MediaBuyer Planner reports that it is as instructive to look at how not to run a social media campaign as it is to study successful ones. The latest object lesson comes from Dunkin’ Donuts, which was promoting its free iced coffee day – a promotion that, done correctly, should have generated plenty of positive feedback from fans.

Instead, the Dunkin’ Donuts Facebook wall was inundated with fans complaints who felt misled by the national promotion only to find that the offer was good at a few select locations, writes Inquisitr (via MarketingVOX). And even in those locations, some freebies were not available.

As one (former) fan wrote: “No free iced coffee in MA??? Are you kidding me? I just sent my mom to DD for the free iced coffee.” And another: “What happened to free iced coffee day? You advertised and everything…. you LIED.”

While the ad did clearly state, “In Participating Markets,” and the markets were listed, it was run nationally.

Reminiscent of Oprah Chicken

The campaign is similar to one that took place a year ago, though the Dunkin’ Donuts promotion was of a much smaller scale. Last May, Kentucky Fried Chicken partnered with Oprah Winfrey in a chicken giveaway that resulted in long lines and angry, turned-away customers.

KFC coupons were announced on Oprah’s talk show. Consumers could go to the KFC grilled chicken website to download a coupon for a free, two-piece Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal. But the combination of Oprah and free food proved to be too much for the website, which became overwhelmed by downloads, just as restaurants became overwhelmed by visitors and began turning them away – without their free chicken.