As a marketer, you’re aware of the massive potential of social media marketing. However, it takes much more than actively posting content to social media to succeed. Brands must create an engaging and inspiring social media marketing strategy to stand out – including unique creative content and targeting relevant audiences.
This blog will look at some of the best social media marketing examples that have been successful in capturing people's attention and driving engagement.
Why is social media marketing important for brands?
The latest social media marketing statistics show that the use of social media for marketing campaigns is growing, and more than 92% of American businesses have adopted this practice.
Your company must be one of them.
But have you ever listed the reasons why social media marketing is relevant to your business?
Here are the top five benefits of social media marketing for your business:
- Increase brand awareness
- Spark conversations and build customer loyalty
- Make it easy to distribute content
- Drive website traffic
- Generate leads and customers
1. Increase brand awareness
Social media marketing makes it easy to spread the word about your products. By engaging your customers to mention your brand, you have the potential to reach new audiences.
2. Spark conversations and boost customer loyalty
An effective social media marketing strategy will spark conversation about your brand and products. Take the below tweet from Xbox Game Pass as an example. They tweeted to announce the availability of free game packs on EA Play. By doing this, they got their fans talking and received much feedback about their product.
Another advantage of social media marketing is to deepen customer loyalty. Consumers feel valued and heard when they can chat or comment and receive a prompt response from the business.
3. Make it easy to distribute content
You’ve worked hard to create fresh and inspiring content; now it’s time to put it out for the world to see. Social media can help distribute your content to reach your target audience. You can post branded content on social media platforms and showcase user-generated content (UGC) to add social proof and build brand credibility.
4. Drive website traffic
Social media marketing can help send customers directly to your website. In particular, every social profile you have is a possible path to your website. Additionally, every social media post is a new opportunity to provide value and demonstrate why your followers should visit your website to learn more about your business and products.
5. Generate leads and customers
You can also generate leads and conversions directly on these social media platforms through features like Instagram Shopping, direct messaging, call-to-action buttons on profiles, and appointment booking capabilities.
8 best social media campaign examples to inspire you
Here are eight outstanding examples of companies using social media marketing effectively to increase brand awareness and better engage with their audience:
- Getty Museum: Organise entertaining challenges
- Gillette: Build brand image
- GoPro: Share user-generated content
- Harvard University: Celebrate important events
- Nike: Influencer partnerships and social responsibility
- Sohome: Shoppable Instagram and UGC galleries
- UN Foundation: Promote a social initiative with hashtag campaigns
- Zoom: Leverage the power of a contest and giveaway
Getty Museum: Organise entertaining challenges
What does it do?
During the pandemic when most museums were closed, many places had to develop new social media marketing ideas to engage their followers and patrons. And Getty Museum has successfully done just that by asking people to recreate any art piece with objects from their homes and share their creations on Twitter and other social media platforms with the hashtag #GettyMuseumChallenge.
The museum received thousands of submissions, including some recreating renaissance art with lasagna noodles and a vacuum serving in place of a harp! Moreover, the museum was able to engage with its social media followers and educate them on featured art pieces.
Organising a social media challenge efficiently increases brand awareness and builds engagement for your brand. Your contest ideas should be unique and resonate with your social media followers.
For more inspiration, here are tips on successfully running a hashtag contest.
Gillette: Build brand image
What does it do?
To re-interpret the definition of manhood in modern times, Gillette launched a social media initiative called 'The Best Men Can Be.' Specifically, their Youtube video criticised negative behaviour among men, including bullying, sexism, and toxic masculinity. Then it showed positive examples of masculinity, such as supporting others, caring for loved ones, and more.
The company also took this campaign to Instagram to highlight positive male role models and share inspiring stories about their journeys.
This social media campaign example successfully addressed a highly relevant and widely discussed topic. It also marked a shift in Gillette's branding.
Nowadays, consumers want to know where your brand stands, for example, on environmental and social issues. You can showcase your passions and values by participating in (or starting) a conversation on social media as a brand. Note that opinions can sometimes be divisive, so it's essential to thoroughly consider all possible outcomes before engaging in any discussions.
GoPro: Share user-generated content
What does it do?
GoPro engages fans and influencers to capture their best moments with GoPro products and submit compelling images and videos via a submission form and social media. The best entries are shared on GoPro's official Instagram account with the hashtag #GoProAwards.
Furthermore, GoPro displays posts and videos made by customers and influencers in a beautiful stream on the GoPro Awards page.
Sharing user-generated content opens conversations between GoPro and its customers and builds an engaged community. Besides, the social media feed adds social proof to the webshop, increases time spent on the site, and encourages website visitors to learn more about GoPro's products.
