Being a smart brand means taking full advantage of social media marketing.
Even the most mundane product or service can have life breathed into it with a creative marketing campaign. Blenders might sound boring, but Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” videos on YouTube nearly quintupled the company’s sales.
If you’re a business owner, social media marketing is a good place to try out some cutting-edge ideas that might be too expensive to implement with traditional advertising. With that in mind, here are four brands to learn from in the social media arena.
Even a nearly ubiquitous product like Microsoft Windows can use social media creatively. Windows’ Facebook page is simple, clean, and easy to use. Tabs include “Offers,” a way to show users what’s on sale, and “PC Scout,” a way for users to browse through new computers.
The creators of the page have also cleverly realized that some of the Windows TV ads are catchy enough for people to want to re-watch and share them, so they’ve added some to the page.
HomeAway debuted for the second time during the 2011 Super Bowl. They ended up having a customizable version of their Super Bowl commercial available for the public. Users could upload their (or someone else’s) image into the commercial (ala Jib Jab or Face in the Hole… but much better and with more interactivity) and choose from three alternate endings.
The commercials were also shareable socially and with friends.
The popular car company has a Toyota USA Facebook page where users can read autobiographical stories from Toyota owners, which is a great way to make the brand more personal. The stories have animations that go along with them, making them fun and light.
Users can also submit their own Toyota stories. There’s also a tab called “Tiny Football,” where users can watch Toyota-sponsored kids’ football teams. It’s an interactive way for the brand to brag a little bit about its community involvement.
The soft-drink manufacturer’s Facebook page has the usual wall and info tabs. However, one interesting thing Pepsi has started doing on Facebook is setting up a “Pepsi Refresh Project,” a tab where users can learn about Pepsi’s philanthropy.
Users can submit their own grant ideas, as well as vote on which existing ideas should be funded by the company. It’s a great way to make consumers feel like they are involved in the company’s giving, which builds brand loyalty and creates that elusive “warm fuzzy” feeling for many people.
People expect a company like Sony to be on the cutting edge of technology, so the company has naturally invested a lot of time into its Sony Facebook page. Besides all of the rich media to be found, there’s a “make music” tab, where users can vote on their favorite remixes of popular songs like Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
Sony knows that tapping into its users’ creative side is a great way to sell more products.
Since social media campaigns begin and end so quickly, it’s important for business owners to stay on top of trends. Make it a weekly habit to check in with some of your favorite brands online to see what they’re doing in the social media realm.
It will probably inspire you to focus on your own social media branding more and even give you some new ideas. What’s one social media marketing idea you enjoy from one of your favorite brands?