Four Top Tips for a Successful Social Media Campaign

Most successful social media campaigns, and marketing campaigns more broadly, share one or more of four common components. In this blog you can find out what those key elements are and how to make your own social media campaign stand out, take off, and reach more people. You will notice that each of the examples mentioned here tend to use more than just one of these elements (and in the very best cases use all four) to get the most out of their campaign. 

  1. Utilise a key date. Tying your campaign into a broader event in your industry or relating to your product or service is a great way to create excitement, generate interest and broaden the reach of your campaign. Using hashtags is one way to piggy-back onto a trending event, but theming your launch around a specific time or date can also be hugely successful if done well. 

A great example of this is Toyota's 'Fueled by the Future' Back To The Future-themed launch of the Mirai in the US — its new hydrogen fuel car that runs on waste just like Doc Brown’s Delorean in the film. They used the 30th anniversary of the famous film (October 21st 2015) as their launch date in the states. Not only did the car bear similarities to that in the film, but the ad featured locations and music from the movie to create a nostalgic buzz around the launch.

2. Use public figures, brand ambassadors and celebrity endorsements. Though smaller businesses may not be able to get the likes of Beyonce or Barack Obama to endorse their campaign, tapping into the networks of others is a key way to grow your reach. Local business owners, political figures or stars within an industry are often easier to get hold of than you might imagine and their networks, even if small, are priceless for getting your message out there and spreading the word. The connotations that certain figures can attach to your brand or product should also not be underestimated and can be key in pitching yourself to new audiences.

KFC's #PackMoreIntoLunch campaign involving Katie Eary demonstrates exactly how a partnership or celebrity endorsement can add depth to a campaign. To launch their new sub-500 calorie lunch option, the ricebox, KFC challenged Katie Eary to #PackMoreIntoLunch by creating an entire catwalk collection in one lunch hour. Not only did the challenge and hashtag evoke their new product, and convey the fashion-friendly low-calorie vibe they were looking for, but it created a buzz amongst Katie's fans who may not normally be KFC frequenters. To round off the whole campaign, Katie also designed limited edition packaging for the ricebox making the lunch item itself a new fashion accessory.

3. Get yourself a good hashtag. This one may seem obvious, but it is harder to get right than you might imagine. A good hashtag doesn't just tell a story, but it invites user generated content which spreads your message further and engages more people. A hashtag is most powerful when it creates a community or a shared experience, it needs to invite comment rather than simply be a comment. 

Perhaps the standout example of a great hashtag campaign is Coca Cola's #ShareACoke campaign. The concept behind the campaign - coke bottles with names on - created a feeling of personalisation and community. Not only did the campaign drive huge numbers of sales, but led to images of coke bottles with individuals' names being shared all over social media; essentially completely free advertising for coca cola.

4. Last, but by no means least, many successful social media campaigns incorporate a challenge. As with good hashtags, a good challenge can lead to a huge amount of user generated content. By creating a funny or particularly difficult or interesting challenge for the online community to complete you increase the chances of your message being shared with the challenge as its vehicle. 

An example of a particularly successful challenge-led campaign is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. A trend that took the internet by storm not only led to some funny videos of celebrities and friends and their hilarious reactions to having a bucket of icewater thrown over their heads, but also conveyed the serious message of how ALS affects sufferers through symptoms such as twitching and cramping. With each video that was posted on social media, a donation was made by the user and new friends were challenged to take part sending the challenge on like a chain mail. The challenge was so successful as a campaign that it ended up raising over $115 million and leading to breakthroughs in ALS research. 

(Warning - the video below contains strong language)

So there you have it, the four key components of a successful social media campaign. Good luck!

If you'd like to know more about how MDD Consulting could help you run your campaign, you can read about our services here