Not leveraging social media isn’t really an option anymore. From small, local businesses to giant international brands, your digital footprint matters as much as any other aspect of your business. It’s a responsibility, but it’s also an opportunity. With a good social media campaign, you can engage more intimately with your customers than you’ve ever been able to before.
Here are some businesses that have succeeded in engaging with their community in novel and effective ways. (And stick around – Ideator has some ideas about that too.)
- Best Buy
Like all good businesses, Best Buy knows its base: college-age customers, who buy more electronics than any other demographic. Instead of sticking to a Twitter campaign that might fade into the background of a young millennial’s consumer experience, Best Buy engaged directly with fresher technology by concentrating on well-produced, six-second Vine videos in its ‘HackToSchool’ campaign. These showcased life hacks useful to the dorm-set, like how to cook rice in a coffee pot. It was the kind of thing the target group might actually share with their friends, setting the stage for a viral campaign with a life of its own.
It’s smart to pick to a dimension of social media that can represent your signature voice. Vine may be appropriate for BestBuy, but Nike wisely hedged its bets on majestic word-image posts more familiar to its brand. Leveraging its famous ‘Just Do It’ phrase as a hashtag, the company created a distinctive voice in its Instagram account that was immediately recognizable to its customers. Well-heeled pictures of athletic derring-do accompanied the kind of inspirational slogans Nike’s audience has always responded to – distinctively and effectively.
- Ford Motor Company
Ford’s management has wisely placed its social media campaign front and center, not just of its marketing efforts, but of its entire business strategy. As a signal of its ambitions, Ford’s blog, The Ford Story, puts the comments before the story – putting the emphasis on its customers’ thoughts instead of theirs. Ford’s strategy is to reach out to consumers and incorporate their suggestions into their designs. This puts them ahead of the curve on spotting consumer trends, while simultaneously giving their customers a sense of ownership over their products.
- Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut’s social media has managed to craft a voice that’s convincingly familiar and informal. Making Twitter their medium of choice, the food chain takes a wry and winning approach to their account, engaging with their users by retweeting them and always maintaining a lighthearted style that makes their followers happy to see them pop up in their feeds. Like a pizza, it’s about as approachable as it gets.
Zappos, the wildly successful online shoe store, makes its goofily engaging Facebook account the centerpiece of its social media campaign. Clever writing is married to good strategy when they ask their users to enter a ‘like-like’ relationship with them. It puts the customer on a level with their other Facebook friends, and draws them in with exclusive offers. That’s a powerful one-two combination in one simple click.