2015 was a big year for brands and social media.
Twitter acquired Periscope. Pinterest released buyable pins. Instagram opened up advertising to brands nationwide. And, brands are fighting to come up with creative ideas to become the "next big thing" on social media. While some have failed, some have totally nailed it. Let's take a look at the biggest social media wins from 2015 this year:
1.Best Use at Humor: Denny's
Social media is a chance for brands to engage with consumers and show their personality. With more brands stepping up their game on outlets like Facebook and Twitter, companies have to get creative with their content.
Denny's has become a social media all-star when it comes to showcasing their personality. You may think their Twitter is run by an emotional teenager, however their use of humor has proven to be a successful strategy for the all-American diner. Not only has Denny's connected with thousands of people online, they have a higher customer engagement across their platforms than other brands.
Since Erwin Penland started handling Denny's social media, the brand has increased follow and fan growth by 150% with 1,800+ average engagement per post. The key to this success is differentiating themselves by using humor and playing up current events with unique ideas.
2.Best at Tugging on our Emotions: World Wildlife Fund
The World Wildlife Fund tugged on the emotions of animal lovers across the world with their creative social media campaign that launched earlier this year.
The nonprofit used the idea that selfies disappear off Snapchat after a few seconds to illustrate the disappearance of endangered species around the world. In order to create awareness surrounding extinction, animals conveyed the message to their viewers which says "Don't let this be my last selfie" within the Snapchat app. Clever hashtags such as #LastSelfie were impactful and increased brand awareness by tapping into other social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. The innovative campaign, executed by UK agencies UncleGrey and 41? 29!, resulted in a worldwide branding initiative that led to an impressive increase in donations for the World Wildlife Fund.
In order to target millennials and create a sense of urgency, Snapchat was the platform of choice. Coupled with the strong social statement, and the campaign's ability to engage its audience, this was one of the most successful social media campaigns of 2015. The campaign only lasted three days, however, the WWF was able to raise enough money equal to a typical month of donations.
3.Best Mid-Sized Company Making Big Strides: LeafFilter Gutter Protection
LeafFilter, a national gutter protection company, has made big strides this year. At the end of 2014, the gutter protection picked up a sponsorship with NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Blake Koch and the No. 8 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Toyota Camry. The gutter protection company has grown immensely by fully leveraging their sponsorship. By utilizing social media, the company has been able to build awareness and brand loyalty by differentiating themselves from other NASCAR sponsors.
Notably, LeafFilter has produced weekly YouTube videos that take fans behind the scenes to the NASCAR garage, on the road with the pit crew, and following Blake Koch through his everyday life. These videos were even recognized by NASCAR during a live XFINITY Series race.
The company has been able to engage their fan base through social media which has impacted their brand awareness positively.
4.Best Use of Vine: Lowe's "Fix in Six" Vine Series
Lowe's Home Improvement has built their brand into a trusted social media resource. The brand created DIY Vine Videos, named "Fix in Six" (#lowesfixinsix), to inspire homeowners to achieve their home improvement goals.
The brand was able to bring useful home improvement tips to life in a fun and entertaining way. By utilizing the new social media outlet, Lowe's reached a younger demographic, and the fun, quick pieces of content were easily shared across a variety of social media platforms.
The campaign seemed to become a hit overnight, earning over 15 million campaign impressions and thousands of social media engagements. Currently, the Lowe's Vine Channel has 33,000 followers.
The key takeaway from this overnight success is that people like quick, digestible information that offers value. If your brand can do that, and in a fun, entertaining way, your campaign is sure to be a winner.
5.Best Use of a New Platform: Turkish Airlines
Periscope is the new kid on the block that brands are still trying to figure out. With its real-time video capabilities, brands are looking and testing different ways to leverage the platform in an effort to create awareness and capture fans.
Turkish Airlines nailed it this summer when they were the first brand to ever live broadcast a flight. The live stream took viewers from Istanbul to New York. Viewers were able to see behind the scenes of the flight, including flight preparations, meeting the crew, what goes on in the cockpit, and an inside look as to where the crew rests.
The airline also integrated other social media platforms to promote the event and recap it afterwards. The company used Twitter into the live broadcast, allowing people to ask questions, and utilized promoted tweets to promote the Periscope stream. Afterwards, Turkish Airlines recapped the flight and their results from the live-stream on YouTube.
It's great to see an early adopter tackle a new platform in a unique way. By thinking outside of the box, Turkish Airlines gained exposure and solidified their position as a brand to watch for coming up with creative ideas.