2015 has seen brands increasingly investing into social in a race to stand-out from the crowd of mediocre and easily forgettable content. In fact, in 2015 these brands shifted from creating fast-content, with initial appeal but less long-term value, to a strategic approach, listening and collaborating with their fans to create unique campaigns – some of which caused a big impact on society.
Here is our run-down of the best tweets out there; posts that have inspired the social media world and challenged all of us to become more creative and a bit more unconventional.
1. Oreo Cookie
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 2, 2015
Why we like it: Oreo uses its page to let fans know when new flavors are being released, and this was no exception. The world’s most famous cookie company introduced a new flavor as a love letter to humanity on Valentine’s day, and it got fans excited online and offline (People Magazine even wrote an in-depth article about it – see here).
The secret: Oreo stepped up to the real-time plate by releasing a themed cookie for a popular event and took advantage of the buzz already dedicated to Valentine’s day. The visual aspect is very appealing and in line with the theme and the content is “snackable,” making it a marketer’s dream in terms of distribution.
— Arby’s (@Arbys) August 6, 2015
Why we liked it: While Arby’s is known for their roast beef sandwiches, their Twitter account is famous for its sass. The brand has also been the aim of several of Jon Stewart’s jokes, with the talk show host going as far as to call them “the only food classified as a war crime.”
The uniqueness of the moment originated from Arby’s trying to be in on the joke in the days before Jon Stewart’s departure; to the amusement of fans all-around.
The secret: Brand association and showcasing sense of humor. True to their style, Arby’s took advantage of their known association with Jon Stewart and the hype around his departure and turned the situation into positive attention, while at the same time showing awareness of pop culture on the internet.
According to the Washington Post, Christopher Fuller, the chain’s vice president of brand and corporate communications said: “We’re seeing in social media that we were getting a lot of credit for being cool with it, that we were having a sense of humor.¹”
3. Victoria’s Secret
— Victoria’s Secret (@VictoriasSecret) October 29, 2015
Why we like it: Victoria’s Secret posted a glimpse into their casting process for the most talked about fashion show in the world and made it approachable by surprising model Gigi Hadid. We love the pure joy showcased here, and the message of this video.
The secret: Video is one of the most shareable pieces of content out there. Combined with one of the biggest brands in the world and one of the most famous models of 2015, it was bound to go viral. In addition, what Victoria’s Secret did here is share a personal and behind-the-scenes moment, letting us in on the achievement of the model. Audiences love when they can identify with celebrities and this video builds on that, managing to strike a chord with fans, while at the same time humanizing the brand.
— Dove (@Dove) November 9, 2015
Why we like it: As part of their new campaign, meant to encourage women to love their bodies, Dove stepped up their social media game by creating their own emojis with the theme “Love Your Curls.” This was an instant hit, as we all know that emojis are the new Twitter language.
The secret: Positive image with a fun twist. The keyboard was easy to access and it spoke to the exact audience it was published for, showing how Dove is mindful of creating specific content for specific audiences on their favorite networks. Fans loved their curly keyboard addition and turned this post viral.
— GoPro (@GoPro) July 6, 2015
Why we like it: GoPro has a clear advantage on their side with unique video content available for sharing. In this case, they used Twitter brilliantly, connecting news about their company with an action-packed video that was bound to create lots of engagement around the release of their new product. This was all delivered through videos from their fans making it approachable for many types of audiences.
The secret: Video wins on social again – but not just any video. GoPro knows they must deliver a certain style for their audience that can stand out from the crowd. The brand also found that fans were viewing their video content without audio, proving that the on-screen action is an important factor for standing out in the Twitter feed. The above post is a prime example of this.
6. H&M (@hm)
— H&M (@hm) May 17, 2015
Why we like it: H&M used its Twitter page to announce its next collaboration, this time with one of the hottest design houses out there, Balmain. This led to a whole movement, backed by Olivier Rousteing, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner, with one of the most popular #s of the year, #HMBalmaination. The collection sold out minutes into the release.
