Trying to predict which social media concepts should work is tricky even in the most predictable times. The best we can do is look at what works today and take advantage of the insight we can gain from it. With that in mind, here are a few examples of social media strategies from both big and small brands that do some great concepts and show us what should be done today. We hope these strategic decisions give you some ideas on what will help you get the most out of your social campaigns in the coming months.
1. The virtue of humor
One of those talked about more trends on social networks for years it has been kicking anything, even the least ridiculous, out of the way the vast majority of brands communicate to their target audience.
We’ll get a tweet about this trend every few days from some of the biggest names in the industry, Fast Company published an article about it back in 2017, but really, you don’t have to bother to notice it for yourself. Just think of the marketing messages you’ve been exposed to over the last year, even on social media – how many have tried to be funny?
Don’t be fooled; humor in marketing is an extremely complex topic, especially during a global pandemic. The line that brands should walk has never been thinner. Yet, making a strategic decision to remove every hint of the ridiculous is not something to be taken lightly. In fact, opposing cereals may be exactly what your social media marketing strategy needs today.
Example # 1 – Burger King France
A great example of humor in social media marketing during the pandemic was Burger King France, who shared the recipe for a “quarantine boulder” even when the global blockades began.
At first glance, this is just a witty, and appropriate recognition of the situation by the global brand. Yet it is more than that. First of all, by putting super fresh and fresh ingredients, Burger King suggested that they be used just as fresh when making their burgers and other products. Also, you have to keep in mind that this was in the very early days of the pandemic, when fast food brands still had no idea how the pandemic would affect them in the long run.
Example # 2 – Oreo
The well-known Oreo cookie brand is another great example of a company that regularly incorporates humor into its social networks. With close to a million followers on Twitter, the brand sticks to mostly fun and humorous messages, which has served them very well in engaging their followers.
Oreo also socializes with other well-known brands on social media in a humorous way. This is a smart and effective strategy as it increases the brand’s reach and exposure to another audience. In the example below Oreo, he participated in a conversation with the Steak-umm brand that generated a significant amount of likes, comments and retweets from followers of the two brands.
Example # 3 – SparkNotes
If someone were to ask you to spend a thousand years naming brands that would be very, very funny on social media, you might think of SparkNotes 999, if then. It’s not a brand you’d think would be funny or noteworthy. It’s just there; it has existed since we were little, and it will be when our children’s children have children.
Well, as it turns out, they’re killing it on Twitter, mixing popular culture and classics with a fascinatingly high success rate. In the previous year, they added a lot of that despair to the 2020 pandemic and it works great. Here is a perfectly random screenshot of their November 2020 feed:
It’s a simple enough concept, brands, and the best thing is that it works great. They have over 330,000 followers on Twitter. Not bad for old crunchy SparkNotes, is it?
Once again, humor can be difficult to perform, depending on your brand, but you should also never make a direct strategic decision to completely banish it from your messages. And people will need a little laughter in 2021, and using humor on your social media can be very effective if done well.
2. Marketing with influences done fine
The Covid-19 global pandemic was not easy for influencers, many of whom have struggled to make their own, especially in the travel and lifestyle niches that have been hardest hit (understandably). However, to think that influencer marketing is dead or even in a major crisis would be an overreaction.
Influence marketing should always be part of your social media strategy even if you decide not to go through it. If you do, make sure you don’t redirect it. Don’t think you can throw money at a few influential people who you think might be relevant to your niche. This is because it is hard work to be effective in influencer marketing.
Example # 1 – Timex
Timex’s # arrival time influence the marketing campaign from a few years ago it became a classic because of its simplicity and costumeless approach. They reached up to a thousand millennial influencers from a dozen different countries, supplied them with their analog watches, and then let them do their thing. His 300% return on investment it is still stated when people talk about influential marketing campaigns.
Example # 2 – Friday
Often the main reason why influencer marketing misses a goal is that brands are not quite sure who the best kind of influencer it would be right for them. Take for example Zoma, a brand that sells mattresses. There are no really dormant influencers there. But instead of giving up on the whole idea, they went with people who need a good, ergonomic sleep – professional athletes from some of the biggest sports organizations in their target market.
Their choice of influencers apparently he did them so well that they have a section on their homepage with their “mattress impact” photos.
Example # 3 – Boohoo
Boohoo is a brand that is largely built on influencer marketing, and has been a major part of their digital strategy for years. In 2018 alone, they reportedly spent more than £ 80 million on influencer marketing, proving that with this type of exposure you can really get big. Recently, they are forcing their brand BoohooMEN with a number of influencers. One thing to look out for in their strategy is that they are constantly messing with the list of influencers they work with. You can read about it here, for example.
