5 Winning Social Media Stories

5 Winning Social Media Stories

Social Media may seem like an enigma to some, and at times. it appears your efforts are all for naught. Your colleagues recommend you use part of your budget on social media ads, but when on a limited budget, for how long should you run ads? It can seem a bit overwhelming, right? 

Truth of the matter is that many brands have created a presence without having to spend on ads.  And some of them being new to the social media landscape, have thrived. It’s all about the strategy you implement in your social media campaign. You will achieve success with a huge number of followers and engagement and inevitably, increased conversions. 

We will discuss some of the brands that achieved enormous success through social media,  attempt to understand the reason behind it, and figure out how we can implement their strategies into our own campaigns. Stick with me, this is going to be a great learning experience for all of us! 

Starbucks - Free Pastry Day

This was back in 2010, when Starbucks was relatively new to social media. They promoted their Free Pastry Day heavily on Twitter and Facebook. Not only did they get a huge amount of engagement, but a great number of people were introduced to Starbucks for the first time. About a million people showed up for coffee and free pastries!

Starbucks now has over 35 million likes on their Facebook page, and subsequent campaigns in more recent times has only boosted the impressive patronage in their stores. They recently introduced “Green Apron” delivery for the over 12,000 workers in the Empire State building, making it possible for workers to receive coffee without leaving their work. 

Lesson learned

Who can refuse free food? Starbucks created an incentive for people who hadn’t tried it yet with FREE pastries. Sharing this on social media also meant that fans of the page could easily share this amazing offer to others by re-tweeting and tagging. This resulted in immense hype for the day, hence a huge number of people showed up. 

The “Green Apron” also got attention as it resulted in a huge benefit for the customer, that is coffee delivery. The fact that it’s in the Empire State building greatly helped in creating hype because of its popularity.

Domino’s Pizza - Tweet to Eat

As part of Domino’s buy-anywhere-anyhow campaign, Domino’s launched their Tweet-to-eat campaign. The philosophy behind it was that the customer can order Domino’s pizza super easily without changing their medium of communication (that is, switch from Twitter to the mobile app).

Hilarity ensued soon after, as Twitter was overrun by Pizza emoji orders for Domino’s. While there was the ever looming issue of prank orders, the campaign resulted in a huge gain for Domino’s. 

It’s because of the public nature of Twitter that Domino’s started trending and achieved unprecedented success. Think about it - for a visitor to order, they must first follow Domino’s page, set up an “Easy Order” Account and their Tweet is seen by the person’s followers and Domino’s followers. That’s some great coverage! You’re essentially telling the whole world that you’re ordering from Domino’s. That’s a great situation for a brand to be in. 

This was further boosted by Twitter’s hashtag driven system. #Easyorder soon became a trending hashtag. 

Lesson Learned

Create an offer that gives incentives to customers for using social media. A simpler example would be to share a picture for a chance to win a prize. The ideal offer is one that gives the customer an immediate utility, while providing you with coverage. 

Another thing to note is hashtag usage. It’s a basic, but overlooked, rule of thumb for social media success. Your brand needs its own unique hashtag, and you need to make it viral. Hashtags make your brand easier to search, and it also increases the chances of others to find you because everyone is interested in a trending hashtag. 

South African Salvation Army - Campaign Against Domestic Violence

If you like memes, you might recall the hype created around a particular blue and black dress, which also seemed gold and white to others. 

Needless to say, it was a hot topic for everyone, and seeing this, the South African Salvation Army came up with the perfect idea to brew up a storm. 

They took this fabled dress, and used it perfectly for their campaign against domestic violence. It’s a just cause, and it got more attention because so many people were acquainted with the dress worn by the victim. 

Think of it this way, suppose your favorite and well known singer endorses and tweets in praise for a not so well known musician. You, and the many other followers, are bound to check out the musician out of curiosity. It’s the same thing here! 

In response, a staggering 3000 tweets per hour were made, according to Major Carin Holmes, Public Relations Secretary of The Salvation Army’s South Africa Territory.  

Lesson Learned

Don’t be shy to jump onto bandwagons. It can be anything from a trending TV show, with a big moment like a character death in Game of Thrones (not too rare, I know), to even a trash dove emote

This guy is all over Facebook! 

This guy is all over Facebook! 

Timing and execution is important. You don’t want to be too late into the fun, when the trend is already dying, nor do you want to seem forced when trying to enter the bandwagon. While there is no exact measure of seeing whether your social media update seems forced, the best way is to ask opinions from multiple colleagues before posting. 

This doesn’t mean you have to bulldoze your way through every trending thing. The smart option is to pick and choose your targets. As Sun Tzu puts it: “Pick your Battles. If a battle cannot be won, do not fight it.

Coca Cola - Share a Coke

In the summer of 2015, Coca Cola started their Share a Coke campaign, which started with selling personalized bottles of coke. The bottles had 250 of the most common names in the US, which is a cool experience, as a person named David can buy a bottle with the name David written on it. Good incentive. 

Step 2 was that consumers were prompted to share their experiences on social media, with the hashtag #ShareaCoke. The best stories would be featured on Coca Cola’s website and on billboards. This gave a nudge forward for those willing to self-promote. In a generation of millennials, self-expression and personalization is something everyone seeks. 

The campaign resulted in more than 500,000 photos being shared by consumers on social media, and Coca Cola gained millions of new followers. 

Lesson learned

Personalize your offers. There are two things almost everyone likes: bragging about themselves, and gaining control. Coca Cola offered both in this social media campaign by:
Providing a platform for sharing their stories to millions of people, with a unified #ShareaCoke hashtag.
Providing control to the consumer by giving them the chance to be the storyteller, and to project their personal brand, exactly the way they want it. 

Be Like Taco Bell’s Twitter Guy

What happens when a company has a strong personality? Depends, but some brands, like Taco Bell stand out from the rest. We’ll let these tweets do the talking! 

Lesson Learned

  • Create a uniform voice for your brand, and while it’s not always possible to be Taco Bell’s level of hilarious, it’s important to be less salesy, and more personal in your tone (at least once in awhile).
  • Social media is not a one-way channel. Reply to queries, take part in conversations, be cordial and witty. In short, be social!  

A brand personality creates a good impression, and brings worth for your brand in the eyes of many.

Take Away

To sum it up, we learned the following from our case studies:

  • Make an irresistible offer. Free stuff is often hard to refuse!
  • Use a unified and unique hashtag. It creates a fun utility for consumers.
  • Jump onto the hype train, when appropriate to your brand. 
  • Make a personalized offer. Give your audience a chance to share their experiences (they will love you for that).
  • Have a personality. Engage in conversations.

Try to slowly incorporate these ideas in your marketing run, and you will soon notice results. Tell us about the different ideas you implement in your marketing on our social media. 

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