If you’re a brand, you want to create engaging experiences for your community. More importantly you want your audience to remember you next time they need your product or service. To stand out in the crowd, your brand might’ve considered attempting a Twitter campaign.
However, does your audience actually want to participate? Does your campaign have the longevity to highlight your brand in an effective way?
Your social campaigns mean a lot to people. According to the Sprout Social Q1 2017 Index, 71% of respondents said they’re more likely to buy from a company when they experience a positive interaction with the brand. So how do you how do you spark interactions that delight?
To truly be successful, you need to make a strategy around creative, relatable and uniting content. Luckily, there are several brands out there who can give the rest of us inspiration on visuals, approaches, themes and different ways to engage.
Here are five Twitter campaigns to follow for inspiration:
1. Netflix – #NetflixCheater
You’ve already envisioned the exact moment you will stream the season 2 premiere of Stranger Things. But be honest, are you alone? If your answer is yes, chances are you may be guilty of being a #NetflixCheater.
Netflix cheating is a new world phenomenon that comes along with the advantages of streaming. In a new study released by Netflix, just in time for Valentine’s Day, 46% of couples admit to Netflix cheating—watching a series ahead of your significant other or friend.
While Netflix is not promoting a specific show or their services directly, they take a relatable moment and have fun with data to create a consistent and engaging branded experience on their twitter page.
Here’s what Netflix did right:
Honed in on Multiple Formats
The story around #NetflixCheater is told through a variety of media types. From creatively-produced video, to interactive quizzes and landing pages and even custom response GIFs, Netflix isn’t afraid to experiment.
Took Advantage of an Existing Phenomenon
The #NetflixCheater concept works because it’s a genuine thing that really happens. It’s natural to want to share watching your favorite show with your significant other or best friend, but it’s also natural to skip the sharing part and go in on a solo adventure.
Gathering data around this was an amazing place for Netflix to start, and the data gave them a large pool for creating owned content. They also succeeded by infusing humor and relevancy by equating Netflix cheating with the brevity of real life romantic cheating.
Spoke to Everyone
If you’re a Netflix user, you can totally relate to the #NetflixCheater phenomenon, so it’s easy to participate. Share your own story and use the hashtag—done! Increased brand loyalty, achieved.
However, the beauty of this campaign is that it’s relatable to people who are non-Netflix users as well. The relatability of the content alleviated a barrier to participation. This allowed Netflix to ask users to take true engagement actions, like tagging their partners whom they suspect of “cheating.”
Takeaway: Get creative with personas and data. Try to look for common qualities amongst your community and see how your brand might be able to speak to them. Have fun with data and personas, you never know if you could hit a nerve that resonates with your audience.
After all, those memorable moments will increase the chance that a person thinks of your brand when their need for your product or service comes about.
2. Tillamook – #RealFoodSunday (Fill The Plate)
Who knew a cheddar cheese brand could be anything but cheesy?
Tillamook, the popular Oregon dairy co-op famous for its cheddar, goes the extra mile to use social media and their brand power for social good. In one fell swoop, Tillamook aligns themselves with being a familial and high quality ingredient, while simultaneously building momentum and longevity by specifying Sundays as the day to celebrate real food. They made a distinct connection between their brand and the value that eating real foods can have on overall lifestyle.
To boost their existing campaigns, they ran concurrent seasonal campaigns with tie-ins that had major impact and brand lift. Tillamook can now associate their brand with a hashtag that doesn’t even include their brand name–all while contributing to an overall social good.
Here’s what Tillamook did right:
Layered in User-Generated Content From Their Community
Not only does Tillamook align themselves with a moral social concept, but they are using the creations of their community to inspire others to join into the conversation and set a familial tone.
Provided Consistent Value
Tillamook uses #RealFoodSunday to provide consistent value on a weekly basis. They provide meal ideas, recipes and partner with other real food proponents for more valuable food information.
Partnered Up + Used Social for Social Good
Tillamook took advantage of everyone’s devotion to speaking in emojis to help feed hungry kids during the holiday season. Tillamook teamed up with 72andSunny to turn empty plate emojis into real food donations through a social media-fueled food drive.
