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How To Nail A Social Media Campaign

5-minute read

Launching a strong social media campaign can be like lighting the blue touch paper on your brand – you can send it into a new stratosphere in one concentrated blast. Here’s how to get it right…

How to nail a social media campaign

Cutting through the noise on social media can feel a bit like shouting into a force 12 gale and expecting to be heard above the hurricane. And it doesn’t exactly help that attentions spans are short, fingers are fast, and speed scrolling has become a national pastime.

But it’s worth finding the right megaphone because a good social campaign can work wonders – raising awareness, boosting your reputation and generally giving people the love for your brand.

Here, we’ve picked out some of the approaches that have gone down a storm in recent years. Take a look and find the combination that’ll put your brand centre-stage…  

1. Choose images that tell a story fast.

Nothing will stop the endlessly scrolling thumb quicker than a great picture. It could be cute, funny, creative or clever – but it needs to stand out, require very little in the way of deciphering, and be highly shareable.

Remember, you’re not limited to graphics either – empowering quotes or inspiring messages dressed in a cool font and colour scheme can capture attention just as well.

One thing to bear in mind – whatever the image, it  needs to be clear straight away which brand it belongs to, otherwise the shares you get will be wasted.

Who does it well? Cookie brand, Oreo, is the don when it comes to social imagery, plating up a visual feast across its social channels.

Past favourites from its award-winning Daily Twist campaign have included biscuits styled to mark Pride, Elvis week and the Mars Rover landing.

The company also impressed fans with their quick wit during a power cut at the 2013 Superbowl game. Within ten minutes they’d tweeted the image below. Fans went wild and the tweet was shared tens of thousands of times.

Oreo social media

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2. Launch a giveaway.

Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love a brand that’s giving you something for free? Giveaways are hugely popular on social, and they vary hugely. On Instagram, brands are using contests to send engagement levels through the roof. Research has shown these promotions can help a brand grow its followers 70% faster in three months.

People are usually asked to follow, like, comment, or tag a friend to be in with a chance of winning. Often they’re invited to send photos, too, using a campaign hashtag. There are caption contests, voting contests, challenge contests… the list is long.

You’re not limited to Instagram either. Some of the best giveaways have been on Twitter. Just keep it simple, have fun with it, and be clear on the rules – remember, Ts and Cs are your friend.

Who does it well? We loved the simplicity of Coors Light’s #CouldUseABeer social media campaign, launched last year when COVID was wreaking its havoc.

For a limited period, the beer giant promised a six-pack to anyone who bought a pack and tweeted them using the campaign hashtag, detailing why they needed a beer. They ended up giving away half a million beers to very happy customers and their brand awareness went through the roof.

Coors light social media

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3. Get the user-generated content flowing.

Increasingly, customers are falling out of love with traditional branded advertising in favour of user-generated content (UCG).

Put simply, we’re talking about words, pictures and videos created by fellow consumers, not the company itself. In fact, a whopping 85% of people say visual UGC is more influential than brand’s own photos or videos.  

So it stands to reason a social media campaign inviting people to share a mass of UGC is going to carry weight. Campaigns can quickly take off, capturing followers’ imaginations and filling your social channels with stellar content.

Who does it well? Social media legend, GoPro, has an army of 18 million Instagram followers rushing to share images on its ‘photo of the day’ competition.

Meanwhile Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Should Be Shared’ campaign on Facebook was a big success story. They asked fans to tell them why their friend represents ‘real beauty’ by filling in their friend’s name and stating two things that make them beautiful. Words and photos came flooding in, telling heartwarming tales of beauty and friendship.

Dove real beauty should be shared campaign

4. Stand up for a cause.

Consumers in 2021 need to feel emotionally connected to their brands. And for that connection to happen, companies need to show they’ve got a rock solid set of values behind them – ones that make a positive contribution to the wider world.

It means that, in a bid to demonstrate these values, brands are now tackling some pretty sensitive subjects head-on in their advertising and social campaigns.

