Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The most successful social media campaigns

The immediacy and reach of social media has changed the way businesses are now trying to communicate their brand to current and potential customers. Because social media is so accessible and inexpensive, it’s a no brainer for organisations to use it to implement social media marketing campaigns. 

On average most companies now use at least three or more social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and GooglePlus so it only makes sense to advertise their brands and build relationships through those platforms. They’re all different and as their potential customers could be using a variety of them, the more active they are on not only the right ones, but if beneficial a number of different platforms, the better.

Social media can boost a brands reputation if they use each platform in the most effective way. There are certain platforms that specific audiences will use and this is something that should be considered straight away based on what the campaign is going to be. For instance, it wouldn’t be appropriate to use LinkedIn for campaigns where you are trying to promote a product as it won’t have half the impact as using Twitter would. Again, this is depending on the brand as Facebook may be considered a better prospect for a different brand. 

If enough people are talking about a certain topic it can attract the attention of present and possible customers to engage with the brand. If people think a big global brand care about what they have to say then it is more likely that they are going to want to be involved with the brand and join in the buzz as they are appreciated for doing so. Here are a few examples that prove just what the right campaign can do…

Nike's #MakeItCount

One quite successful and highly visible hashtag campaign was Nike’s #MakeItCount. Nike released posts containing the hashtag across Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram, asking their fans to share how they planned to “Make it Count.” Not only did it encourage participation but it reached a wide audience due to its presence on multiple platforms.
Screenshot of Twitter hash tag campaign.

Weight Watchers' #SimpleStart plan

Weight Watchers are obviously aware that New Year means new resolutions, and at the same time each year, their ad can be expected to appear on our TV screens. On social media, they are the top weight loss programme in the country, and understand the power of togetherness and supporting each and every member.

Whilst launching a new diet plan called #SimpleStart, they opened up a brand new way for members to connect with the brand. They let fans of the brand talk, which is just the way they want it. They managed to create a hashtag that members wanted to use and actively include, keep track of user’s posts and weight loss success through the specific hashtag, and understand directly from the source the dynamics of their fan base.

What they did best was let their members talk about how great the plan is, as they felt they were getting something back on a personal level. They informed members about the changes, offered webcasts and video chatted about the plan with celebrity promoters, without overhyping it.

It’s the classic case of everyone liking to be praised now and again and this is where they were clever as they showcased members' creative meals with pictures and highlighted only the positive. The hashtag #SimpleStart gave members the tools to share their weight loss success, which effectively doesn’t do the brand any harm at the same time. Win win. Happy customers, successful brand.
Delicious healthy meals resonates campaign.


If there was ever a campaign you would want to go well then it’s this one. Whatever your personal opinion was, you can’t knock the success of #nomakeupselfie as a fundraising venture and when you think about the cause, there’s not much that can negatively be said about it.

The concept was simple. It involved female Facebook users taking a selfie with no makeup on then nominating other people to do it in return. That person would then also nominate people, and so on. Each person who took part ideally donated to Cancer Research and didn’t just think that posting a picture of them meant that they did their part. Although, just the recognition of the campaign alone would have done the charity no harm. However, people did donate with the charity receiving more than £8m in just a couple of weeks.

The campaign didn’t originally begin with Cancer Research - it was already happening on social media and Cancer Research just happened to take advantage of the activity as Facebook users began associating the selfies with the charity. Although it was primarily a Facebook initiative, it also had an impact on the now very popular Twitter, where Cancer Research picked up 15,000 followers in just 15 days.
Close up of Happy man holding a home made Thank You poster.

Dove: Real women, real rewards

Dove's "Real Beauty Sketches" are uplifting promotional videos that gained record-breaking online interest, and now have more than 114 million views. It was intentionally the brand's efforts to spread their message worldwide. Dove uploaded the videos in 25 languages to 33 of its official YouTube channels, reaching customers in more than 110 countries.

The "Real Beauty Sketches" successfully underlined the shocking difference between how women view themselves and what others see, and highlights the reality of self-esteem issues. 54% percent of women worldwide confess to being their own worst critic and putting themselves down. The video features Gil Zamora, an FBI-trained forensic artist who draws a series of women who she can’t see, completing the sketches based on each woman's description of their appearance. Then Zamora creates drawings based on complete strangers' description of the exact same women. In most cases, the sketches based on the strangers' perspectives turned out to be not only more accurate, but more flattering also.

"Real Beauty Sketches" generated close to 3.8 million shares in its first month online, adding 15,000 new subscribers to Dove's YouTube channel over the following two months, which proves just how much women were affected by the campaign. As well as social platforms, the ad also appeared in print features, broadcast news and online discussions. The campaign took home the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity's highest honour, the Titanium Grand Prix.

(All words by Peju Akinade)

Monday, 19 January 2015

Terrible Twitter: Last year's social media blunders - Part 2

Anyone who’s anyone is on social media today, and if you’re not, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to get your brand noticed online.

