Social media isn’t just a buzzword: it’s a fantastic driver for real brand engagement.
To plan a winning social campaign, marketers need to take advantage of the two main benefits of social media marketing: highly targeted audience segments, and reactive up-to-date content opportunities.
This post will look at seven examples of totally on-point social media campaigns from 2017 + the key lessons to be gleaned from them.
Be The Guy - Be The Match
Does bone marrow seem like a bit of a tough topic for social media? Few do such a great job as Be The Match in making bone marrow donation feel like an empowering and altruistic act. In their 2017 campaign, #BeTheGuy, the advertising team sought to attract more male donors aged 18-35 (a much-needed donor group).
They used a video campaign on Reddit and Twitch depicting a group of winning guys showing off their weird and wonderful talents. This ad campaign was then followed up by a cleverly-named ‘Marrowthon’ Facebook Live Stream broadcast.
Typically, nonprofits depict the people that benefit from donations on social media. In this campaign, by flipping the story to the donors instead, this particular male audience segment felt more empowered.
Keeping the campaign to Reddit, Twitch, and Facebook audiences was also a wise move. The social media marketers embraced the etiquette of these mediums — they played into the trend of sharing surprising and amusing content to have the biggest possible impact.
#My Calvins - Calvin Klein
User-generated campaigns are a fantastic way to draw in the crowds. Calvin Klein, a long-established brand, widened its appeal in 2017 by getting all nostalgic on social media.
In a famous Calvin Klein ad from the 1980’s, Brooke Shields established the catchline, ‘No one gets in between me and my Calvins.’
Marketers took this famous phrase and revived it under the user-generated campaign, #MyCalvins.
This throwback to the 80’s inspired over 179,000 people to post their picture under #MyCalvins, including Justin Bieber.
His shot of him in his Calvins brought 3.6 million new fans to Calvin Klein’s Instagram account and won Beebs a modeling contract with the brand.
Never underestimate the high levels of engagement that can come from user-generated marketing campaigns. A simple hashtag idea can be enough to go viral and capture the imaginations of thousands of Instagram users.
Nintendo Switch - Nintendo
With no major waves coming from Nintendo since the Wii console in 2006, marketers needed to go big for Nintendo Switch's release in March 2017.
For their pre-launch campaign, the team released a three-minute video introduction to their latest console:
Next, they turned to celebrity endorsements including a promotional slot on Jimmy Fallon’s show. Gradually, as advertisers recorded more demos with famous personalities like John Cena, people became familiar with Switch’s functionalities and USP’s.
Brands can take note of Nintendo’s approach to launching a new product with social media marketing. By clearly introducing the new concept and repeating the USP’s across multiple channels, Nintendo disrupted people’s perceptions of gaming.
Don’t Scroll And Drive - Mazda
Mazda used Facebook’s Canvas platform to create an immersive mobile screen takeover to promote their Don’t Scroll and Drive campaign.
The interactive ad featured animated car graphics and screen cracks appearing over Facebook user’s normal feeds.
Black Friday Lightning Sales - Chubbies
Accessories brand, Chubbies, sought to make the best of their Black Friday 2017 by setting one-hour timed flash giveaways through Facebook. The aim was to get people converting quickly, by playing up to the ideas of scarcity and urgency.
As you can see, the element of humor also increased the average order value per customer. On Cyber Monday, the marketing team launched two video ads and vanity domains like www.freestuffallday.com to raise chuckles and brand awareness.
Lightning sales are easy to set up if you take a leaf out of Chubbies book and get set up with a Shopify store: simply connect a unique coupon code to your shopping cart page and run targeted ad campaigns through your social feeds. Set your ads to run for set time periods and enable as many coupon codes as you wish.
Know Your Lemons - Worldwide Breast Cancer
Raising awareness of illnesses is a tricky task for charity campaigners. Visually, images of medical symptoms can cause fear and are unpleasant for people to look at.
Last year, Worldwide Breast Cancer managed to create an eye-catching, yet aesthetically pleasing Facebook ad:
The simple image of lemons with text overlaid spread to 7.3 million users within days of the #KnowYourLemons launch. Marketers can learn from the charity’s example and use simple, brightly-coloured photography to turn dull subjects into stunningly successful awareness campaigns.
#Breaking2 - Nike
Nike’s 2017 #Breaking2 campaign aimed to break a world record — to showcase runners completing a marathon in under two hours. The publicity stunt was created to promote the brand’s VaporFly Elite sneakers.
Campaigners spent years planning and gaining the support of fans of the runners featured. The team filmed the progress in the lead-up to the attempt and set up a branded hashtag.
Unfortunately, the runners missed their target by just 25 seconds. However, the brave attempt from Nike wins them a place on this list because they took the chance, and didn’t see the campaign as just a run-of-the-mill marketing stunt.
Instead, Nike achieved two trillion impressions across social media - the biggest number of impressions for a single hashtag of all time.
To contend with these engagement figures, reach for the stars in your marketing goals. Even if you fail, you could gain the respect of millions for giving it a try.
These totally on-point social media examples from last year demonstrate the many different ways brands can break out of the box. As so much of our time is spent on a number of different social platforms, come up with campaigns that spark emotions and carry across multiple sales channels.
Victoria Greene is a brand consultant and writer. Her blog, Victoriaecommerce, features plenty of advice for budding entrepreneurs and marketers looking to establish themselves online.