Connecting with consumers has never been easier, yet social media is an under-used tool to reaching a target audience. This article takes a look over some useful examples of how a successful social media campaign can be created and conducted.
Lesson 1: Done right, there’s a place for every product on social media.
PETA: No matter your opinion of PETA, you can’t deny the excellent job they are doing using social media to spread their message. Always willing to make people uncomfortable, they often flood trending topics on Twitter with images and messages that tie into the topic, but also highlight an aspect of their cause. It kind of makes you wish you didn’t have to look at it. It’s even kind of a buzzkill and takes the fun out of the topic. Which is probably their point.
Lesson 2: Fast Food Accelerates on Social Media
Whataburger: Unless you live in the southern United States, you might have never heard of Whataburger, but they run some really great social media accounts. Always relevant and timely with just enough “bite” to get attention, they know how to create some great content. Whether it’s a witty play on words or a poignant and funny response to the latest celebrity flub, they know how to make the most of what people are already talking about. Pictures of their delicious burgers always help too, of course.
Lesson 3: Stay on top of trending topics and be ready to capitalize on (tasteful) opportunities.
Totino’s Pizza Rolls: Funny, irreverent, a little weird, and right on target with their audience. Totino’s doesn’t shy away from who they are and embrace their place on the food chain. Focusing on memes and humor more than carefully crafted ads, they emulate what people are already sharing. Think about it. What do you get more of on your social feeds? Amazingly produced and edited pictures? Or hastily thrown together images with text thrown on top? The best part of their strategy is that you have no idea Pete Zaroll is actually the marketing tool of giant multinational corporation.
Lesson 4: Embrace who you are and be a natural part of your audience’s social sphere.
Charmin: Charmin is another company that doesn’t shy away from who they are. Let’s face it, you wipe your butt with their product…and they’re not afraid to talk about it. Of course it’s always with humor and never gross. One of their most successful social campaigns is the popular #TweetsFromTheSeat hashtag where people can share their porcelain ponderings. So if you ever think your brand or product isn’t right for social media, just remember that there’s toilet paper out there killing it.
Lesson 4: Use trending topics to your advantage, but remain relevant or you’ll seem desperate.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Since its first episode, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has embraced social media as a way to connect with their audience. They feature a weekly hashtag and often use audience tweets in segments of the show. Why spend time creating all your own material when people are more than willing to do it for you? Of course, this is a much more viable option when you have millions of viewers and thousands of tweets to choose from, but smaller brands can do it as well. You just need to find your right audience and know how to connect with them. Another thing they do well is take clips from the show and make them into social media-friendly images, GIF’s, and easily digestible videos they post throughout the day. This way they stay relevant around the clock instead of just an hour a night during the week.
Lesson 5: Social media should never be a one-way conversation.
Staples: You can find all kinds of examples of social media accounts that have beautiful photography to inspire your creativity. They have perfectly framed flowers and artistic, shadowy shots of subway signs. Staples is not one of these accounts. But that’s why they’re on this list. They use images and concepts that almost anybody could reproduce and prove that you don’t need a professional photographer on staff to create great content (though they probably do). Either way, they give great ideas and inspiration on how to keep things simple, yet effective. All you need are some office supplies and a little creativity.
Lesson 6: You don’t have to be an aspiring artist to create effective images.
Conclusion: You’re probably thinking to yourself that these companies all have big marketing departments and a whole staff of people working on this stuff. Which is true. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from what they do. They’re the ones spending millions to develop it, so why not take what you can? Plus nobody expects perfection on social media. Authenticity is appreciated above all else, so don’t be afraid to try new things.