When people talk about social media promotions and highlight best practices from case studies, they are almost always focused on Facebook. And while it makes sense for marketers to turn to the behemoth for their promotions, there are a lot of specialized, smaller networks that are equally effective in achieving results.
When looking to launch a promotion and outlining goals, expand your consideration set to networks that might be more effective in achieving those goals and reaching your intended audience. Don’t get me wrong, I am very bullish on Facebook and believe very strongly that it is a powerful platform for engaging with consumers and fostering long-term relationships and loyalty. But other platforms provide a variety of opportunities for brands to connect with consumers and I think sometimes we have tunnel vision when planning our promotions. Remember, you can always use Facebook and other bigger networks to give your promotion an extended reach.
Here are three examples of brands that looked beyond Facebook to launch their innovative campaigns and why they were effective in their approaches.
In November, GE launched an innovative promotion using the small network Instagram that reinforces its brand message while rewarding consumers. The campaign was a search to identify the next GE Instagrapher to fly to the UK to photograph a world-class jet engine facility. To enter, participants were required to snap photos inspired by GE or photos that embody one of the four ways GE works in the world: moving, curing, powering and building. At Instagram, photos tagged with #GEInspiredMe got pushed to Facebook for voting. The campaign really drove home the GE brand in that it gave consumers a stake in the company and gave them an outlet to spread the GE mission. By pushing the photos to Facebook, GE extended the reach of the campaign immensely, while still using a smaller niche network as the main point of entry.
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Lands’ End “Pin It to Win It”
Last month, Lands’ End announced a holiday “Pin It to Win It” contest hosted entirely on the online pinboard site Pinterest. Lands’ End challenged consumers with creating a Lands’ End pin board by pinning their favorite items from the Lands’ End Canvas collection. To enter, users were required to email a link to their pin board for a chance to win one of 10 $250 gift cards. Lands’ End promoted the campaign on Facebook and even highlighted pinboards. Brands like Nordstrom, Time Inc. and Estsy are also jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. Still technically in beta, Pinterest with only 2.5 million monthly active users, is a great option for brands looking to organically share visual content through users.
Rolling Stone’s Spotify App
Online streaming music service Spotify made headlines recently with the announcement of its apps program. Software developers are now able to use the platform’s key features and functionality to create free applications for the 10 million Spotify users. Rolling Stone quickly capitalized on this opportunity by creating an app called Rolling Stone Recommends. The app will make it easy for users to discover music they want to hear. Users can view album and song reviews and curated playlists from Rolling Stone while simultaneously using Spotify for music streaming. The Rolling Stone and Spotify collaboration is a win-win for both companies. It provides Spotify users with an editorial voice and it gives the magazine the opportunity to integrate music into their print and digital efforts and essentially reach music enthusiasts wherever they are engaged.