Authenticity is crucial, though. These values must run through a brand’s DNA – they can’t just be picked up randomly for a one-off campaign to get clicks.  

Who does it well? Starbucks reminded people it’s a progressive brand with its #whatsyourname campaign, which shone the spotlight on identity and acceptance.

The coffee chain has long been taking customers’ names in stores and writing them on their cups. But this campaign celebrated the significance it can have for some transgender and gender diverse people as they use their new name in public.

The video, which you can watch here, quickly went viral and featured across all of Starbuck’s social channels. The company then took it a step further, partnering with Mermaids – a charity that supports young transgender and gender diverse groups — to create a special edition Mermaids cookie, with all proceeds going directly towards the charity’s in-demand helpline.

5. Add a generous dose of humour.

Take a look at the people and brands you follow on social. How many of them score highly on the humour front? We’re guessing plenty.

Research shows 40% of consumers follow social media accounts specifically to be entertained, and over half of people want content that makes them laugh. Nothing gets people sharing faster than a good gag, a funny photo or a laugh-out-loud video.

A word of warning, though – not all brands can pull it off. If your brand persona is generally pretty serious, a slapstick social campaign is going to play havoc with people’s perception of your image. Keep it on brand – always.

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Who does it well? Extra credit on this front goes to Innocent. The smoothie giant never fails to raise a smile on social but it upped its game during the pandemic.

It began tweeting a funny ‘Daily Reminder Of What Day It Is Today’ to help keep spirits up when lockdown began taking its toll.

Innocent social media

Not only that, it ticked off pretty much all the other pointers in this article with a competition calling on people to share the useless things they were doing on their sofas. Followers rushed to share their photos and videos (big tick for UCG content). Innocent then gave away free smoothies to their favourite entrants (big tick for the giveaway box). And, lastly, they donated £1 for every video entry to Age UK (big tick for standing up for a cause). Nicely done, Innocent. Nicely done.

Top Tips For Your Next Social Media Campaign

Do…

Remember, simplicity is key. The best social campaigns are the ones that have one, often surprisingly, simple message behind them. Before you even start planning, limit yourself to a handful of words and write down the one thing you want people to get from this campaign. Once you’ve got this foundation, you can add the bricks and mortar.

Link it into a wider issue or something topical Lots of brands latched on to the pandemic last year, launching campaigns related to social distancing, staying home and getting through the crisis. Other brands have been gaining shares with their statement-making campaigns related to diversity or gender identities. Not only does this approach capture attention but it shows you’re a brand with a crusade that goes beyond making a profit.

Keep an eye on the interaction Sometimes one great campaign can be the springboard for another. Watch how people engage with the campaign, look out for interesting stories people are sharing and be quick to add a new twist to it if the opportunity arises.

Don’t…

Stray off brand Tempting though it may be to get attention, there’s zero point in launching a wacky, off-the-wall campaign if it doesn’t fit your brand’s personality. All you’ll do is confuse your customers and undo any good work you’ve done on building a brand persona.


Copy the competition
There’ll be loads of amazing ideas out there that you’ll be tempted to pinch – but don’t. People will smell an imitation a mile off and, worse still, they’ll point out the injustice publicly. Run with an original idea and you’re far more likely to reap the rewards.

Take a one-size-fits-all approach Insta, Facebook and Twitter all have their own uses, and something that flies on one won’t necessarily take off on another. Tailor it for each channel and you’ll get more for your money.

If you need a little more inspiration and want some help with a project, get in touch. We’ve got a top team of experts living and breathing all things branding, and we inject passion into everything we do. Check out some of our latest work here.

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An award-winning strategic branding agency, Threerooms has spent over 15 years making brands stronger and businesses more successful. Whether modernising brands with meaning or crafting effective marketing campaigns, our amazing team is focused on delivering brand transformation while providing exceptional customer service.