The Best 2013 Social Marketing Campaigns

Posted on by Holly Hamann

The majority of marketers now know that winning the attention of consumers online is all about content.  Consumers increasingly rely on their social media communities for information and opinions about relevant products and brands.  In order to be an authentic part of this conversation, brands need to tailor their content and campaigns to each social media channel.  One size does not fit all.

Content that creates engagement on YouTube doesn’t necessarily drive the same behavior on Pinterest or Facebook. For instance, if your campaign is designed for Twitter, you need to be prepared to be available and responsive, which is not as important on YouTube. Content on Instagram is highly visual, whereas Twitter is more short-form text.  And if your audience is on Vine, remember you’ve only got six seconds to engage them.

The following are some of my favorite social marketing campaigns from 2013 that were tailored to specific platforms.  They may not represent the most popular programs or the ones with the biggest budget, but to me they represent brilliant examples of how content was uniquely created specific to a social platform.

My winner for Facebook goes to a little village in Switzerland. Thanks to the creativity of the Jung Von Matt/Limmat agency, the town of Obermutten, population 78, is now the most popular Facebook page in Switzerland.  As a way to increase tourism, Obermutten launched a Facebook page with the promise that each person who liked it would get their picture posted on the village bulletin board for the town to see. True to their word, the town posts each photo on what now looks like a city wall covered with friendly faces. The campaign cost the U.S. equivalent of $11,000 and reached more than 60 million people in 36 countries. Obermutten’s Facebook page engagement rate with fans is higher than that of Lady Gaga, Coca-Cola and Justin Beiber.

best 2013 social marketing campaignsPINTEREST
If the Petfinder’s Pinterest boards don’t suck you in for at least an hour, you have no heart. Petfinder is an online, searchable database of animals who need homes. It is also a directory of nearly 14,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Their mission is to drive public awareness around the availability of adoptable pets, increase pet adoption, and elevate the status of pets to family members. Since their whole business centers on lovable animals, Pinterest is a perfect platform for their very-visual content that includes cute photos of puppies, bunnies, horses and birds.  The site engages pet lovers and potential pet owners with inspiring, entertaining and informative boards that let people pin funny pictures of their pets, enter pet contests and find adoptable animals. They have 23 boards that include: “Totally Tongues,” “Funny Fuzzies,” “Amazing Pet Stories” and “Pet-Inspired Home Design.”

2013 social marketing campaignsRunner-up for Pinterest campaigns goes to Honda and their campaign to position the CRV as the vehicle with a “get out and live life” personality. Honda partnered with five savvy content creators on Pinterest with large followings and influential reach and asked them to take a “#Pintermission.” They gave each influencer $500 and challenged them to take a 24-hour break from Pinterest and actually go create something they had pinned. These pinners created their own #Pintermission boards and encouraged their followers to do the same. The campaign reached 4.6 million people and created more than 16 million social media impressions.  What I thought was so unique about this campaign was that its success included asking readers to actually step away from the social platform to participate.

Nivea made headlines in 2013 with its solar powered iPhone charger print ad. Did I just say print ad?  Nivea created special print ads that included a solar panel and phone plug that allowed users to wirelessly charge their phones while enjoying the beach. The ads ran in a popular Brazilian magazine reaching beachgoers in Rio de Janeiro. I put this under the mobile category because it targeted mobile phone users and was a brilliant (albeit risky) example of driving awareness using content that is relevant, useful and creative. They garnered extra points for creating more awareness via their YouTube video. Instead of purchasing the expensive ads in lots of additional magazines, they created a YouTube video of the clever campaign, which drove even more awareness.

A big component of any social strategy is knowing your audience and creating content that audience will value. The popularity of Jay Baer’s bestselling book Youtility proves that consumers want content from brands that is not just entertaining, but also useful. Lowes gets my pick in this category for their clever use of Vine. The home-improvement retailer produced a series of vine videos with the hashtag #fixinsix that show useful ways to solve everyday household problems from loosening a tight screw to getting crayon marks off doors. Lowes catered to two important characteristics about their audience—their customers like to fix things themselves and they don’t have a lot of time. This is a perfect example of mapping content to the appropriate platform and audience.

2013 best social marketing campaignsBLOGGERS
Sometimes, the best social content comes from customers themselves. Black Box Wines wanted to increase its brand awareness among people talking about boxed wines online. To participate in an authentic way, they identified 50 relevant food and lifestyle content creators active on blogs, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and gave those bloggers creative license with its content. The influencers wrote posts and created videos that included recipes, reviews and wine-related tips.  Instead of leaving those posts isolated on individual blogs, and Facebook pages, Black Box Wines aggregated that content to a mobile-optimized social hub page where visitors could see all of the content in one place and engage more. The brand reached 2.3 million readers and received 73,000 views. Site traffic increased by 85% and time on site increased by more than 50%. This is a great example of a brand that took content from various social platforms and increased its value by channeling it to their website for more engagement.

2013 best social marketing campaignsCustomizing content for social platforms takes time and attention but your reward is better engagement by consumers and increased distribution as your content becomes more shareable.

Holly Hamann is chief marketing officer and co-founder of TapInfluence, a social content marketing platform. She can be reached at [email protected] or share your content marketing ideas with her @hollyhamann.


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