All social users had to do was post the empty plate emoji, along with the #RealFoodSunday hashtag to help to provide meals to hungry kids through national non-profit No Kid Hungry. According to their Shorty Awards Entry, they were able to donate a total of 500,000 Real Food meals to families in need.
On the social front, they saw 60 times the weekly average of #RealFoodSunday hashtag mentions. Within six hours, #RealFoodSunday was the trending topic on Twitter in Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.
Tillamook received 26 million earned impressions, partly in thanks to celebrities who Tweeted on behalf of the cause. While Tillamook had a history of supporting the real foods cause, this campaign further solidified Tillamook as an innovative leader in the Real Food conversation.
Worked Seasonality With an Existing Campaign
While #RealFoodSunday is a campaign that Tillamook focuses on year round, they needed to be strategic about when to run “Fill the Plates.” Simply put, the holidays are a great time to run a campaign that focuses on doing social good.
The holiday time on social specifically is often filled with cloying cheer, and Tillamook recognized the need for a humble and passion fueled idea that would feel meaningful for the users. The thoughtfulness of Tillamook’s timing is something to be commended and 100% contributed to their campaign’s success.
Got Creative With Visuals
In addition to utilizing emojis and graphics to fuel the campaign, Tillamook published emoji filled social videos that explained the concept thoroughly to potential participants. The company enlisted the help of foodie influencers to spread the word and when users started to post in droves, the Tillamook social team replied with custom “thank you” GIFs.
Takeaway: Unify your audience through shared values. Find the common thread between the values of your business and the values of your audience and make sure you are speaking to it. This will unite your community around a broader sense of purpose, and will create an opportunity to highlight your brand’s presence in that shared space.
Not only will your brand be associated with a single social movement, but you can build a long lasting campaign that grows with your brand and its unique community.
3. DoSomething.org – Personalized Mid-Week Motivation
You don’t always need to be super structured to have a successful Twitter campaign. Sometimes it can be as simple as checking in with your audience in a creative way. That means you don’t always need a branded hashtag,have to give a high value prize away or need all the frills of an all-out branded campaign. Engagement campaigns can be as simple as a small series of questions or a memorable CTA like this one from the non profit organization Do Something.
Here’s what Do Something did right:
They Didn’t Ask for Too Much
Right away this campaign is easy to participate in. Do Something isn’t asking for anything but an initial reply. By leaving the audience’s participation to a couple clicks, they are breaking down many barriers to engagement. Instead of asking their community for explicit or creative responses, they trust turning it over to the community to just say hello.
They Didn’t Over Promise
While Do Something mentions they will provide motivation mid week, they didn’t promise an exact time or format. This tactic has two benefits. The first benefit being the enticing element of surprise. This sets the stage for the audience to be delighted when they finally do get their mid-week motivation.
The other benefit is that the community member doesn’t have a high expectation for what they will receive, leaving any future engagement open to more positive and genuine reactions.
They Provided a Timely & Personalized Reward
Do Something approached responding in a super transparent way. They didn’t bother to make super polished and overly designed video content. The organization simply went around the office and sourced members of their team to give their community quick, short videos to cheer them up.
This approach requires minimal bandwidth for the social team and allows them to be fast enough with their responses that they are still timely. The fact that their team members took the time to mention each user by name is a nice dynamic touch to sending a personalized message.
The raw nature of the video responses also makes the interactions feel less forced and more organic, which can make all the difference in how their community interprets the message.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to be unhinged and provide instant engagement. It may seem a little scary to go into social media marketing with an improvisational approach, but sometimes the more candid the conversations, the stronger the relationship between the brand and its community become.
Don’t be afraid to play around with more raw, interactive approaches. You never know how your community will respond. And sometimes the most meaningful engagements come from the more simplistic approaches.
4. Braintree – #CodeAsCurrency
Online payment company Braintree might not have the flashiest brand, but they do know what they are good at, which is making e-commerce beautiful. In an effort to showcase the wide variety of payments that Braintree accepts, they’ve done multitude of in person activations that take “anything” as a form of currency.