There are many types of social media marketing campaigns, and a user-generated content marketing campaign is often considered the best way to show social proof and build trust. Thus, brands must curate and display UGC on their social media channels and websites.
Learn the best practices through some of the most inspiring user-generated content campaign examples.
Harvard University: Celebrate important events
What does it do?
Graduating from university is a significant achievement and typically a once-in-a-lifetime event. Harvard University invites students and their families to express their excitement and include the hashtag #HKSGrad in their social media posts.
With the help of Flockler, the university gathers images of students celebrating their significant achievements and displays them on virtual graduation pages and digital screens. Besides, Harvard University has also used social media walls to showcase the latest activity, promote sports events, and display a live feed for virtual conferences.
Parents and students were enthusiastic about sharing graduation pictures and videos on social media - and seeing them pop up on digital screens. The university also experienced an increase in social media reach and engagement.
To promote important events of your brand, you can create a unique hashtag, then ask all the attendees to use the selected hashtag while posting on social media. To complement that approach, having those pictures and videos displayed on a virtual event page and digital screens helps make your events more joyful and engaging.
For more inspiration, here are some of the best live social feed examples.
Nike: Influencers partnerships and social responsibility
What does it do?
To encourage women to embrace their unique qualities, ignore the doubters, and pursue their dreams no matter how crazy they seem, Nike launched a social responsibility marketing campaign called 'Dream Crazier'. The video, which tennis star Serena Williams narrated, celebrated the achievements of female athletes while also showcasing how they overcame the struggles and criticisms that many females face in sports.
The participation of Serena Williams in this social media video marketing campaign helped Nike to get more attention among her extensive social network. Specifically, one day after its premiere on all social media platforms, the commercial had over 6 million views on YouTube and more than 28 million on Twitter. Besides, by supporting women’s empowerment and encouraging the breakdown of gender stereotypes via this video campaign, the number of brand mentions has increased, and the overall sentiment of 'Nike' mentions has become very positive.
While making political or social statements on social media was previously seen as a risky marketing move, Nike has shown that it can be a winning social media marketing strategy. Also, including influencer marketing as a part of your social media marketing strategy helps you reach a broader audience. However, to protect your brand from any negative brand association, companies should identify which influencers will be a good match and which ones won’t.
Sohome: Shoppable Instagram and UGC galleries
What does it do?
Sohome asks its customers to post on social media using branded hashtags to showcase how they have used the company's products for home decoration.
With Flockler, Sohome gathers social media hashtag mentions, selects the best entries, and tags those posts with webshop products. Finally, a shoppable Instagram & UGC feed is embedded under the 'Shop the look' element on the homepage, and a related product is shown when you click one of the images.
By asking customers to share images of Sohome's products in real life, the company has successfully tapped into the power of social proof and customer recommendations. Moreover, by turning branded content and UGC into shoppable galleries for their online store, Sohome increased its website traffic and boosted sales.
Collecting and showing reviews from your customers drives sales, and it will be one of the best investments you’ve made in digital. In addition, a shoppable Instagram and UGC feed with tagged products is a must-to-have for all e-commerce sites.
UN Foundation: Promote a social initiative with hashtag campaigns
What does it do?
United Nations Foundation launched the #EqualEverywhere hashtag campaign to call attention to gender discrimination. With the branded hashtag, the organisation encourages people to join the conversation on social media, share their stories and perspectives, and spread the message of gender equality to a broader audience. There are also some ready-made social media share templates that people can use to show support for an equitable future.
United Nations Foundation takes it a step further by gathering these social media posts and displaying them on the campaign page.
Thousands of individuals and brands have participated in the social media hashtag campaign, shared their opinions, and donated to support the UN Foundation’s work to equalise the rights and well-being of girls and women everywhere.
Hashtags help increase the visibility of your social media posts, make it easier for people to follow and participate in your social media campaign, and build a community of supporters and advocates. Especially for nonprofits, embedding a hashtag feed on your campaign page shows social proof and increases donations.
Zoom: Leverage the power of a social media contest and giveaway
What does it do?
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the world towards online communication and remote work, increasing the need for virtual backgrounds in video conferencing. Zoom created a virtual background contest across all social media platforms to take advantage of this trend. How was this achieved? Zoom asked people to create and share their custom backgrounds and offered branded items as prizes for the three best entries every month.
Through a fun social media contest, Zoom created community and engagement among its users, educated them on the virtual background feature, and got them more excited to use the software. Zoom also saw an increase in brand awareness while driving new users to install their product.
This case study highlights the importance of responding to changing market trends and tapping into the creativity and enthusiasm of the community. Offering prizes or recognition also helps to create excitement and engagement around the social media contest.