The secret: Once again, the engagement was due to the brand’s association with powerful celebrity names. It’s a simple post but used in a smart way, creating anticipation in the months to come. It speaks to the right audience: young fans looking to buy affordable, yet fashion forward clothes.
7. Always (@always)
— Always (@Always) February 2, 2015
Why we like it: This is undoubtedly one of the best tweets of 2015. It created a whole movement, led by the #likeagirl hashtag. It had ramifications on all social networks and inspired many campaigns for women empowerment. The video series has been watched more than 90M times on Youtube and drove a never-before-seen level of social engagement with over 177,000 #LikeAGirl tweets in the first three months, including many from celebrity supporters.²
The secret: Even though the video is quite a long one for this specific media, the social message behind it made this post an instant viral hit. The featured human experiences resonated with many audiences and kept fans watching until the end. It goes to show that if your content is meaningful and brand trustworthy, you can break out of normal conventions and take some calculated risks.
8. Turkish Airlines
Our first inspiring Delightful Story is from Africa! Let’s meet Staff Benda Bilili and their amazing story. https://t.co/tPdP3qNx7i
— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) May 14, 2015
Why we like it: Turkish Airlines delighted their audience with a new and innovative campaign, #DelightfulStories, meant to present short moments of authenticity from the company’s flight destinations. It’s based on unique stories and captures real-life emotions, offering a refreshing customer experience.
The secret: This is another example of a brand using video to shine in all the right ways. The video series is done in the style of a documentary, and it’s pure enjoyment, both visually and audibly. It creates a unique moment on social, where fans are transported into an unusual scenario and feel like direct witnesses to special moments in the lives of other people.
Don’t forget to put your clocks back before bed tonight. Here’s how. pic.twitter.com/7rYLxvoQyJ
— innocent drinks (@innocent) October 24, 2015
Why we like it: Another brand known in the twitter-sphere for its sassiness and wit is definitely Innocent – and they are everything but innocent on social. The natural drink producer is at the front of dad jokes and irony, tackling both posts and comments in their own unique style. Their Twitter account is something this social media manager reads to start her day on a high-note. This post fits their brand voice, poking fun at the difficulties of daylight savings time change, and it’s something most of us identify with.
The secret: It’s all in the brand voice, and one could tell it’s an Innocent post even without the logo. True to its humor, the brand can turn any tweet into something amusing. This post reached a high level of engagement based on the combination of message and visuals. Images are at the forefront of distribution, accompanied by an easy-going and widely relatable message.
Oh, hello #RedCups
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) November 1, 2015
Why we like it: This one post managed to get record engagement solely by leveraging the traditions around their brand. Everyone knows that the famous Starbucks Red Cups announce the beginning of delicious winter-themed drinks, all kept secret until the start of this promotion. This is a great example of how a brand managed to create such strong emotional connections with their audience that two words and a hashtag instantly send a recognizable message that spreads fast.
The secret: It’s simple, yet powerful. It speaks to the right audience and relies on the strong customer bonds Starbucks spent years cultivating. By being consistent, Starbucks has managed to educate its audience to keep up with the brand and associate it with important moments of their lives, such as Christmas.
Putting it all together
Engagement can come in all sizes and shapes. It can come from sharing a video or an image, or creating meaningful campaigns. All successful social campaigns adhere to several core principles that position them to drive engagement – here are the ones to keep in mind:
- The content appeals to a specific audience. Too broad and they won’t relate, too narrow and you won’t achieve your desired reach. Try to discover your audience by mapping out their interests and challenges.
- Create a strong social identity. It takes time and agreement between your social team members. innocent’s “commitment to nonsense” brand voice has made their social presence one of the best-known on the internet. The only downside – it’s taken. However, everything else is out there, ready for you to find the perfect mix between what you want to say and what audiences are interested in.
- If the content is interesting and important, your fans will sticks around. With so much bland and emotionless content out there, one should not be afraid to experiment. Try to connect with your audience on a deeper level and make every contact point meaningful. Share your wins and fails to demonstrate a more personal side of your brand.