6 Social Media Marketing Lessons From Big Brands

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Social Media is increasingly at the forefront of the latest innovations, trends, news and opinions on worldwide events. However, are you aware of how vital social media is for business? 

Facebook now has over 18 million Business Pages - with an increase in 1 million new Business Pages every single month, according to the Marketing Land Website.

Mobile Marketing has also had a huge impact on Social Media as these website have become even more readily accessible through the ever expanding creation of mobile applications.  The development of Wi-Fi internet connections has also enabled people to use their mobile devices for a much longer time period, and in many more different locations.

Therefore, in order to maximise awareness of your business, Social Media really is a critical element to include within your Marketing Strategy. 

As a small business owner, it's easy to look at big brands with millions of Facebook fans and Twitter followers and say to yourself 'I could never do that'. But there ARE lessons to be learnt from these big companies, and you can implement the same strategies on a much smaller budget.

1)      Lesson One: Create a range of special offers and promote these regularly through your social media profiles (and your Website!)

Starbucks focus on their different customers wants and needs through their special offers - creating separate offers for different sections of their customer base. This is a fundamental strategy which smaller businesses should focus on in order to make their products more specific to their different target markets.

Starbucks latest customer offer, offering a £2 free drink if you purchase in the afternoon on the same day, throughout August. This effective advert can be seen in prominent position on their homepage http://www.starbucks.co.uk/ 

But it's not just their website - they also promote this offer on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/starbucksuk  Twitter page https://twitter.com/StarbucksUK and their Google+ page https://plus.google.com/+starbucks/posts

For ideas about what special offers to run, read our article '20 special offer ideas for marketing your business.'

2)      Lesson Two: Newsjacking - Focus your Marketing Campaigns on Significant Worldwide Events through Social Media website profiles

YouTube is fantastic way for you to promote your products and services, which can be watched by viewers worldwide multiple times.

Did you know that YouTube themselves have more than 1 billion unique users visit the site each month? And that over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month?

This creates a huge opportunity for 'newsjacking' - creating content which relates to big news stories or events and can take advantage of the huge attention these events and stories generate.

Carling and many other brands such as Warburtons, Coca-Cola and Ryanair have been trying to maximise their business promotional opportunities through directly linking their campaigns to worldwide events which have been broadly celebrated all across the world, in particular the recently arrival of the Royal Baby. Below is an example of a creative advert from Carling:

MarketingTech highlights that there were more than 25,300 tweets per minute on the evening of 22nd July when the Royal Baby was born and the huge interest in this story meant this video achieved over half a million views:

3)      Lesson 3: Make your brand personal to gain brand loyalty

A Key brand who have really personalised their product identities towards the wants and needs of customers is Coca-Cola, such as through personalised names on their bottles and the opportunity to personalise your own coke cans online via the Coke Zone website, http://www.cokezone.co.uk/, and you can also listen to music through Coke's very own Spotify mobile application. 

What is the focus of the Share-A-Coke Campaign?

The key marketing strategy behind the Share-A-Coke campaign was “for people to explore the campaign for themselves”, commented a spokeswoman from Coca–Cola. She also argued “Share-A-Coke packs hit shelves before we officially launched the advertising. As a result, right from the outset, the public reaction and engagement has been phenomenal, with tens of thousands of tweets via social media channels. We look forward to maintaining that interest through the summer as the campaign progresses.”

The Share-A-Coke bottle includes 250 of the most popular names in the UK and is based on their individual 375ml and 500ml PET bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, with larger sharing bottles of Coke set aside for sharing with ‘friends’ and ‘family’.

The campaign itself includes a TV advert which can also been seen through the Coca-Cola YouTube Channel and has been announced and commented on by customers vastly on Twitter and Facebook which can be seen via https://twitter.com/CocaCola and https://www.facebook.com/cocacola

The campaign will also include a range of events throughout the UK in the summer so that new names not already placed on the bottles can be included which can be seen via https://apps.facebook.com/cokezonestudio/item?itemId=1431342141 .

4)      Lesson Four: Promote your product benefits to customers through your advertising and marketing strategies clearly

It is essential to promote your products by showcasing their key benefits clearly, to encourage more potential customers. This is an effective way of encouraging people to understand how the product will help them.

A fantastic example of this is the New Ford Fiesta advert showing that this brand new car is more powerful, efficient and has eco boost technology. The eco boost technology feature has a great impact on people as the world is trying to become more energy efficient in various ways. The advert can be seen on YouTube (below):

5)      Lesson 5: Create a range of Competitions and Campaigns for your target customers and regularly post them on all your social media profiles

The Innocent Drinks Brand began in 1999 and has always focused on ways to engage their fans with their marketing. Their brand was also named as the Number One business in the Social Brands 100 for 2012 and continues to successfully expand their product range, famous for their diverse range of smoothies.

In social media, they focus on a range of competitions and campaigns for their customers to participate in such as the Big Knit Campaign which has been running for 10 years, to raise money for the Age UK Charity to support elderly people in the winter months.

Every year Big Knit Supporters knit woolly hats which are then put on the bottle tops of the Innocent Drink products and sold in Supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s as part of the campaign. Money from every bottle sold goes towards supporting the AgeUk Charity.

They continue to promote this campaign through their Twitter page, https://twitter.com/innocentdrinks website page http://www.thebigknit.co.uk/, Instagram profile http://instagram.com/innocentsmoothies# and their Pinterest profile http://pinterest.com/innocentdrinks/.

You can also see the Big Knit Campaign videos and impact of the campaign on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/innocentdrinksltd

Innocent Competitions

Innocent also run a range of competitions such as through their blog http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/blog/2013/july/win-tickets-to-the-next-innocent-inspires-event and Facebook pages, where they are currently offering you a chance to win tickets to their Innocent Inspires Events. The Innocent Inspires events are a range of events throughout the UK; events already hosted have included the themes of health, ethics, entrepreneurship, taste and creativity. This campaign is also being promoted through their Pinterest page via http://pinterest.com/innocentdrinks/innocent-inspires/ and their website http://inspires.innocentdrinks.co.uk/

What Small Businesses can learn from Innocent Drinks?

Competitions and charity campaigns are a great way to create excellent PR and exposure for your brand.

When you are planning marketing campaigns, make sure you fully promote them through your website and social media channels to maximise the success of your campaign, by broadly encouraging many people to participate. 

6)      Lesson 6: Keep posting consistently and regularly to keep your customers informed all the time and increase your following

Frijj Milkshake is a brand that really keeps customers informed of their product range on Twitter https://twitter.com/Frijj and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/frijj.

For example, they have recently been promoting popular pudding recipe flavours such as banoffee pie, sticky toffee pudding, honeycomb chocolate swirl and caramel latte.

Social media is NOT going away - Twitter in itself is becoming increasingly popular in particular for people to post their opinions on different events that are happening all over the world.

A fantastic campaign is being launched this Summer on Twitter, with the focus of the project being to create a photographic archive of everyday Britain in the future using Twitter suggestions  via this link https://twitter.com/search?q=%23britfuture  

The campaign will involve people being encouraged to suggest locations for the photographs or ask to be involved in some of the photographs themselves. This project will also be supported by a digital poster advertising campaign which will be run through the Clear Channel  Digital Poster Network in London which interactively links in with Social Media through mobile devices. This campaign is based around a Research Programme, known as the Future of Britain being run by OMD UK.

So keep posting, posting, posting  on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Pinterest, Instagram and other social media sites to make sure your customers and new potential customers don’t miss out on the latest advancements of your products!


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photo credit: zubrow via photopin cc