With the advent of social media, the way a message reaches your followers has changed.
Traditionally, a television, print, or radio campaign was used to disseminate messaging, but as newer generations mature, statistics show that they are consuming less television programming and more social media. It becomes of paramount importance then to be able to learn how to strategically leverage social media for your business.
Anybody can use social media; few can use it well. Are you stuck posting the same, bland content and curated content time and time again? Have you wondered how to take your business’ social media strategy to the next level?
Here I will share companies that are innovators in the social media marketing space as well as some examples of businesses that have optimized their social media platforms exceptionally well:
Flowics Flock to Unlock
Flock to Unlock (F2U) is an audience engagement widget that encourages users to post content using a specific hashtag. This hashtag will then unlock an exclusive offer, hidden content, or a special promotion.
For example, Puma leveraged F2U to engage their global followers on Twitter, using commercials with famous athletes they knew people would want to see. Puma found that they did not need to directly promote their brand when their influencers would do it for them via @mentions.
The way F2U works is you establish a data capture for the engagement widget created. That data then imports to your database at which point you can use a generator to randomly choose a follower to award a gift or prize because they helped to unlock the content/offer/promotion for everyone.
Humans are social creatures. We need to interact to survive and thrive. Flock to Unlock builds community, engagement and awareness. The next innovative social media experience, social vending, takes interaction from the digital space to the physical space and continues step things up.
Interactive Social Vending
Nothing says convenience more than a vending machine does, but it the concept of a vending machine has not changed much with time. You pay money; you get a commodity. Pretty straightforward.
Changing the way consumers interact with brands, interactive social vending machines dispense gifts (such as a gift card) in return for the user’s engagement. These engagements may include adding a brand’s account on Snapchat, or posting to Instagram or Twitter using a specific hashtag.
This new spin on an old idea creates buzz and excitement, not only around the vending machine, but also for your brand. Social vending helps to grow your social media fans and followers, which will drive foot traffic to your retail locations, conference booths, and other physical spaces where you want people to visit. When you pair User-Generated Content (UGC) with social vending, you activate a force multiplier for your marketing efforts.
Flowics Events and Big Displays
Since ancient times, humans have gathered around a fire to be social, to interact with each other, and to exchange and give ideas. Millions of years later, nothing much has changed. Instead of gathering around fires, humans now gather around events, and by default, displays.
With Flowics Events and Big Displays, you can now broadcast your brand by promoting it on a big screen that will be seen by a large audience. With social media alone, the burden is on the user to open the platform at the right time to see your content or else it gets buried in the newsfeed. By promoting the message on a big screen in a stadium during a sporting event or a tradeshow, you ensure people will see it.
Many businesses devote tons of time and resources to the creation of new, original content. In today’s crowded and distracted world what choice do they have? They cannot just “borrow” someone’s idea wholesale. The only alternative is to expend resources, generating new content. But what if your followers and fans could do that for you?
Encourage your social media fans to work for you. Those who love your brand, and are proud to share this with their social media connections, are the best at authentic brand promotion. As an example, consider National Geographic’s #wanderlustcontest. Social media fans were asked to capture pictures of people and places from their travels, and to share the photo on Instagram with the hashtag, #wanderlustcontest. The incentive, which really motivated participants, was a chance to be in a National Geographic photo expedition at Yosemite National Park.
Coca-Cola is another example of how to drive results with UGC. They produced bottles with the first names of different people and distributed them throughout different cities. With the goal of increasing Twitter impressions, customers were encouraged to take a picture of themselves with the coke bottle that had their name. Thanks to the creative UGC campaign, the company enjoyed a 2.5% increase in total sales. Who can argue with those results as a testament to the power of UGC?
Activewear brand Lululemon encouraged their followers to take a picture of themselves working out in Lululemon gear with the hashtag, #thesweatlife. What resulted was more than 7,000 photos via Instagram + Twitter and 40,000 unique site visitors since the campaign kicked off. If you snap it, engagement will come. #fieldofdreams
No matter how you slice it, social media is not going anywhere but up. We are deep in the information age and social media needs to be taken seriously in the digital marketing space. The sooner you learn to use social media strategically, the sooner your organization will reap the benefits.
What do you think about these innovative uses of social media marketing? What are some of the ways you employ social media? Sound off in the comments!