Strive for Social Success: Thrive in Social Media

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Strive for Social Success: Thrive in Social Media

The rules have changed. The traditional media model no longer works the way it used to. Public discourse moves so fast and so dynamically that all it takes is a single afternoon to blast the wheels off someone’s laboriously created media campaign.

The reason? Social media.

Both meticulously planned and easily editable in real time, it shakes things up a bit.

So what’s the trick? Let’s start by taking a look at a few companies that seem to have it on lock:

1. Oreo

The tweet that started it all was during the 2013 Super Bowl. The power went out for only 34 minutes, yet Oreo was able to tweet, “Power out? No problem.” accompanied by an image saying “you can still dunk in the dark.”  The end result was more than 16,000 retweets, seen by tens of thousands of Twitter users. Going further, OREO won big at Cannes with a Grand Prix award and six Lions.

So Oreo can move quickly, but they can also plan well. Their campaign, “Daily Twist,” featured a creative image of the cookie relevant to something happening in the news. On August 5 it was a cookie with red cream and tire tracks symbolizing the Mars rover landing. It ended on October 2 with a crowdsourced request for the marking the anniversary of the first high five: a cookie with regular cream and an imprint of a hand.

2. Nike

Sports are already a social activity, so Nike was a natural fit when it came to developing a social media campaign. But they took it beyond that and knocked it out of the park. They used their channels to promote larger campaigns, such as their #MakeItCount movement (the original video posted above has a very interesting back story involving deception, loads of cash and jet-setting around the world). The campaign itself was endorsed by numerous Olympic and world athletes, with videos featuring them showing how they will make their training in 2013 count. But beyond that, it sent a message to coincide with their Nike+ Fuel brand and how it can help the consumer make their 2013 count.

Nike also interacts with their consumer as much as possible. They respond to more than 100 tweets a day, ranging from questions about where to find the newest kicks to the best workout.

3. Toyota

Their campaign “Prius Goes Plural” understood that nothing gets conversation going more than controversy. Instead of launching a campaign focused on the new models of their vehicle, they focused it on the debate how to make the word “Prius” plural. They used several platforms to promote the campaign, including promoted tweets to help spark conversation. The trend sparked a fair amount of debate, but most importantly drew interest away from their serious PR problems at the time and asked one simple question: “What happens when one becomes more?” This fantastic animation by Hunter Gatherer won a Cannes Gold ‘Cyber Lion’ in 2011.

4. Cadbury

Cadbury actually relies mainly on Facebook and Google+ for their product launches. The most memorable campaign in recent times was to celebrate the brand reaching one million Facebook likes. The challenge was created to increase engagement among fans, so their decided to build a giant Facebook “thumbs up” out of Cadbury Dairy Milk. They used teaser ads to build up to the event and then live-streamed the build in a studio decorated with user-generated content and photos. As a result, they gained 40,000 more Facebook likes. As if that wasn’t enough, they built their G+ page out of chocolate. #Noms.

5. Old Spice

This company is responsible for some of the most memorable campaigns created, for example their “I’m on a horse” campaign. Last year, they switched the classic Old Spice Guy character for a more interactive approach – featuring ex-NFL player Terry Crews. After watching a short video of Crews playing musical instruments by flexing his muscles, viewers could use their keyboard to play their own tune. The video now has over 8 million views on Vimeo. Old Spice gets two videos in this blog post (there’s a link to a third, their 2014 campaign, below).  Hilarious? #NailedIt

Their latest effort for 2014 does not disappoint.  The campaign is “Smellcome to Manhood” and features a series of Mom Songs which right out the gate is being debated: clever or creepy? We all know controversy sells, so they’re just running with it.

6. #BullyMovie

On March 5, 2012 The Weinstein Company launched a 24-hour intense awareness campaign for the film Bully using Twitter. The goal? To make sure as many people understood the statistic that 13 million kids in America are bullied each year and that three million of them will be absent from school due to the bullying they endure. They utilized promoted tweets from the account @BullyMovie and the end result was 36% engagement, eclipsing the average 3 to 5 percent engagement rate for promoted tweets.

The kicker? A 17-year-old high school student made it her personal mission to get the film’s MPAA rating from R to PG-13 so that more people could view the film. It was released with the PG-13 rating. The key for the campaign was finding a story that connected people; it allowed them to rally around a message.

7. Honda

The company created a Pinterest account centered upon taking breaks from Pinterest – a “Pintermission.” Honda offered $500 to the most active pinners to go out and do what they’ve been pinning about. Once accepted, they were required to make a personal Pintermission board highlighting their day without Pinterest.

It was an innovative campaign because it encouraged users to create a platform, but then take a break from that platform – directly corresponding with Honda’s message to build dreams, but of course share what they did on their day off.

Those are only a small handful of campaigns rooted in our evolving social media-based world.  It’s no secret that print publications have had to rapidly adapt to the ubiquitous internet, whether it is through focusing on digital versions of their publications, building a social network from scratch or developing an online business model. But it can’t stop there.  We’ve written before about social media numerous times (Twitter, Vine, Hashtags…)  and how it is not a one-sided conversation.  The brands above illustrate not only clever advertising, but the most successful ones are those who break through the screens to include their audience. It’s Innovate or Die, as Mark Cameron said. Us Peas are firm believers in what we call a D.E.A.L.: Disruption, Engagement, Action and Loyalty.  These days it is more about starting a conversation than being the conversation--but by starting it you are inherently part of it; let’s just hope it stays positive because if there’s anything this social media revolution has changed is crisis management!  Advertising and marketing in the digital age is much like “real-world” social success: To Have a Friend, Be a Friend.

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