On-point social media has become essential for engaging target audiences. In a digitally evolving world, it therefore comes as no surprise that individuals – as well as organisations – are stepping up the game in their social media campaigns.
When working as a communication specialist, it's not only important to keep up-to-date with what the creative industry is doing, but take note of what went well and how this could be used for your own campaign.
Standing out from the crowd
At this year's Shorty Awards, which for the last eight years have recognised exceptional content on social media, a wealth of creative campaigns were mentioned. Of the plethora of great examples however, three stood out to us: 'Narcos', 'Love Has No Labels', and 'My Tales of Whisky Yule Log'.
First, the Netflix original series 'Narcos' – centered around Columbia's Medellin drug cartel – gained a following of two million people on social media after building a relatable identity for their viewership. Engaging with current events, the campaign created two highly effective hashtags – #GOPdebate and #Cokenomics – that educated the audience on both the U.S. president's environmental address and Columbian cocaine trade.
Second, 'Love Has No Labels' approached bias surrounding unconventional love. A live x-ray displayed skeletons kissing, hugging and dancing; letting the audience complete the picture in their minds. When the protagonists stepped out from behind the screen, the audience was often surprised by seeing same-sex couples. The bias-challenging campaign hit 160 million views and nearly 2 billion media impressions within three weeks.
Last but not least, 'My Tales of Whisky Yule Log' aimed to introduce younger audiences to single malt whisky by starting a social conversation. Predominantly focused on spreading stories via YouTube, the campaign reached 840 million media impressions across all social media and increased the subscriber base of Yule Log from 5,500 to 23,000.
How to run a good social media campaign
Effective social media campaigns essentially boil down to being prepared, something Pixlee Marketing manager Juliet Carnoy agrees with. She suggests the following steps for campaign success:
- Be clear about your goals and objectives. Focus on what the end-goal is and work backwards.
- Strike up a conversation with your audience. Social media campaigns have better ROI when consumers are actively engaged.
- Choose your channels carefully. Always have the target public and overall goal in mind when deciding what media to use.
- Focus on content quality. Ensure all communication is on-brand and relevant, both online and offline.
- Record and analyse both qualitative and quantitative measures to judge how successful the campaign was.
The quintessence of success, however, lies within authenticity. We suggest staying true to your brand's voice instead of trying to imitate someone else's.