Like everything else in social media marketing, influencer marketing requires dedication and a lot of tampering to correct it. But as the examples above have shown, this can be the best thing that can happen to your strategy and brand.
User-generated content should always be on the table when designing a social media strategy, for a number of reasons. As one, it can be amazing social proof for your brand. It’s also a great way to have content you don’t have to produce yourself, which is always a welcome convenience. As you’ll learn below, there are more than a few ways you can use UGC as part of your 2021 strategy.
Example # 1 – Amazon
Amazon is a global brand that doesn’t have to diligently seek to mention brands. However, what they are particularly successful at is finding user content that is more than just a mention. Check out this Tweet they re-posted on their Instagram:
It is the only commentary on the aging process that mentions their brand. With a bit of elegant and funny copies, it becomes a great advertisement for, let’s face it, a very non-sexy product – non-slip socks.
Example # 2 – Depop
Depop, a social shopping P2P application, has created user-generated content the core of their social presence from the beginning, they still do it better than most. The huge amount of UGC they share on their profiles creates this kind of FOMO atmosphere in which their fans feel they have to constantly check what other Depop fans are doing. It’s almost their mantra – there is not too much content.
Deepop has actually so far embraced this concept of user-generated content to make their product pages actually look like their fans ’organic posts on Instagram.
Example # 3 – Bay Alarm Medical
You don’t have to be the world’s leading brand or be essentially sexy to benefit from user-generated content. Bay Alarm Medical is a perfect example of this, it sells medical alarm devices for the elderly. Their Instagram is full of user stories and photos, which makes up a huge part of their branding. The fact that they have such testimonials on Instagram so prominently and on their homepage speaks to how effective they have been for them.
Example # 4 – Made.com
Made created the basis of their extremely successful Instagram profile (1.2 million followers) from user content (without the intention of a play on words). Pretty much all of their Instagram content shows the designs of their customers using their products.
That way their potential customers can see their products in real environments, the homes of real people. Plus, they never run out of new content.
It doesn’t matter who creates the user-generated content – whether it’s celebrities, influencers, your customers, or someone completely random. If the content is consistent with your brand’s messages, you can use it to great advantage.
Competitions on social media these days are a bit spoiled, and slanderers claim that people have become disinterested and not getting involved. In reality, however, you can still benefit greatly from well-run competitions that align with your brand and provide value to your customers in exchange for their engagement and activities.
Example # 1 – Chipotle
Mention contests on social media to someone who follows the industry, and Chipotle is probably the first name they will come up with. They were among the first big brands to realize the potential of TikTok with their fun challenges giving them hundreds of millions of views. This is the kind of brand exposure you get once in a lifetime if you’re strong, very happy. Not that luck had anything to do with it.
Example # 2 – Royal Academy
Speaking of Twitter contests, there’s one “brand” that’s been killing him since they left Adam Koszary’s concert at the Museum of English Rural Life and became their editor for social content and content – the Royal Academy. Constantly #RAdailydoodle contest gets an incredible community engagement, and is unique in that the Royal Academy doesn’t even give participants prizes. People are just having fun.
Example # 3 – Transparent laboratories
Contests on social media usually last a maximum of a few days, but people from Transparent Labs have taken a different path. They performed a 9-week fitness program, #TLKickstart, which teaches their community that fitness is more than just lifting weights. Furthermore, the program encourages them to take a more holistic approach by completing various challenges from week to week. It is a comprehensive campaign with a dedicated landing page, additional material and collaboration on multiple brands.
Of course, you don’t have to go as elaborate as Transparent Labs for your tenders to succeed. Something as simple as a campaign to win comments or tagging friends can give your social media presence the boost it may need.
There are a few key principles you will find behind all these examples of social media strategies. They all come down to pretty basic marketing strategy concepts:
- Understand your audience.
- Meet your brand.
- Create a good message.
- Choose your channels carefully.
- Track and adjust as needed.
It’s always a good idea to start with the basics and then progress from there.
Guest Post Author Bio
This guest was written by Natasha Lane. Natasha is a specialist in digital marketing and content writing. For more than a decade, he has been working and collaborating with individual clients and companies of all sizes. Natasha specializes in writing about digital marketing, branding, and productivity. To see what she’s up to next, check out her website natashalane.io.
Author of the photo Nick Morrison on Unsplash