Learning by example: Exceptional social media campaigns

Exceptional social media campaigns: Straight Outta Compton: Our art is a reflection of our reality quote From the various benefits of these highly connected digital platforms to the best ways to optimize your social media strategy – we’ve covered the ins and outs of this channel as a marketing tool.

However, sometimes the best way to learn is by combing through some examples. We’ve picked out some great social media marketing campaigns to paint a clearer picture of how to expertly use platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat to your advantage. Let’s take a look:

Honest Tea
Want to get people’s attention? Try asking them a provocative question for starters. This tactic worked exceptionally well for Honest Tea, according to Forbes contributor Steve Olenski. The company launched a social media campaign centered on the question “Which city scores the highest on the National Honesty Index?” Honest Tea created 27 pop-up stores across major U.S. cities and left the stations unattended.

The experiment set out to see how many people would or would not pay for their tea when no one seemed to be watching. The results were generally promising (with 94 percent of the nation proving honest) but the marketing success lies in Honest Tea’s artful use of both physical and online platforms. The physical locations allowed consumers to genuinely interact with the brand and the company-created hashtags fueled ample online discussion and buzz. Not to mention the natural curiosity that followed regarding the results.

This social media campaign was so exceptional because it combined an eye-grabbing topic with an influencer-driven conversation. Honest Tea allowed local audiences to dictate the national conversation around the brand, creating a more authentic social media presence for the campaign.

For many B2C companies, LinkedIn is often one of the most underutilized social media sites. Generally speaking this makes sense, since LinkedIn exists largely as a Facebook for professionals. However, when looked at through a more creative lens, LinkedIn could provide your business with a crafty little marketing campaign. Marketers over at KFC saw this opportunity and ran with it.

The fast food company put the spotlight on its company mascot Colonel Sanders by making hima full-fledged LinkedIn profile, reported Business 2 Community contributor Alan Cassinelli. With primarily business-oriented content on the platform, KFC didn’t have to intensely compete with other brands for the spotlight here. The profile included some interesting tidbits about Sanders’ past experience and encouraged audiences to endorse a variety of skills for the Colonel.

This social media campaign was exceptional due to its creativity and use of a viable but often overlooked platform. This combined with the strong content lands KFC’s Colonel Sanders LinkedIn profile on our list.

Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club has always been particularly skilled at leveraging its unique brand voice for some viral social media content. The #RazorBurn campaign was no exception. The company took a stab at competing razor companies that claim customers can use their razors for a month, reported CIO. The marketing material showcased pictures of old razors with captions like “Your razor’s so old it was acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.”

The results? Dollar Shave Club saw a 24 percent increase in social media mentions, increased its followers by 6 percent and boosted Twitter engagement by 31 percent. This social media campaign shows the power of well-planned humorous content and its subsequent effect on engagement rates.

Straight Outta Compton
Sometimes it’s not about the channel itself as much as it is about helping users create something that is shareable on social media sites. The marketers for the film Straight Outta Compton hit this content out of the park with the “Straight Outta Somewhere” meme generator. The generator allowed users to plug in their respective hometown or city into the movie’s recognizable logo.

The campaign took off almost immediately and spurred Instagram posts, Tweets and FB shares alike. According to Cassinelli, this resulted in a huge spike in general awareness about the movie as well as ticket sales. In fact, the meme generator garnered over 300,000 posts on Instagram alone.

This social media marketing campaign not only leveraged a highly-recognizable brand image but attracted a wide variety of users due to its accessible nature. In an age of increasingly personalized content, this effort was well-executed and produced exceptional results.

Taco Bell
One of the common denominators on this list is most definitely an omni-channel approach to marketing. Taco Bell hit all the marks with its blind pre-order campaign earlier this year. Fans of the fast food Mexican chain were able to order a completely new mystery item online and pick up the tasty treat at their local Taco Bell, reported CIO.

The campaign not only utilized a variety of channels – from Snapchat to Twitter to some Super Bowl air time – but integrated one of the best marketing tactics in the game: user-generated buzz. By giving their most vigilant fans some VIP access they made their existing customer base feel special while allowing them to spread the word about the new item (the Quesalupa). Add this buzz to the layer of mystery and you have a stellar social media campaign by Taco Bell.

Social media clearly is a highly useful tool in this increasingly digital age. Its various platforms allow brands to connect with large audiences instantly and open up the door for more conversations with customers. The campaigns mentioned above are the creme de la creme of social media marketing strategy and should be used as useful references. 


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