Getting involved in social media is no longer optional for modern companies. It’s simply something brands are expected to do. However, the success of various different companies’ efforts can vary considerably. Nowadays, success on social media involves far more than establishing a presence, gaining some friends or followers, and linking to a bit of content. Consumers expect far more now. If this is all your company does, only your most loyal and committed devotees will show any interest whatsoever.
According to Brandwatch, 91% of companies maintain at least two social media accounts. But as we’ll see in a moment, the brands that really excel in this field do far more than that. Let’s take a look at some recent stand-out social media campaigns, and demonstrate why excelling in modern social media is about far more than grabbing a handful of likes for some new photos.
Social Media Successes
NASA has spent the last few years showing everyone how to do social media. An Engadget report reveals that the space agency maintains a staggering 500 social media accounts, spanning the stalwarts like Facebook and Twitter, but also fully embracing more visual additions to the pack, such as Giphy and Snapchat.
NASA’s biggest recent triumph was the #YearInSpace project, which was instrumental in raising NASA’s number of social media followers by over 36 million in one year (The agency now has a staggering 123 million total followers). The project saw millions of people tracking the changes in two identical twins – one who remained on earth, and another who spent a year on the International Space Station.
By engaging people in ongoing narratives like these, NASA has made people want to keep returning and viewing their huge range of social channels. Relating real-life events to those in space – such as when NASA tweeted an image of a purple nebula on the day Prince died – has also proved hugely successful.
888poker has shown how important interactivity is in engaging people in social media. The 888poker “What’s your place in the pack?” promotion invites poker players to answer a series of simple questions to determine their poker playing style, with monikers such as “The Rock,” “The Fish,” and “The Bully. The page then goes on to discuss what players could focus on to improve their game based on their type. “By using a light-hearted approach, this social initiative taps into the sweet spot where quizzes are fun, even down to notifying people when they’re “nearly there” so they know they’re not just taking a survey.
Once the quiz is complete, participants are rewarded with stats, tips, and the all-important ability to share their result, further increasing the social reach. The point here is that all of this information could have been socially shared in traditional articles and posts, but by turning it into a game, it was all made far more engaging and shareable.
Disney’s #ShareYourEars initiative with the Make-A-Wish foundation is another example of how including “audience participation” in social media makes it so much more engaging.
Followers were encouraged to share photos of themselves wearing Mickey Mouse ears via Instagram and Twitter. Disney, in turn, made a $5 charitable donation to the foundation for each share. Disney doubled their initial total pledge, making a total donation of $2 million. The company also socially engaged hundreds of thousands of people in the process.
The above examples show that merely sharing existing articles and images just won’t cut it on social media anymore. When you consider your next social campaign, have a think about how you could incorporate some of this inspiration in your future endeavours.