Social marketing campaigns are quickly becoming the most successful marketing tools for companies worldwide. 900 of the worlds biggest brands spent more than $130 million US dollars advertising on social media platforms this year.
But advertising on social media isn’t only for the big brands. Even smaller companies can do it, and the barrier to entry is fairly low. The most important factor is that you make sure your campaign is engaging, informative and shareable.
Here are some examples of social marketing campaigns that were highly successful. If you can imitate these ads, you’re on the path to success!
The Avoracle was a Twitter and Facebook ad campaign launched by German supermarket Lidl in mid-2016 during the European soccer championships.
In the advertisements, an avocado was used as a way to predict the outcome of soccer games. This was done by splitting an avocado in the middle, and the side which had the avocado stone in it would be the winning side.
The Avoracle was a clever campaign because it managed to capitalize on the huge popularity of the avocado in the population. The campaign gained traction because of the European Championships which were followed by millions of people.
After The Avoracle successfully predicted the outcome of the game between Portugal and Poland, people naturally became excited to see what the next prediction would be.
The campaign was fun, light-hearted and most importantly, highly shareable.
This social media campaign was launched by GE (General Electric) on Vine and Tumblr back in 2013. The campaign was essentially a series of short videos that showed different scientific experiments, in order to give people an interest in science and portray GE as an innovative company.
This kind of content is known as micro-content. The videos are short (Vine only allowed 6-second videos) which made it easy to digest for young people who may not be that interested in science and have a shorter attention span.
GE created engagement by encouraging other people to post their own scientific experiments under the 6SecondScienceFair hashtag. This was a clever way to spread the word about GE as an innovative company, and get people engaged in science at the same time.
It also helped to consolidate GE’s reputation as a company which genuinely cares about science and innovation.
GE’s following on social media grew by 365% as an effect of this campaign.
This Twitter campaign was started by the bank TD Ameritrade back in 2014 during the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The hashtag “It adds up” refers to all the effort that an athlete has to put in to prepare for the Olympics. They drew a parallel between this investment of time, with the time that it takes to save up for a financial investment or retirement.
Just like The Avoracle campaign, they made use of a very popular sporting event to advance their social marketing campaigns. They even brought staff to Sochi to film and interview the athletes.
During the Olympics, they also launched competitions where people could participate simply by retweeting their Tweets, for a chance to win a snowboard signed by Louie Vito, etc.
Competitions are also a great way to enhance engagement, and it worked really well with this campaign too. The hashtag #itaddsup was used more than 78.000 times during the Winter Olympics.
Queso Bliss Showdown
This massive social media campaign was run on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by Mexican restaurant chain Qdoba. The idea was to give customers a chance to vote for between two food items. The winner would become part of the menu and the loser would be discarded forever.
Putting up a vote is a great way to get engagement from followers. This is something that evokes strong emotions with fans because they can potentially lose a menu item that they care about. This invokes the scarcity mindset on a psychological level and causes people to engage and share, in order to save their favorite food item.
And Qdoba didn’t just put up a vote, they continued to send out updates, polls, and opinions throughout the campaign, almost like in a political election. This kept people following and engaging for a long period of time.
In the end, this campaign ended up being nominated as one of the best social marketing campaigns of 2014.
Ice Bucket Challenge
This campaign was launched by the ALS Association which fights to prevent ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). It was the perfect example of a social media campaign gone viral.
The fact that this campaign was launched to raise money for charity also made it easier to engage people. Another important factor of success was that the campaign appealed to young people, who are the primary users of social media.
The unusual act of throwing a bucket of ice over someone is pretty youthful, and not something that older people would really consider doing on their own. The young people took this trend in, and it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon.
The campaign even succeeded in engaging celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Bill Bates.
Today the Ice Bucket Challenge is widely regarded as one of the most successful social marketing campaigns of all time. It raised $115 million USD to fight ALS.
Here’s another example of a non-profit social media campaign. KnowYourLemons was started by the Worldwide Breast Cancer Association. In this campaign, they use lemons as a substitute for breasts.
Using lemons as breasts is an interesting and quirky alternative, because they probably wouldn’t be allowed to feature real breasts on social media platforms.
In the campaign, an image is shown with a series of lemons containing various bumps and bruises such as heat and redness or dimpling. This image is supposed to help women recognize the early signs of breast cancer, so they can seek out treatment quickly.
The results of this light-hearted, charitable social media campaign were astounding. The non-profit exceeded their fundraising goals by 317%.
Social Marketing Campaigns Create Results
As we’ve seen in the examples above, social marketing campaigns can be incredibly powerful and profitable for a business or charity. It can also turn out to be a massive waste of time and money. It all depends on what example you follow.
If you do like the companies in this article and create something engaging, interesting, and shareable, then you have a recipe for success.
If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing, make sure to follow my blog for the latest updates.