Four years after launching its YouTube campaign video titled “Our Blades Are ‘Fricking’ Great,” Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion.
Within the first 48 hours of its upload in March 2012, around 12,000 people signed up for Dollar Shave Club’s service. By the summer of 2013, that number was up to 330,000.
When campaign director Lucia Aniello had initially suggested this tagline to CEO Michael Dubin, he was hesitant to use it. Dubin then changed his mind and took the risk, setting the stage for an iconic social media campaign.
It may seem the campaign became successful by a fluke, but it was actually a well-thought out ‘daring’ social media campaign strategy that paid off.
Stand Out in The Crowd
With users uploading 100 hours of video to YouTube every 60 seconds and sharing more than 4.75 billion pieces of content on Facebook every 24 hours, it is becoming tough to get your brand noticed via social media.
However, just like Dollar Shave Club, if you can create campaigns that ‘get people talking,’ you have a winner at hand.
According to Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, six fundamental principles drive people to share all sorts of content – Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Stories (STEPPS).
How can you know when to take a risk in social media marketing strategies, and when to avoid it?
Let’s find out:
Strategy 1: Build Your Following with Humour
Most B2B campaigns are serious, straightforward ads that talk about the features or benefits of a product.
Contrary to this, Impact Branding & Design takes a light hearted approach with its playful advertisements laden with pop culture references.
According to a study, niche companies are responsible for 60% of viral campaigns, and a majority of them contain humor.
Using humor in your social media campaign captures the attention of a larger audience. It allows you to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Funny campaigns also evoke a positive emotional response in your followers, making it more memorable.
If executed correctly, this strategy can give your brand a unique personality and make your campaign viral.
Strategy 2: Engage Customers Through Contests
Contests can be a great way to engage customers. These can include giveaways or interactive competition like “name our new product.”
But sometimes, inviting people to name your new product can backfire. Either you get too many creative names or a ton of offensive ones.
The latter happened with Mountain Dew when they asked their fans to name their new Green Apple flavor. In addition to flooding the campaign with unusable names, hackers ruined the brand’s reputation by adding a pro-Mossad banner to their website.
Dove, on the other hand, did a great job with their “Real Beauty Should Be Shared” campaign.
They asked their followers to share a photo of their friend and explain why that person embodies real beauty. The winner was selected as the face of Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign.
The Dove competition succeeded in promoting a positive body image, self-esteem, and friendship – messages that are in line with the company’s aim of helping women realize their full beauty potential.
If executed correctly, this strategy can accelerate brand awareness.
Strategy 3: Get Attention by Going Nonsocial
In 2014, Taco Bell surprised everyone with its social media “blackout” strategy, to promote its app. The brand wiped out all existing content from its social media channels and replaced it with a link to its mobile payment and ordering app.
This was a huge risk, but Taco Bell knew 80% of all social media time is spent on mobile, so they used that to their advantage and redirected traffic from its Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr pages, directly to their app.
At that time, Taco Bell already had a 10.6 million likes on Facebook, 1.5 million Twitter followers and 4.8 million followers, which was a sizeable user base that could be prompted to download the app.
The strategy paid off. In 24 hours of initiating the campaign, 75% of all stores had processed a mobile order, and in 48 hours their app downloads skyrocket to 3 million+.
If executed correctly, this daring strategy can drive higher leads and sales.
Strategy 4: Be Bold to Inspire Positive Sentiments
While most brands stay away from controversial issues involving politics or religion, Oreo decided to stand up for LGBT rights with their Gay Pride cookie campaign.
Despite initial flak from some users, Oreo’s gamble paid off as was 4 times more positive sentiment towards this social media campaign. This was a huge success as Oreo had correctly estimated their online demographic and the ideals they stood by.
If executed correctly, this risky strategy can amplify your brand image and attract loyal customers who are aligned with your organization’s values.
Calculated risks can enable you to break free of the “usual” marketing mold to create memorable and engaging social media campaigns.
But it takes more than just a bold idea to run effective campaigns. You also need careful execution.
Planning a social media strategy for your brand?
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