The world of social media marketing can be as frustrating as it is confusing.
Case in point: You spend the best part of a day creating an awesome piece of content, whip about the company credit card to promote it on Facebook, hit ‘Post’ and then… nothing. No likes. No shares. No traffic. More importantly for businesses, this equates to no leads or sales.
However, before you join Elon Musk by jumping on the #DeleteFacebook bandwagon, it might first be a good idea to take a step back and re-examine your social media strategy.
Rather than look at what you are doing wrong, it can be much more beneficial to look at what others are doing right.
And the one thing that these businesses who are doing it right have in common? Creativity, and lots of it!
Below, we take a look at 4 ingenious – and ultimately successful – social media marketing stunts that’ll inspire your next campaign.
For added-value: Heineken’s #OpenYourWorld campaign
If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the video in question below:
Without a single mention of the brand name and only a few brief glimpses of the iconic green bottle, Heineken’s #OpenYourWorld campaign goes completely against the notion of product-led advertising that we normally consume on a daily basis.
And while skipping all mention of the product seems rather counter-intuitive, Heineken’s thought-process here actually makes perfect sense.
Why? Because in a highly competitive, saturated market – such as the beer industry – product-led advertising is becoming less and less effective as viewers simply aren’t engaging with content that has no added-value. Focusing on the traditional selling points of the product like its taste, price and availability simply falls on deaf ears.
So, instead of promoting their beer as a refreshing beverage that gives you a nice buzz after one-and-a-half bottles, Heineken have invented a whole new function for their product: as a tool for social interaction that can unite people from diverse backgrounds.
Definitely a great example of how brands can create added value – pretty much out of thin air – while at the same time tugging at consumers’ heartstrings.
For audience participation: Audi’s #CatchtheUnseen campaign
This unique campaign from Audi Sweden challenged members of the public to capture Instagram photos in remote locations, further than anybody else before.
Audi realized that people tend to take photos from the same locations, with most of the popular spots inevitably clustered around large towns, cities and tourist attractions. Most of Sweden’s wilderness remained ‘unseen’ – at least according to Instagram.
Subsequently, by harnessing Instagram’s geo-tagging and photo sharing functions (as well as a 90-second explainer video), Audi was able to automatically plot users’ photos on a map when they were uploaded with the #CatchtheUnseen.
The winner, whose photo was taken 14km away from the 2nd ‘most remote’ photo, received an Audi Q7 car, which was what the brand was trying to promote all along.
For that personal touch: Match.com’s ‘Lara’ chatbot
First introduced in 2016, Facebook’s new-ish chatbot function is generally utilized by restaurants and online retailers to process orders and answer basic questions via the Messenger app.
Useful? Yes. A revolutionary use of AI technology? Not really.
Step forward Match.com, who in the latter part of 2017 rolled out their very own customized chatbot.
Rather than taking pizza orders or bombarding you with their latest promotions, the aim of Match.com’s chatbot is much more exciting: to find you a date. To achieve this, ‘Lara’ the chatbot asks you a series of questions via Messenger and then matches your profile with a lucky guy or girl from their existing database.
Once matched up, you’re then prompted to create a free account on their actual website; failing this, your potential date will become lost in infinite cyberspace forever (we’re guessing).
‘Lara’ is currently still under development and only available in select countries.
For purchase incentives: Urban Hilton Weiner’s #urbanselfie campaign
We purposely want to finish on this last example as it proves you don’t need a huge budget nor need to be particularly well-known to launch an effective, successful social media marketing campaign.
Urban Hilton Weiner’s concept was incredibly simple: any person who uploaded a selfie to social media while wearing one of their items (with #urbanselfie) would get a $10 coupon in return.
It didn’t take a genius to realize that anybody could just walk into one of their shops, snap of photo while trying on a dress in the changing rooms – and then use the coupon code to get money off said dress.
However, the up-and-coming fashion brand knew this would happen all along; it was all part of their plan. Urban Hilton Weiner would enjoy online exposure and increased sales, while customers could take advantage of the discount. Win-win!