Social media is a nearly unavoidable part of society,driving everything from connections between old friends to a thriving marketing platform used by companies across the globe. With over 2.3 billion active users around the world and an annual growth of over 10% in 2015, social media can put individuals and companies alike in touch with over 30% of the Earth’s population.
With such an expansive reach, thousands of businesses have taken advantage of this affordable and easily accessible gold mine, prioritizing digital marketing techniques above more traditional approaches. As such, the social media market has expanded rapidly, offering thousands of tools and ideas centered around producing creative campaigns aimed at the largest possible number of conversions.
Despite the potential value in social media, some strategies work better than others. These are four of the best social media campaigns of 2015 and 2016 (so far).
Buzzfeed’s Tasty Campaign
If there’s one universal in the human condition, it’s food.Everyone loves eating something delicious, and as Instagram has indicated,everyone also loves sharing pictures of food with other people. Buzzfeed’s Tasty concept turned this love into something more, cashing in on a necessary commodity in a new and delightful way. Rather than simply providing images of something crave able, Tasty takes food preparation sharing one step further, posting short, relevant videos and Vines of the cooking process that play automatically on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Each video provides a quick snapshot of a recipe, generally ranging between 6 and 30 seconds in length, on super speed, demonstrating simple steps that lead to a delicious end product. Disembodied hands are shown doing things like cutting meat, making dough, and baking, frying, or boiling using standard household ingredients, providing a satisfying experience to viewers without demanding an excessive amount of time or attention.
With a simple, straightforward model, Buzzfeed has been ableto attract millions of views with dozens of videos, prompting thousands ofshares, comments, and successful homemade meals. By combining two of socialmedia’s largest presences – food posts and video content – the media companyaimed to deliver something hard to ignore. And so far, it’s working: as ofFebruary 2016, Tasty has nearly 40,000,000 likes on Facebook, 134,000 followers on Twitter, and 2,000,000 followers on Instagram.
Expedia’s South America Week
Competition in the travel sphere is intense, with resources like Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Kayak, and many others offering the same services at roughly the same rates. As such, ad campaigns have been forced toexpand outside the standard box. While Priceline has sunk millions into celebrity endorsements, Expedia tried their hand something new: persuading social media followers to travel more.
Dubbed South America Week, Expedia Media Solutions, the company’s marketing arm, paired up with South American travel partners, like Avianca Air, Aeroline as Argentinas, and LAN, and two country tourism boards, Chile and Peru, to drive interest in regional travel and, ultimately, Expedia bookings. Beginning the week of February 11th, Expedia launched a multi-platform bombardment across Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, boasting marketing deals coupled with photographs of beautiful scenic locations, and even a sponsored daily Twitter chats discussing deals and giveaways.
Not surprisingly, the campaign was extremely effective.Expedia and its travel partners benefited mutually, with each seeing a sharpincrease in page views, social media fans, and, most importantly sales.Bookings to South American locations increased 62%, with Ecuador and Peru seeing booking increases of over 140% each.
Squatty Potty’s Unicorn Poop Campaign
Social media is an excellent tool for engaging users with relevant, fascinating content. This is great for companies like Expedia and Buzzfeed, who can offer topics of interest, but is less great for companies selling products no one wants to talk about, like Squatty Potty. A stool designed to ease bodily demands when using the toilet, Squatty Potty was a success with investors on Shark Tank, the American investment reality show, but has been less successful on social media due to the company’s un savory subject matter. Until now, that is.
Rather than staying quiet and conservative, the master mind behind the Squatty Potty decided to throw caution to the wind, ignoring advice from both Shark Tank investors and his parents to produce a video of a unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream with the help of Squatty Pottys. As desired, the video instantly went viral, depicting the value in the company’s product in a hilarious way and racking up over 39 million views in just a few days.
In addition to providing hilarious social media fodder, thevideo, named “This unicorn changed the way I poop” also drove sales up 600%online and 400% in the company’s larges retailer, Bed, Bath & Beyond,generating over $15 million in revenue over the 2015 holiday season.
Institut Esthederm Canada’s Advent Calendar Campaign
Who doesn’t love contests? As skincare company Institut Esthederm Canada found out, the answer is pretty much nobody.
Holiday sales are a cash cow for companies around the world,but Institut Esthederm Canada took things one step further, translating the traditional Christmas advent calendar concept into a highly effective social media contest that generated thousands of page fans and over double the average amount of website hits throughout the holiday season. Each day, a new product was featured on Facebook, where fans signed up for a drawing that took place the following day.
The 25-day contest generated over 10,000 entries, driving engagement with fans and followers across Canada and neighbouring countries while giving Institut Esthederm Canada a unique opportunity to engage followers, share products, and build a positive reputation in the local community throughout the Christmas season. By incorporating a much-loved tradition, the company was able to draw attention to itself in a new and unique way, building a larger fanbase than ever in order to drive sales both online and in their brick and mortar store.
Social media is a great way to share pictures of your cats,but it’s also an excellent way for companies to make effective use of a marketing budget. Offering a large and accessible audience at a low price point, companies have been able to draw attention to themselves like never before. With the right social media tools and professional management from a company like Ensuite Media, it’s possible to grow engagement and sales in a new way. What can your business do with a better approach to social media?