But as we found out in last week’s blog, the slightest slip up in social media marketing can get your tweets trending for all the wrong reasons. In this week's part two, here are three more tweeters who made the headlines in 2014…

TfL's honest advice doesn't go down too well

Transport customer service Twitter accounts are constantly inundated with complaints and criticism from the public in what must be, for the most part, a thankless job. Line closures and train delays spark a series of mentions from angry passengers and commuters, and in April one man took to Twitter to have his say on the late service run by the London Overground.

The response he got, though, sparked more controversy than a single delayed train ever could. A member of Transport for London tweeted the user back, suggesting that if he wants to avoid being late for work, he should simply “leave early next time.”

The @LDNOverground account was then bombarded by angry tweets before they issued an apology and claimed that the tweet wasn’t “meant to come across like that.” By this stage, though, the damage had already long been done.

Screenshot of the infamous tweet stating 'Leave early, you will not be late next time'.
TfL made the headlines after this blunt advice

Donald gets trumped by internet joker

American business tycoon Donald Trump caused a stir on Twitter in September when an internet prankster managed to trick him into posting a picture of serial killers.

The Twitter user asked The Trump Organization chairman to retweet a picture of his parents, who had recently passed away and had always thought of Trump as a big inspiration. Taking a break from his well-documented extravagant lifestyle, Trump kindly obliged in what was a genuine gesture of good will. Unfortunately for Donald, though, the picture attached to the tweet was of Fred and Rosemary West, who were jailed for multiple murders back in 1994.

It’s safe to say that Trump didn’t take the ‘joke’ well, announcing that he may well sue over the tweet and that the whole episode has taught him not to be “nice or trusting.”
Wedding snap of notorious serial killers Fred & Rose West
Unfortunately Trump didn't do his research before RTing this picture...

US Airways accidentally tweet NSFW image

With over half a million followers and a global reputation to uphold, you’d think US Airways would learn to double check their tweets before posting. But the airline was responsible for arguably the biggest social media mistake of the entire year when they responded to a user complaining about the company’s service.

“We welcome feedback, Elle. If your travel is complete, you can detail here for review and follow up,” the response said. Nothing wrong here, right? What on earth could all the fuss be about?

Well, unfortunately, this tweet was accompanied by an attached pornographic, incredibly not safe for work (NSFW) image and was, of course, retweeted by thousands of followers. The airline was quick to delete the offending tweet and apologise for the mistake, claiming that they meant to ‘flag’ the image rather than include it in the tweet, and would do their utmost to try and not let this happen again in the future. Which is good to know.
Screenshot of apology Tweet
US Airways were quick to apologise after their mistake

Monday, 12 January 2015

Terrible Twitter: Last year's social media blunders - Part 1

It's no secret that social media is one of the most important elements of modern marketing around today. When done well, social media marketing can help you establish a brand presence, interact with your existing customers, and gain the attention of new ones.

Be warned, though. The internet can be quick to judge, and the nature of social media means that the slightest slip-up means that your mistakes could be viral news within minutes. It’s more important than ever to be careful when posting content in public domains such as Twitter, and here are three big brands who found this out the hard way over the last year...

LG mock iPhone from an iPhone 

After September’s release of Apple’s new iPhone 6, complaints flooded in from users claiming that the new handsets were vulnerable to severe bending. This caused #bendgate to start trending on Twitter, and rival companies were quick to jump on the bandwagon and mock the new Apple product. LG’s French Twitter account got in on the act by posting an image of their new deliberately curved G Flex smartphone, although they really should have double checked where they were sending the tweet from…
Purposefully curved LG phone in background, with Tweet indicating it was sent from iPhone.
Eagle-eyed users quickly spotted where this tweet had come from...

DiGiorno forget to read trends before tweeting

Many companies will look to jump on current trending topics and use popular hashtags to gain more exposure and interaction for their accounts. It’s always a good idea to check what a particular hashtag is actually about first, though. North American pizza makers DiGiorno posted a tweet using #WhyIStayed, unaware that the hashtag was being used to let victims of domestic violence bravely share their stories. The tweet was quickly deleted, and an apology swiftly issued - they even responded to each complaint personally.
Visual Twitter exchange of domestic abuse stories, with DiGirono proclaiming they stayed because 'You had pizza'
 DiGirono controversially misjudged this Twitter trend

Mastercard get 'bashtagged'

Sometimes it’s not the tweet itself which is the blunder, but the public’s reaction to it which causes a stir. Back in February, Brit award sponsors Mastercard issued press accreditation for the big event in return for certain behaviour from journalists. They were asked to use social media to live-tweet the event, link to pre-event coverage and consistently use the #PricelessSurprises hashtag when talking about the Brits. But a leaked email put these demands in the public domain, generating a storm which saw #PricelessSurprises hijacked – known in the industry as ‘bashtagging.’
Tweet uses Mastercard's tagline against them- Good press coverage is hard to bribe. For everything else there's Mastercard.
 Journalists and users were furious with Mastercard's alleged 'bribery'