But with so many brands competing for attention online, it’s more important than ever to get creative with your campaigns. So, what makes a marketing campaign successful in our modern world, and how can you create one of your own? In this article, we’ll dig into 10 examples of successful social media campaigns from globally renowned brands, and why they worked. They’ll give you the inspiration you need to create your own social media campaign that’s destined to go viral.
What is a social media campaign?
A social media campaign is when a brand leverages digital platforms to assist them with their marketing goals. It can be run on any platform that has a social networking element. So, for example, a Google ad would not be considered a social media campaign, as it’s a search engine rather than a social networking platform. However, a coordinated marketing effort using Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat would fall under a social media campaign. It differs from your usual social media content, in that it’s usually run over a set period of time, and is designed to fulfill a specific purpose. It can be either organic or paid, but it’s often run with increased focus and measurability than your day-to-day content. We use and recommend Canva at Spearhead Multimedia. You should, too. When it comes to posting at the right times there’s nothing easier than Blog2Social Pro for very frequent uses or Blog2Social Smart for regular users.
What is the purpose of a social media campaign?
A social media campaign can be used to reach many different business goals. Some focus on brand awareness and visibility—getting your brand discovered either by the masses or in front of a specific, target audience. Other social media campaigns aim to create or solidify certain brand sentiments. That is, they influence how your audience perceives or thinks about your brand—whether that’s seeing you as more caring, trustworthy, or innovative. Other common goals of social media campaigns include increased conversions (making sales), engagement, or loyalty.
10 successful social media campaigns to inspire your own
1. Citi Bank’s ‘The Moment’ campaign
This powerful multimedia campaign addressed the gender pay gap that exists in the workforce. It actually began offline, kicking off with a billboard in Times Square showcasing the moment that girls learned women get paid 29% less than their male counterparts in the US. This then directed viewers to watch the full, unedited footage of these young women discovering the news.
These marketing efforts were then proliferated on their social media channels, where they shared a two-minute hero video combining the girls’ reactions alongside the hashtag #itsabouttime. The campaign generated a lot of attention and helped position Citi Bank as a company that truly cares about its audience.
This campaign is a great example of how a social media campaign can effectively work alongside other marketing efforts, such as billboards, print, and video. It also showcases the importance of emotion in helping your audience truly connect with a social media campaign.
2. Walmart’s ‘Deal Drop Dance’ campaign on TikTok
TikTok is a relatively new avenue for social media marketing. But as this campaign proved, it offers huge potential. In Walmart’s #dealdropdance campaign, they enlisted the help of popular celebrities like Terry Crews and Rebel Wilson to help generate excitement for their Black Friday Sales. These stars led the way by doing the ‘deal drop dance’—a short dance to the song ‘Water Me’ by Lizzo.
Fans were then encouraged to film themselves doing their own deal drop dance and post it on TikTok with the hashtag #dealdropdance for their chance to win a $100 Walmart voucher. In under a week, the hashtag trended on TikTok and received over 2 billion hits.
This fun campaign is one that effectively taps into the zeitgeist—the popularity of dancing and challenges on TikTok—to amplify its reach. It’s also a great example of creating a branded hashtag for your campaign and engaging the use of influencers. Another key takeaway is that competitions make for excellent social media campaigns, as there’s added incentive for viewers to engage with it.
3. PayPal ‘It Pays To Keep Your Distance’ campaign
This campaign from PayPal Australia was a clever way to jump on the Zoom virtual party trend during self-isolation. The ‘It Pays To Keep Your Distance’ nationwide competition allowed Aussies to go in the running to win one of six, $500 prizes every week for throwing the best ‘IsoParty.’ To enter, participants had to take a snap of their soiree, post it on Instagram with the @PayPalAU Instagram page, include the hashtag #PayPalisoparty and tag @PayPalAU in the post.
The campaign was launched in response to the loosening social distancing restrictions in Australia. It gave people an incentive to keep their distance for just a while longer, to help continue flattening the curve of COVID-19.
This helped solidify PayPal’s image as a company with a positive mission—not just one that takes your money. However, the benefits went far beyond that. In prompting entrants to tag and follow PayPal, the campaign also helped to boost their following and engagement in the Australian market.
4. Spotify’s ‘2019 Wrapped’ campaign
Spotify’s ‘Wrapped’ campaign runs yearly, but 2019 was a particularly momentous occasion as it analyzed user listening data from the last decade. While it runs mainly from within the Spotify app, there’s a heavy social media component to it. Not only did they run colorful and graphics to encourage users to access their own ‘Wrapped’ data, but they also provided them with customized graphics they could share on their own feeds.
Spotify Wrapped shows how a campaign doesn’t necessarily have to be a one-time event. Rather, it can be a recurring one that users look forward to every year, and that your brand becomes known for.
It’s also a great example of a campaign that focuses on nurturing its existing customer base, instead of necessarily attracting new ones. With the personalization element, it makes their users feel special and more connected to their brand. Of course, with so many of their customers sharing their ‘Wrapped’ results, the knock-on effect will likely also attract curious new customers, too!
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5. Casper’s Sleep Channel
Spotify isn’t always the ones running social media campaigns—sometimes, they’re the ones hosting them! That’s exactly what happened in this out-of-the-box campaign from a mattress company, Casper. They created a Spotify playlist called ‘Casper Sleep Channel,’ filled with relaxing tracks to help their customers wind down. These were also repurposed across YouTube and IGTV.
It’s a clever campaign because it serves a number of different purposes. Firstly, it’s a nice value add for existing customers, who will feel that the brand is looking out for them. However, it’s also a great way for them to get discovered by potential new customers who are struggling to sleep and may need a new mattress!