Social media use isn’t just an arbitrary ego boost for brands and individuals. It’s a driving factor in business, marketing, technology and so much more. We Are Social reports that 2.1 billion out of the 7.2 billion people in the world now have social media accounts. Americans certainly fall into the mix, with 60% using it for their news fix, but at the same time they’re also doing other things like viewing ads. This means that you absolutely cannot ignore the impact of these huge and varied platforms on advertising, marketing and promotion. Let’s try to look into some examples of smart, creative and efficient use of social media to see what works.
Oreo as a brand absolutely wowed the world during the 2013 Super Bowl in America. When the coverage experienced a lighting blackout, Oreo’s 15-strong social media team were straight on it to provide viewers with relevant content. Given that advertising space during the commercial breaks of the event itself costs as much as $5 million in 2016 (according to Fortune, who states that the cost has increased by 75% since 2005), Oreo virtually managed to capitalize for free.
Although their content was not seen by every one of the estimated 114 million viewers of the television broadcast, they did receive 15,000 retweets and 20,000 likes on Facebook, as a result of the immediate coverage, Wired reports. They’re a great example of a brand using its assets to drive a social media strategy. They had copywriters, a strategist and artists at the ready to make sure that they were on top of their game. This demonstrates the value of social media interaction to consumers and the importance of having a constant presence.
Jason “JCarver” Somerville’s fame comes from his prestige in the poker world. The Texan has been competing worldwide, with over 250 online tournaments under his belt. If you’re not familiar with Twitch, it’s the world’s leading gamer social network, used by around 23 million users every month. Although 34% of people using it are based in America, according to Quantcast, it is used worldwide. Somerville recently smashed the record for concurrent viewers in a poker live event stream on Twitch as he attracted 15,000 views at once in February 2016.
Somerville uses Twitch to stream live poker tournaments and commentary. His Twitter has 54,000 followers and posting links to Twitch is a really great way to let people know what he’s doing. Cross-platform marketing is highly effective, which Jason’s strategy demonstrates. As a result, such impressive moves in his field have landed him the fifth spot on PokerStars’ poker social power table. The chart shows the social media influence of prominent poker pros, and this Somerville’s climbing up the ladder this year is a direct result of his hard work on Twitch: streaming exciting, passionate and humorous commentary of poker hands and a friendly attitude to newbies who want to learn about the game.
Zoella – or Zoe Sugg – is a 26-year-old woman who has already earned more than many of us can hope to in a lifetime. This is largely thanks to the fact that she has made herself a social media star. Thanks to her blog and vlog, she’s now leading the pack across social networking as well. She’s arguably one of the most influential fashion and lifestyle bloggers out there, but she’s not alone at all in blogging. Stats from Nielson Social show that 6.7M people publish on blogging sites, with 53% of all bloggers tending to fall into the 21-35-year-old age range, according to Sysomos.
People like Zoella have also led the way for a more cohesive relationship between brands and consumers. Bloggers and vloggers can act like the middle man. 81% of American consumers, for example, trust the advice and information they get from blogs, according to BlogHer. That means that as a brand, getting someone like Zoella to endorse you can work miracles for brand visibility and even sales. Indeed, the same findings show that 61% of American consumers have made purchases based on blog recommendations! On top of that, Zoella has collaborated with SuperDrug in the UK, creating and promoting her own cosmetics line.
Of course, her use of social media itself won’t go uncompensated. Twitter can be a real money earner! Zoella has 4.5 million Twitter followers, 2.6 million Facebook fans, and 7.7 million fans on Instagram. She also has 10 million subscribers on YouTube. The key to her social media success has been ensuring she doesn’t ignore any platform and that she’s very savvy when it comes to knowing what times are best for her to post. Her branding is consistent and she’s always up-to-date on the latest trends. A good PR strategy mixed in with smart use of social media helps a lot and ensures Zoella gets consistent national media coverage. She appeals to the younger demographic, which has around 26% of people who are constantly online. That’s a whole lot of potential reach!
BatDad and Reynolds
In much the same way as Zoella, Vine star BatDad was able to work with American kitchen brand Reynolds to elevate his success, in a social campaign that was a finalist in the 7th Annual Shorty Awards. Forbes say that millennials are responsible for $200 billion of buying power, and working with a big name in this respect was therefore a smart move for the company. According to Retail Leader, millennials are also fiercely loyal.
BatDad’s 2.8 million followers at the time were the audience for a series of inventive, funny videos in which he used Reynolds products in unique ways. The audience was captivated. The videos were successful in that they garnered 7.5 million loops on Vine.
In terms of what BatDad actually does, he simply pushes out regular content across his platform of choice – Vine – working with a consistently humorous style to attract and retain his audience. Whenever working with commercialised content, he just ensures to keep the same style (down-to-earth and funny), so that his audience don’t feel they’re being marketed.
This Girl Can is an inspiring campaign which has seen incredible traction since its launch in January 2015. The #ThisGirlCan hashtag was created by Sport England to encourage women and girls to get into sport without feeling in any way self-conscious or judged. It’s all about being given the space to be healthy and fit in your own way. Sport England had found that women exercised less than men, with 75% saying that they wanted to be more active.
The powerful message has been pushed across social media. Sport England has a social reach of 23 million, as reported by eConsultancy, who also said that 13 million had seen the campaign film within the first few months of its release. The film featured women of all shapes, sizes and abilities in sport. The campaign has been deemed a resounding success and was praised by the media for its lack of shaming women and girls. It was also applauded for its inclusive nature which stayed on brand throughout.
Overall, social media has an impact on so many aspects of our lives. It is undeniable that its impact on audiences is immense. From sport to beauty through to products we use every day, it’s important that brands get it right, and the ones above have certainly done so.