Cross-network promotion is easily one of the most challenging parts of social marketing. Each network has its own audience, and thinking about different ways to engage each one of them can be hard. What works on Facebook, for example, may not fly on Twitter or Google+. And the last thing that you want is to be is one of those marketers that just posts the same message over all of your networks. But how do you inject enough variety into your campaign without having to spend hours on each network? Well, one answer is to push a campaign that reaches across the social networks, allowing for a cohesive message and a bit of variety. In fact I’ve noticed, over the last couple of years, that some of the bigger brands have executed some amazing cross-network social campaigns, and there are bits and pieces of marketing gold that we can all take away from some of the more noteworthy ones.
Recently, ChipotleUK had the amazing idea to have a sort of weeklong, cross-network scavenger hunt. Essentially, it puts a link in a video, and posts that content to one of its social channels. If you are one of the first 2,000 to click over to that URL first, you get a free burrito. ChipotleUK has said it will post to different sites on different days, giving its followers a reason to actually check all of these different outlets. And while 14,000 burritos might seem like a hefty price, the reaction has been astonishing – on the first day it took only 98 minutes for all of the burritos to be claimed.
At the surface, this would seem like a fairly standard social marketing campaign. Ask your followers to vote for their favorite of whatever you’re selling, tally the votes, and post the results. But I feel like Qdoba really shone for two reasons – the first is that they updated results in real-time, and the second is that they broke down voting by social network. Consistent updates, as most of you know, prove to your followers that you’re actually listening to them. But showing each, individual network that they were being counted shows an appreciation for that network’s followers. Now, we’re talking about flavors of melted cheese here so it isn’t like people were particularly passionate about the subject, but the bit of competition between social networks certainly seemed to spice up an otherwise dull campaign up… no pun intended.
I’ve already talked about the sheer success behind Adida’s #AllIn campaign – if you’re going by the numbers alone, Adidas handily won the World Cup of advertising. But did you know Adidas’ ‘All In’ campaign has been around since 2011? While it was the focal point of their World Cup campaign, it has been a tagline that they’ve built into their brand over the last three years, and subsequently introduced into newer networks, like Instagram, as they became more popular and easier for marketers to use. Their campaign proved that you don’t need a brand new tagline for every single network. Use what branding you’ve already built, and then introduce it into cross-network campaigns. The end result will be more cohesive and feel more natural.
Whether you agree with the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) or absolutely loathe it, you can’t deny that the media campaign promoting the new law was outstanding. The minds behind the law knew that, in order to succeed, millennials had to sign-up. And from that a gigantic, cross-network campaign was launched as Obama’s advertising team attempted to convince as many people as possible to review their insurance options. #GetCovered reached tens of millions of people, spawned engaging and unique graphics, and the president himself famously appeared on an episode of ‘Between Two Ferns’ to tout the new law. No network was summarily ignored, and if anything was cross-posted, it was typically varied enough to keep repetition from being too obvious.
Now, I realize that all of these are multi-million dollar campaigns – well out of the reach of the average business owner or social marketer. But anyone can pull time-tested, useful techniques from them through a bit of careful analysis. Each campaign paid attention, and marketed, to the individual social networks, while still maintaining a sense of cohesion. Updates and posts weren’t repeated verbatim across the networks, and these campaigns made sure there was a reason for people to follow all of their accounts, rather than just one. Social marketing must evolve beyond posting the same, generic plug to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and these sorts of campaigns can teach us how to do just that.