How does a social media campaign earn such praise?
When we describe social media campaigns with dazzling adjectives like best, amazing, creative, or inspiring, there are a few qualities that make them rise to the top of the pack.
Of course, metrics can help determine if a campaign is successful, but it’s not always about the numbers. Added to that, some of the best social media campaigns target just one or two goals – whether it be brand awareness, engagement, or increased sales. Ultimately, it comes down to brand creativity and audience reaction.
Four stellar social media campaigns
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s take a look at these standout social media campaigns:
With the highly successful branded hashtag, #AsSeenOnMe, this fashion retailer encouraged customers to tag its brand in photos featuring their ASOS looks. The reward? A feature on the ASOS Instagram feed, complete with the exposure of 7.3 million followers.
In each caption, ASOS tags the customer and tells viewers how to search for the featured products – which makes for an effortless shopping experience.
As the photos come straight from its audience, ASOS easily targets relevant consumers by sharing images that they themselves are likely to take and upload to their own social feeds. It gives users a window into how they, too, can incorporate the products into their closets.
By taking advantage of the killer looks its consumers are already wearing, ASOS earns a high-five for incredible organic reach.
What they did right:
ASOS leveraged user-generated content and social influencers to fill its Instagram feeds with high-quality content. This created an interactive and connected ASOS community that easily attracts new members with the potential to become loyal customers.
User-generated content is a genius way to encourage engagement while creating opportunities for already-loyal customers to become influential brand advocates. Branded hashtags also allow for easy campaign monitoring!
Learn more about how you can tap into one of your best unknown resources (your audience). Read up on 12 hacks for content repurposing.
2. General Electric
GE catches the savvy marketer’s eye because it’s the perfect example of an established brand embracing the changes social media brings to marketing -- and doing it with admirable success to boot. With a mixed B2B and B2C audience, many would even argue that a brand like GE doesn’t necessarily need a strong social media presence, but the innovative brand proved the critics wrong.
Specifically, GE has been making a name for itself in the video world. Posting to YouTube and Facebook, the brand creates video content to showcase its technological innovations and share engaging content about talented employees.
As a result, GE becomes more than a kitchen appliance company to the average consumer. The videos work especially hard, simultaneously appealing to young engineers and new talent.
What they did right:
GE leveraged video and social media to tell a compelling brand story, attracting more long-term, loyal consumers, rather than simply selling a product.
Social media campaigns don’t always have to be about a transaction. They can be influential in both defining and enhancing a genuine, consistent, and relevant brand voice. And, of course, never underestimate the power of video!
Instagram released new shopping features last year, which allow brands to tag products in pictures for a seamless buying experience. Wayfair took advantage of these new features and implemented Instagram shopping into its social media strategy.
In three simple taps, users can go from Instagram to Wayfair’s website.
Similar to the ASOS outfits, these posts allow consumers to see how they can use the products. This particular Instagram post gives life to the plate set, making a more engaging sell than just the product page.
What they did right:
Wayfair wasn’t afraid to take advantage of new social media features, appealing to the ways its consumers want to shop.
Instagram shopping can be an effective way to sell products on a platform where users are already engaged. If there’s a way to make the buyer’s journey more effortless, try it.
4. IHOb (formerly known as IHOP)
Famous for its pancakes, the restaurant recently went to Twitter to tease a name change, flipping the iconic “P” to a “b.” Regardless of where you stood on the issue, you were most likely talking about it.
The tweet went viral as consumers speculated what the “b” would stand for. When it finally released that the “b” would stand for burgers, most people laughed and groaned at the absurdity of the name change.
Now, there’s talk that the name change isn’t real, but instead just part of the brand’s efforts to promote its burgers.
We’re giving away 60¢ short stacks on July 17 from 7a-7p for IHOP’s 60th birthday. That’s right, IHOP! We’d never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers) pic.twitter.com/KsbkMJhKuf
Instead of running away from the backlash, the brand embraced the feedback and responded with self-aware messaging, such as this tweet:
What they did right:
The well-played stunt had people talking about IHOP (or IHOb even) more than they ever had. Say hello to a super engaged audience, ready to try out the burgers -- even if they laugh while doing so.
Sometimes change is a good thing -- even if it’s temporary. Also, keeping your audience on their toes is a good way to grab their attention.
Following the top dog examples
Marketers can learn how to boost their own efforts from these impressive social media campaigns. While each brand used different tactics, including user-generated content, video media, and humorous tweets, they all have one thing in common:
Their social media campaigns resonated with their target audiences.
Remember that a lot of social media success is organic, meaning you don’t need a huge budget to see results. With creativity and thoughtful strategy, you can leverage the platforms to maximize engagement and reach your audience with the same success as these brands did.
Get those creative juices flowing -- it’s time for your social media campaign to run with the big dogs.
Stevie Snow is a writer at Brafton. Yes, she is named after Stevie Nicks. She’s a believer in "to life, to life, l’chaim!" because life is what brings us the Obamas, a really smooth vodka tonic, and that moment on the dance floor when your favorite banger plays.