Marketers are constantly trying to engage with consumers by running campaigns on various social media platforms. Whether it’s a tweet, Instagram photo, or Snapchat, social media marketers are showing that it’s not just about where you reach your audience, but how you connect with them. As 2015 comes to a close, it’s a great time to reflect and learn from brands that stood out on social media. We’ve put together a list of five lessons we can learn from the brands that killed it on social media this year.
1. Domino’s Pizza
There’s no doubt that 2015 was the year of the emoji. Oxford Dictionary even named the Word of the Year as the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji. Taking advantage of the emoji craze, Domino’s launched a new system where users can merely tweet the pizza emoji at the restaurant to place an order. The rationale behind their tweet-to-eat campaign is that customers can stay within whatever social media platform they’re using to order a pizza in a fast and convenient way. All customers have to do is set up an Easy Order account, which requires them to register their Twitter handle, and then enter their topping preferences and payment information. Domino’s exhibited how to effectively engage consumers with their brand in a fun and memorable way. We can only hope that Domino’s campaign will result in a domino effect and that all of the food emoji’s will be tweetable for food orders in 2016.
Lesson to be learned: Brands must stay relevant. Domino’s did an excellent job at capitalizing on the emoji trend. It’s important to keep up with the times.You want to keep your brand relevant and at the top of peoples’ minds.
Since 2006, TOMS Shoes has donated one pair of shoes to needy children for every pair that is sold. This year, TOMS gave everyone the opportunity to make a difference without having to purchase anything. The brand took its charitable efforts to Instagram by donating a pair of shoes anytime someone posted an Instagram photo of their bare feet using the hashtag #withoutshoes. This marketing initiative was built into TOMS’ annual One Day Without Shoes event, which encourages people to go barefoot for all or part of one day in an effort to increase awareness about the need for shoes. The campaign resulted in the donation of 296,243 pairs of shoes and demonstrated TOMS’s commitment to raising awareness about its cause.
Lesson to be learned: Take advantage of user-generated content! We all know how hard it is to create consistent, quality content that will resonant with your audience. Encouraging your followers to create content will not only help you fill in that content calendar, but every user-generated post is free authentic brand awareness.
3. Taco Bell
Taco Bell thought outside the bun in 2015 by reaching millennials via Snapchat. Taco Bell launched new menu items and contests by uploading “snaps” to their Snapchat story. The fast-food restaurant sees the most engagement through Snapchat compared to other social media accounts, which allows for deeper connections with the Taco Bell community. “On Instagram or Twitter, you only have so much space to say something. You have 140 characters or one photo, but on Snapchat, we’re able to collaborate with our fans and tell a deeper story. They connect with our fans on a one-on-one level, which other platforms don’t allow,” said Jozlynn Rush, Senior Social Media Specialist at Taco Bell. With over 200,000 followers, Taco Bell used their Snapchat in 2015 for various promotions such as video stories from the MTV Movie Awards red carpet, a ‘What Taco Bell Menu Item Are You?’ quiz, and an interactive Valentine’s Day campaign (because nothing says love like a Crunchwrap Supreme).
Lesson to be learned: Make your communication with your audience personal. Taco Bell knows where their audience is and they speak to their customers in a language they will understand. Millennials are on social, and Taco Bell understands that if they talk to them on their favorite channels and share their content (see #2 on this list) they will grow a loyal fan base.
This past June, Burberry gave followers an all-access pass to its “London in Los Angeles Show” by broadcasting it on Periscope. Audiences on the Burberry Periscope account had a front row seat for the fashion show that also featured various musical performances. In addition to Periscope, Burberry shared the journey from London to Los Angeles on Snapchat with frequent photo updates to show viewers all of the events taking place leading up to the fashion show. The company said the live-streamed video and photos resulted in “record customer engagement” of over 100 million impressions. Burberry is an early adopter of Periscope and has made an impact on how fashion brands live stream events to their fans, regardless of where its events are hosted.
Lesson to be learned: Interactive content is what people crave. Burberry gave their audience a behind-the-scenes look into how the brand operates. People love being let in on a secret. If you want to engage your customers, you need to invite them in and give them a new way to interact with your brand.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) showed that there are no rules when it comes to a successful social media campaign. The #BendTheRules campaign featured paid social media influencers on Vine trying to bend a competitor’s laptop as a way of showcasing the HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop. One HP Vine video featured Robby Ayala, one of the most-followed “Viners” and earned nearly 250,000 likes and over 7,000 comments. “The idea was to find creative people in social media, particularly ‘vine-ographers,’ give them the machine and invite them to be creative with it in six seconds,” said Rob Le Bras-Brown, HP’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. The campaign allowed HP to revamp its brand and attract a younger demographic.
Lesson to be learned: Social influencers can no longer be ignored. People will trust third-party opinions way more than they will trust what you have to say about your products. HP understands that, and they built a social influencer network and used it to their advantage.
These brands demonstrate that the best social media strategy doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate. Instead, the message and presentation must feel authentic and engaging for the audience. As a new year is upon us, we are hoping to see more brands follow in these footsteps, and we’re excited to see what changes will come to social media in 2016.