Social media marketing has become one of the most effective options for brands to engage prospects, entice them to visit their site and convert them into customers.
But in order to reap the connective benefits of social, marketers need to undertake a strategic process, with a plan that includes targeting the right consumer group, finding where that group likes to gather, and creating content that's both brand relevant and provides value.
Sounds like a lot, right?
That's why it's always worth taking a look at brands that have already done this successfully, and learning from their success.
Along this line, here are three examples of recent social media campaigns that hit all the right buttons, along with some key lessons you can learn from their success.
Deadpool is a high-earning, R-rated superhero film that features one of Marvel Comic's lesser-known characters. Deadpool's not as popular as Spiderman or Wolverine, so the filmmakers knew they had to find different ways to attract fans beyond the comic book community.
Their secret weapon was in using the character's sarcastic, self-deprecating humor - which, incidentally, is perfect suited for social media.
The filmmakers posted videos and teasers on social, featuring Deadpool in various scenarios that were far from superheroic.
Why did this work?
Because the marketers of the film understood that their product (Deadpool) is an irreverent hero who doesn't play by the same rules as conventional heroes.
The Deadpool movie team took advantage of the uniqueness of their character and created emojis based on Deadpool and made short clips in which Deadpool spoke directly to the audience.
These efforts, combined with the movie's trailer, created a sense of intrigue about just who this red-and-black clad superhero was who used curse words, had a running commentary with the audience about events happening in his own film, and seemed decidedly non-heroic in how he viewed the world.
If your product or service is not well-known, you have to find interesting ways to sell that unique quality on social media.
Don't try to make your product or service more traditional - instead, embrace what makes it different and use that as your inspiration.
2. NASA - Scott Kelly Space Mission
United States astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space with a Russian astronaut named Mikhail Kornienko.
NASA, who for years has seen a decline in qualified applicants, wanted to use this mission to not only provide information to the public, but also to attract people to aspire to become astronauts.
So how did they use social media for this purpose?
They made sure to provide live-feeds of Kelly in his space shuttle, and encouraged him to tweet and post videos on multiple social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
They also made use of Facebook Live - for NASA, a Facebook Live session in which users could interact directly with Kelly was the next best thing to having people inside that space shuttle with the astronaut.
NASA provided updates on Kelly's mission on a daily basis, giving viewers a range of different content across multiple channels.
These efforts increased awareness of NASA's missions among groups that wouldn't normally have paid attention to the agency, while it also increased conversion in terms of people who went from interested observers to people who actively viewed NASA as a possible employer in the future.
Even if you're a known brand, you can boost your prospects and conversions by using social media channels to boost unique events (in NASA's case, the year-in-space-mission).
- What's your unique event?
- Do you have a big product launch?
- Are you introducing a new service?
- Has an influencer joined your brand?
Whatever that event is, the NASA social media campaign can help you understand how to keep that event prominent in the minds of your targeted consumer group by providing updates, live streams and even Reddit sessions all tied around that event.
3. Emirates - High-End Products and Services
One of the best ways to maximize profits within your existing customer base is to convince a select few of them to buy into your most expensive products and services.
Typically, your broad base consumer is going to provide you with repeat and frequent business, which generates steady revenue, but you still want to aim at that segment of your targeted market that wants to belong to an exclusive club that obtains high-end products and services.
Emirates understood this when they designed a first-class airplane ticket campaign aimed at their highest-earning target market.
The challenge here is that pretty much everyone has an idea what first-class seating in an airplane entails, so Emirates knew they couldn't just list the characteristics that made their first-class cabins outstanding. They needed to go further to capture the imagination of their consumers.
As part of their campaign, Emirates created short video clips of their planes and the wonderful places customers could visit in those planes.
To boost this even further, they created a campaign with celebrity influencer Jennifer Aniston touting the benefits of the company's A380 aircraft.
As you can see above, Aniston starts out in the video by taking a shower and dressing, so viewers are fooled into thinking she's at home. But then she emerges into the first-class cabin, and viewers now realize that she's inside the Emirates plane.
Even when you're selling to your higher-end consumers, you still can't hit them over the head with the product or service.
Instead, your marketing should focus on how the expensive product or service is really just part of your overall brand of excellence, and that the high-end product or service is a natural extension of something that your consumer already enjoys.
Social media provides you with many opportunities to reach your targeted consumer group, and to attract people who haven't opted-in to your products and services.
But social media marketing is only effective when you understand how to use the platforms, based on your key objective/s.
In each of the campaigns noted above, the marketers understood their market and objective before designing their campaigns.
Used properly, social media offers you access to billions of consumers, but as you segment them into smaller groups, you can begin to appeal directly to their wants and needs in a way that can boost your profile and draw new prospects, while also persuading existing customers to buy the more expensive products and services that you offer.