While Braintree offers a product, they are also comprised of a tech company and are large contributors to the tech community in their native Chicago. They weave these two themes effortlessly in a campaign they called #CodeAsCurrency.
Here’s what Brain Tree did right:
Braintree takes community partnerships to the next level. They sought to partner up with local Chicago brands, such as Dark Matter Coffee. In exchange for their twitter community figuring out some entry-level code, Dark Matter agreed to provide free coffee. This mutualistic partnership brings awareness to both brands, brings people from offline to in-store, and positions Braintree to be the leader in accepting any type of currency.
Grassroots Approach to Promotion
Braintree is relying on some common grassroots Twitter campaign best practices. These include @mentioning their marketing partners, using eye-catching images and not asking too much of their audience.
Braintree also dabbled in promoting the #CodeAsCurrency Tweets to broaden the reach of their campaign and bring new people into the fold of their community. With the right targeting, this is a perfect recipe to start a campaign from nothing.
Kept It Simple
For anyone participating, the messages were short and sweet. Figure out the code (which was 101 level code), and get free stuff. They didn’t complicate the entry process and they took the social conversation offline once people were in the brick and mortar space. The eye-catching consistency of their code graphics were key to alerting participants to the next #CodeAsCurrency opportunity.
Takeaway: Local partnerships are key. Braintree really benefited from having local partnerships in Chicago that allowed Braintree to provide value. The partnerships were also important for increasing reach and broadening the success of their promoted Tweets.
In addition, bringing light to their engineers and partnering within their organization was a natural way to highlight Braintree’s own use of code to promote smart payment solutions to market.
By putting the spotlight on their own company culture as well as the local businesses, Braintree was able to authentically connect with their community and drive real, in person engagement through social.
5. Google Maps – App Updates
Instagram and Snapchat aren’t the only ways to highlight a visual brand. Brands can confidently use Twitter to establish a visual identity that facilitates immediate brand recognition. This way, rather than having one off campaigns, you can use consistent aesthetics to tie product launches to seasonal moments and virtually any type of content that can fit your visual theme.
Google Maps maintains a uniform visual style that makes it easy for their community to pay attention to and stay engaged with app updates in a fun way.
Here’s what the Google Maps did right:
Had a Defined Style
Every update to the Google Maps App is highlighted in a very similar way. There’s a phone to illustrate the update, and a boldly colored plain background behind the phone. The format of these tweets vary from picture, to GIF to video, yet the content all looks eerily similar. The continual use of this aesthetic cuts through the inevitable noise of social and says to Google Maps users, “Look at me, I’m bookmark worthy.”
Used Tweets to Tease
The app updates tend to show a good overview of what the new feature does. However, Google Maps is astute to always provide their community with a resource that can explain the update further. This gives their community flexibility in how much they want to consume about the update. They are giving their audience a taste of what’s new, but always providing them with a resource in case they want to dive deeper.
The use of a short video is a great way to tease for attention while still providing enough context that you can understand the update at a glance. Google Maps even uses color to draw your eyes to what is relevant, as they did with this pink Valentines Day update.
Had Fun With Tone
We know that Google Maps is important, and we know that app updates are important, but that doesn’t stop Google Maps from using a less buttoned up tone every now and then. They take the opportunity to tie into seasonal holidays with the app update, and even get as playful as to use the popular, relevant hashtag #TreatYoSelf.
Not only are they educating users, informing them of something new, but they are also broadening the value message to infer the more fun applications of the updates.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to be put a stake in the ground when it comes to your visual presence on Twitter. Not all campaigns are centered around call and response. In this case, Google Maps is trying to drive awareness to their new app updates and they do so effectively by creating a consistent style theme in which to post these updates. Google Maps diversifies these updates and keeps it fresh by adapting their approach to seasonality, format and relevancy.
Whether your goal is to drive awareness or engagement, Twitter is a good place to start. Take some inspiration from these Twitter campaigns and see what you can do for your brand.