By now, everyone should already be familiar with the golden rules of marketing with social media. These are the tactics that are proven to get consistent results and success for online marketers in every industry. For one, you should focus on building value and trust as you finish the effort with a well-placed call-to-action. And of course, you should always be consistent with your schedule, quality, and targeting.
These factors have always been textbook digital marketing. But time and time again, being innovative and adding a little bit of fun in the mix has proven to be one of the most important ingredients in effective social media campaigns.
For example, do you remember how Budweiser’s video on YouTube snatched the top 9 spot in the most-watched ads by featuring a cuddly puppy to inspire viewers to drink responsibly? How about Virgin America’s short videos about the irresistible Pomeranian known as Boo or the Vine posts from MTV featuring the internet sensation, the Grumpy Cat?
Detecting a pattern?
It should be easy to see that these memorable feats from digital content creators have one thing in common. And no — it’s not the fluffy animals that the marketers feature.It’s all about creating an almost-personal connection with your consumers. Think like them, appreciate what they love, and apply a little branding. It’s all about being part of their culture.
Learning from the Pros
You may think that it’s not always easy to come up with a winning social media campaign idea that’s engaging as much as it is innovative. And you’re right. But with a little inspiration from those who already pulled it off, crafting your own successful social media campaign is well within your reach.
Here are some examples of social media campaigns runs by social media company that succeeded in engaging their target audience:
The Last Selfie
Some of the most remarkable campaigns not just in recent history, but in all time, have moved their audience by incorporating modern culture with a very powerful message. This is what the World Wildlife Fund achieved this 2015 with their campaign on Snap Chat known as The Last Selfie.
Snap Chat users know that selfies posted (Snaps) on the site disappear after 10 seconds tops. This sense of urgency is one of the key selling points of the service. Something beautiful could be gone in mere seconds, thus raising the perceived value of every single Snap. The culture can relate to this, and WWF clearly noticed it.
What they did was to compare the urgency of disappearing Snaps to the seriousness of how endangered species all around the world continue to face the threat of permanent demise. The idea was right on the money and it generated a month’s worth of donations within days.
Influences Marketing Done Right
In social media, it is quite easy to spot the emerging personalities who have a lot of influence in any given platform. For example, Hewlett-Packard successfully engaged most of the Vine community (which is quite large, by the way) by having Vine stars promote their brand by creating high-budget posts.
Vine posts are popular for being only 6 seconds short, so you can only imagine how difficult it is to produce highly engaging content with such a short time limit. But the Vine stars are already accustomed to the rules and they were willing to help HP as long as the company provides them with the toys, like a monster truck and a military armoured vehicle. They aptly called this campaign “Going Epic”, which gave HP their well-deserved engagement with their target demographic.
Some see HP flexing their corporate muscles with this particular campaign, but there are many ways online brands – even startups –can accomplish influencer marketing correctly.
Behind the Scenes with Pin Up Girl
Sometimes, you don’t need a sizeable budget and have a simple campaign that showcases something relatable to your audience. For example, if you missed PinUp Girl Clothing’s behind the scenes campaign on Instagramthat started in December 2014, then you should know that they successfully engaged the social platform’s audience with seemingly unplanned content.
What they did was so simple and natural that it was actually entertaining for their audience. And it is this simplicity that won them a connection with their viewers that felt genuine. Of course, it was also wildly re-shared across the community.
But the best thing about this campaign is that it is repeatable and can be done by everyone. You just need to be a real person and visualize yourself as a member of the culture you’re trying to engage. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling clothes, ice cream, books, or smartphones.
Always remember that personality puts the ‘social’ in social media. And apparently, more and more firms – big and small – are noticing the impact of culture in this industry.