failed social media campaign that started with a lot of promise but went nowhere. For all practical purposes the campaign is still going because there are “posts” being created everyday. As I reflect what went wrong, here’s my assessment:

Why social media campaign fail

Blog content is never fresh. It is re purposed from old material. It’s edited, sanitized and packaged but it lacks soul and relevance.

There are no personal posts in the blog, twitter or Facebook. And the reason why there are no personal posts is because the author delegated his entire campaign to someone else. The few people who began following early on quickly figured that the author was not the one posting and stopped following.

Readers were ignored. Early on when people commented on posts, they were ignored. So they stop commenting, and eventually reading it.

Posts are monologues. There are no questions, no interactivity, just a one-way message. That’s not what people want in social media. We want dialogues.

Twitter mentions, ReTweets and Facebook posts were never acknowledged, reciprocated or thanked. Digital generosity pay dividends. A self-serving strategy does not.

There are no posts with anything current, funny or whimsical. Since none of the posts are by the author, they lack personality, commentary and the humanity that makes social media work at its most basic level: the personal.

If you’re not willing to engage personally in social media, don’t do it at all, and by all means, don’t do it under your name and likeness. When you create an account with your picture and name and then delegate your entire social media campaign to another person, you are committing social digital fraud. People  don’t really understand the extend of the power they are delegating to someone else and how much they’re losing by doing so.

How do you feel when you start following someone and realize they are not the ones posting updates or writing on their blogs?

  • “they want a dialogue…” love this post! nnI am a subscriber, blogger, social media lover who has a husband who works with technology in ministry. I appreciate your perspective.

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  • Steve Williams

    I hate when someone delegates their voice to another person. Thanks for the post

  • When people stop personally interacting, I lose interest. To me, that is a website, not a blog. The best thing to me about the blogosphere is the degree of community and interaction you can get with people you’ve never met. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the level of personal conversation I’ve been able to have with people I’ve never met. This is because our foundational beliefs-our faith-are the SAME, allowing us to have an instant connection that is bigger than anything or anyone.

    • I can honestly say that I have good friends I have never met face to face yet. And I have some very dear friends who started out as people I met in social media.

  • Thank you! I’ve seen two musicians that I am a fan of do this and it totally feels deceitful and fake. As individuals they are very down to earth and even cool, but their fake social media presence is sad.

    • If they only knew how their fans are getting disappointed by their fake presence they would either take it over or just shut it down. No one wants to be misrepresented, specially artists who work so hard to cultivate a fan base.

  • It’s simple…I stop following them. nnI also tend to unfollow blogs where you can tell the author is focusing on a particular demographic. If I leave comments on a site and notice that the author responds only to the same people or those within a certain demographic range (only men or only women; only moms or dads, etc.) then I’ll stop following as well. To me, it’s the equivalent of someone announcing a public event and then when you get there they only talk to certain people while repeatedly walking right past you as if you’re not there.

    • Jason, I was going to ignore your comment, but I just couldn’t do it. 🙂

  • I end up unfollowing right away. There is no point in following or interacting with someone who isn’t who they say they are.

    • I sometimes send the fake person a reply that says “tell the real ___ that whenever she decides to create her own posts, I might reconsider re-engaging. Until then, I’m done with you.”

  • when i first started blogging, i read one of michael hyatt’s posts about it that suggested we always respond to comments because, like you said, folks are looking for a dialogue. plus, if someone is going to take the time to read my ramblings, much less respond to them, then it’s only respectful to comment back. i expect & enjoy that. nni stopped following someone who has a pretty large following because she never responded to my comments. it was like a club. it didn’t personally hurt my feelings, just didn’t see it as worthwhile. i can be left out in real life, thank you.

    • Michael is a good friend and a mentor on all things blogging. I, however, told him to start blogging everyday a few years back. It surely has paid off.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the post…nI am amazed at people who blog and who receive comments but never respond. They really don’t get that it is a conversation.

    • I think it’s just rude for people to comment and never hear back from the author.

  • Greg Surratt

    All right, quit talking about me. (This isn’t really me responding, it’s my assistant :-)nnSeriously, good post. It takes work to turn a monologue into a dialogue.

    • It would be hard to find an assistant with the sarcastic prowess of a Surratt. You’d have to hire a family member for the posts to half as legit. 🙂

  • These are great pointers for new learner like me in the social media strata – blessings!

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