The end of the year is always a good opportunity to look back at what has happened in the social industry and how you can adapt your activities to match the ever-changing conditions. In years past, brands created buzz around topics they assumed would be interesting to their customers. This year, with the ascent of big data and increased social listening options, social marketers have the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of their audience and use that research to truly become customer-centric and create clear distribution strategies that match each stage of the customer journey. That’s why getting social right is vital – it can make or break your brand.
What does getting social media right look like?
To figure this out we went straight to the source – campaigns that were either nominated or won awards this past year, be it a Webby, Shorty, Mashie, or a Facebook Blue Award. We played judge and jury and chose our favorites. Now we’re taking a closer look at why these campaigns were so successful and what the winning elements were that all marketers can use in their future social campaigns. The success criteria for each of these awards vary, but there’s one thing they all have in common: creative storytelling.
#1 – Our fav from The Webby Awards is… KLM #happytohelp
Looking at the winners of the Webby Awards 2015, we were completely in agreement that KLM’s #happytohelp campaign stood out. Social customer service is a necessity for any good brand, and this is a great example of exceptional practice. For one week, KLM set up a team that handled all customer travel queries quickly, regardless if they were related to their company or not. As a way of showcasing their exceptional customer service, the team went out of their way to help all travellers in need, on social and offline, going as far as recovering forgotten passports or providing comfortable sleeping arrangements for passengers with long layovers.
- Audience: The campaign targeted all travellers with the intent to strengthen the relationship with their current customers and to attract new ones by converting dissatisfied travellers from other companies into future clients. With this campaign and services that went beyond traditional customer support, KLM managed to communicate the advantages of being their client, and as well, branded themselves as offerers of superior service amongst flight companies.
- Distribution: KLM released their campaign on Twitter, making it easy and accessible for everyone to get help by using a hashtag. In addition, by doing this, KLM also created an organic FAQ hub, where everyone had access to the Twitter discussions. The hashtag is still active and is a good way to reach them. KLM also post the expected wait time for a reply on their Twitter profile and keep it updated regularly. Now that’s dedication to customer service.
#2 – Shorty but Goldy….Lego’s Kronkiwongi
For this pick, we looked at the latest submissions for the 8th Shortie Awards, and were completely fascinated by LEGO’s campaign, Kronkiwongi…so much so that we’re building some right now. Unlike the usual Lego sets, this online challenge came with no instructions and children were encouraged to set their imagination free and build whatever they associated with the word. The series of videos released on social featured children from all over the world, and showcased their pure, raw imagination.
- Audience: This Danish toy giant, a favorite for kids and adults, created a campaign focused on the imagination of children, while at the same time targeting parents as decision-makers. As they call it, “inspire parents to inspire their children.” With their videos, they managed success on both parts – they melted the hearts of parents all over the world, and encouraged them to introduce the famous bricks into their children’s activities as a way of expressing creativity.
- Distribution: Facebook was chosen as the favorite social network for distribution, as it is one where they considered parents would spend most time. They also added an element of playfulness to the challenge by encouraging parents to post pictures of their children with their creations.
#3 – Mashie Awards won our hearts with…Be Sure it’s Secure (Hefty)
How to make a commodity product appealing to millions of social media users? This is an age-old question that troubles the minds of many marketers and ad agencies. However, Hefty has managed to do just that – they made slider bags interesting. With their campaign, “Be sure it’s secure”, Hefty created a story through a series of visual content, complete with miniature props and stop-motion photography, showcasing the strength of the bags, as well as the fun side of their brand. They also managed to win the Mashie Award for Best Use of Facebook.
- Audience: The campaign’s initial target audience was made up of socially-savvy parents that use slider bags (from Hefty or competitors) on a daily basis. Why social? Because according to research, 75% of parents use social media¹, and the main reason is to find useful parenting-related information. Hefty understood this and saw the opportunity in trying to communicate their message through a series of fun videos. These videos ultimately educated the parents on the benefits of their product, easing their parenting challenges.
- Distribution: Looking once more at the research on parents’ behaviour on social, it’s easy to understand why Hefty and their agency, Havas, chose Facebook as the main channel of distribution. Facebook is not only the most popular social media network, but it’s also the one where parents interact most, half of them several times per day. How did Hefty stand out from the noise on Facebook? They released a series of short clips with enticing visuals that immediately stood-out and were easy to remember. They also managed to create a fun and humorous brand voice that allows them to appeal to audiences of all ages.
Keeping up the momentum from this success, Hefty is staying true to their light-hearted, fun spirit by creating quirky campaigns with big impact, showcasing over and over again that budget is not a constraint for imagination.
#4 – The Buzziest “The Drum Social Buzz Award”
This year the NHS (National Health System in the UK), in collaboration with ENGINE, stepped up their game with a brilliant integrated campaign meant to raise awareness about the blood types needed for donation in UK. The campaign started offline, with many famous places, brands, and products joining in and stripping their names of A’s, B’s and O’s. However, the hype reached its peak on social. Everyone was encouraged to participate, either by dropping letters from their social profiles or by tweeting various parts of their day to #missingtype. This integrated campaign, fueled by user engagement, led to substantial PR exposure and more than 30.000 people registering as blood donors. It was also our favorite from The Drum Social Buzz Awards.
- Audience: The campaign targeted everyone eligible for donating blood. NHS began the campaign in response to the massive decrease in the number of donors in the UK and the acute need present all over the country. Their aim: raise awareness in a simple, but effective way.
Distribution: By using the simple method of removing specific letters, the NHS made it easy for everyone to join in, from big corporations to individuals. What made this campaign ever more appealing to audiences was the combination of offline and online that allowed people to participate, either by using the hashtag or sharing photos to demonstrate their support. Involving the audience was key to user-generated content, which added extra opportunities for promotion and increased reach.
#5 – A Falcon Blue Award for… Always #LikeAGirl
The P&G/Always campaign is one for the books, breaking record levels of engagement, reach, and stereotypes. #LikeAGirl proved to be so successful that it is now an industry touchstone, especially when celebrating achievements (also heard often around the Falcon Social office – selling #LikeAGirl). It was the overall winner of the Facebook Awards, taking home a Blue Facebook Badge and our admiration. The numbers around it are dizzying, becoming #2 most viral video globally with 78 million views.
- Audience: Always knew that their main consumers are women, however, they also realized that “the brand’s purpose wasn’t apparent to the new generation.²” They needed to find a way to better connect with younger audiences, especially girls transitioning from puberty to adulthood. To reach them, Always elevated the notion of empowerment. Their brand was already known for empowering women to go through their day feeling refreshed, so for this campaign, they tapped into spiritual empowerment. By demonstrating a great understanding of feminine character and behavior, Always made a statement and empowered women to be free from stereotypes, especially at a young age, where perception can have a great impact on self-worth and self-value.
- Distribution: Always released a series of videos on the main social channels that observed the behavior and perception of certain stereotypical phrases ascribed to girls. Through its creative storytelling, the brand managed to keep audiences interested, despite the videos lasting for more than a few seconds. By using a hashtag, the campaign became easily identifiable, facilitated sharing and managed to create communities around a common interest.
It’s already well known that quality content is necessary for getting noticed in the saturated social space. What these campaigns prove is that the focus is now gravitating towards creating a content strategy that includes a solid distribution strategy, but is also consumer-centric. Always consider who are you creating campaigns for, with whom your purpose will resonate, and where can you best reach that audience. At the end of the day content is king, distribution is queen, but the key to the kingdom is with the consumers.