Being creative with your social media marketing can really pay off, in fact it's probably one of the best ways of getting your brand out there. But it doesn’t always work. A lot of the time, the most ambitious social campaigns involve companies taking a risk. Great if it pays off, but not so great if it doesn’t. So how can you nail social?
Millennials (or should I say centennials - is that right John?) are becoming known for changing the world of social media. So here are a few of my favourite social media marketing campaigns.
Get competitive with your social media marketing
Running a successful social media competition can be the easiest way to get your company out there. Social media contests can increase engagement, follower numbers and the buzz around your brand - after all, everyone loves a freebie! Competitions are effectively a form of influencer marketing, as your target audience (hopefully) shares your content in exchange for a chance to win.
The best social media competition I have seen was held by Vans Custom Culture. The first 1,500 schools in the United States that registered received four pairs of Vans Shoes to decorate with their own designs. Photos of the artwork were then submitted and whittled down to the top five, and the winning schools each recieved a $50,000 to go towards their art program.
This was clever of Vans as it encouraged students to show their friends their artwork, creating attention for the brand. What a great way to gain new young followers, right?
The best social media marketing campaigns around
As you can imagine, it’s not that easy to make your social media campaign go viral. You have to make sure you are reaching your followers with the kind of campaign that they will react to positively. Two campaigns that went viral are the Ice Bucket Challenge and the no makeup selfie.
The Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media in summer 2014. It was launched to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and encourage fundraising for medical research. Despite the rarity of this disease, the challenge caught on, and I don't need to mention what it involved - I'm sure you remember. Amazingly, ALS researchers acheived a breakthrough as a direct result of donations raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge. Thanks to the (cold and wet) public, a new genetic target has been identified for drug development!
Similarly, the no makeup selfie involved women (and the occasional bloke) posting bare-faced selfies online, with appropriate hashtags of course. This raised more than £8m in six days for Cancer Research UK, and according to SOFII, 10 new clinical trials have started that wouldn't exist without the no-make-up selfie.
Both of these examples encouraged audience participation and a certain amount of competition, as people wanted to keep up with the trend and tried to outdo their friends.
A more commercial example of a viral social media campaign was when Wendy’s were asked how many retweets would warrant for a year of free chicken nuggets. The request got 3.6 million retweets, well below Wendy's target of 18 million, but the original message became the most retweeted ever.
Making videos go viral
There are simple tips that can help your video to go viral. For example, you need to make sure that these posts are shareable, likeable and containing the right content to reel your audience in.
However, there are no strict rules. I’m sure you have seen lots of video of babies and animals go viral, though they have no story to them. I think one of the main reasons these videos go viral is down to their spontaneity, as whatever/whoever is featured doesn’t know it. On the other hand, competitions and social media marketing campaigns need much more planning and preparation if you're looking to acheive specific results.
While researching and reading up for this blog, I came across a few videos I’m sure you’ll all love and have probably seen before. Remember ‘Charlie bit my finger’ - that was round for ages and got 850,575,000 views on YouTube. The person videoing wouldn’t have even expected to put it on social media, it would have just been made as a memory video.
If you need any help, we provide social media marketing services for many of our clients. Get in touch for a chat, we’d love to help.