Say goodbye to billboards and phone ads. The internet age has officially arrived, and with it, companies are turning more and more to social media to increase their presence and expand their reach to customers. Here are five of the most successful social media campaigns and why they worked.
Chip eaters across the globe were afforded the opportunity of a lifetime when Lays offered a million dollar prize for new and unique flavor suggestions. Not only did they receive valuable customer feedback and all but guarantee the success of a new, popular-voted product, but their brand was all over social media as the public fought and campaigned for their favorites. Who doesn't want a million dollars?
In 2012, Oreo decided to express their support for LGBT rights by posting an image of a six-layer Oreo cookie decorated like a rainbow flag. The response was swift but polarized. While some applauded their stance, others decried their morals and suggested boycotts of all Oreo products. Despite the controversy, however, Oreo's sales didn't flag a bit, and they also enjoyed more than 23,000 comments on their Facebook page in less than 24 hours. That number almost tripled by the end of the year. Scandals sell.
When trying to expand your online presence, it's easy to use social media tools like GroSocial. That said, it's even easier to just blow up some balloons. The Brazilian arm of Heineken decided to blow up a single green balloon for every "like" they received on their Facebook page. Their followers couldn't resist, and this simple, funny stunt wound up attracting enough attention that Heineken had to call off the campaign because their offices were filled to the brim with green!
Heinz decided to take a direct approach with their customers when they created a fun Facebook quiz for the masses. Not only did they offer prizes and goody bags for participation, but they also created an app that made the entire experience easy to download and share, with additional incentives for every friend-of-a-friend referral. In the end, their Facebook fanbase welcomed more than 10 million visitors and 30,000 new followers, and all it took was a willingness to reach out and have fun with the people who bought their products.
1: Red Bull
Trying to stand out from the crowd, Red Bull sponsored an ambitious skydiving project in 2012. They followed the efforts of Felix Baumgartner, a professional daredevil who jumped from 24 miles above the Earth's atmosphere and became the first man to break the sound barrier without the help of helicopters or spacecraft. Red Bull's exposure through this move was immense: Their name ricocheted through social media as awed spectators tweeted, tumblred and blogged about it, and their Youtube chronicles of the event were watched by more than eight million people. Everyone from NASA to CNN had an opinion on the jump, and the Red Bull brand was all over it. Sometimes you have to take a big risk to enjoy a big reward.