Social media campaigns are the fuel for your marketing efforts: a concentrated burst of energy that pays off to significantly increase your reputation, awareness or sales.
A social media campaign consists of a series of coordinated activities aimed at achieving a specific goal over a set period of time. The results can be tracked and measured. It can be limited to a single network or it can take place on multiple social media platforms.
Are you looking for inspiration for your next social media campaign? We've put together a selection of the best social media campaigns in recent times to show you how to do it.
Bonus: Get the Step-by-Step Guide to Social Media Strategies with professional tips on how to increase your social media presence.
7 Social Media Campaign Examples You Can Learn From
Coors Light #CouldUseABeer
Platforms used: Twitter
What Coors Light Did: Coors Light has been running some of the naughtiest campaigns lately, including the Clone Machine, which allows users to record a 30-second video loop of them looking interested during video conferencing so they can sneak away to have a beer. Genius.
This idea followed the latest social media marketing campaign #CouldUseABeer. For a limited time, Coors Light promised anyone who tweeted it with the campaign hashtag a six-pack.
Let's face it – now, America #CouldUseABeer. Tell us who could use a pack of 6 and why. We buy.
Buy beer. required The offer varies depending on the state. See bio for terms and conditions link. Ends on 6/1/20.
– Coors Light (@CoorsLight) April 28, 2020
They kept the giveaway going until they gave away 500,000 beers to grateful customers. The #CouldUseABeer campaign was inspired by another previous social media win for Coors Light. They responded to the pleas of a 93-year-old woman in quarantine who went viral after she posted a sign in her window asking for beer during her quarantine.
Asked Olive and beer is on its way! https://t.co/VnUWwVh2t8
– Coors Light (@CoorsLight) April 12, 2020
Why It Worked: A giveaway is a great way to increase brand awareness and create positive emotions for one simple reason: Everyone loves free content.
But Coors Light already had a head start following positive public interest from their quarantine giveaway. This served as a stepping stone to launch their campaign and gain even more recognition.
What You Can Learn: Timing Is Everything. Not only did Coors Light offer a doctorate addressing the stress and fatigue of a global epidemic, but also capitalized on the last 15 minutes of her fame. When your brand is in the spotlight, don't waste it!
Hello BCs #ExploreBCLater
Platforms used: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
What Hello BC Did: The tourism industry is having a difficult year: air traffic has dropped 95% and almost everyone has canceled their summer vacation plans. It's hard to make a targeted campaign out of this, but the provincial tourism authority, Hello BC, hit the bull's eye with their #ExploreBCLater campaign.
On all social platforms, Hello BC shared a message of social responsibility in the face of the coronavirus, encouraging everyone to stay home and #ExploreBCLater. The campaign was a twist on the brand hashtag #ExploreBC, which built on existing brand awareness and usage.
Along with input from industry partners, the #ExploreBCLater campaign encouraged travelers to share pictures and videos from their travels across the province, offer proxy trips on social media, and keep an eye on these travel destinations.
Did you know that BC is home to nearly 25% of the world's temperate rainforest? Here is a look to help you experience it from the comfort of your own home. Video from @tbains #exploreBClater #stayhome #stayathome #stayhomesavelives #plankthespread #stopthespread pic.twitter.com/AvaUU82rrW
– Target BC (@HelloBC) April 14, 2020
To date, the hashtag has been used over 9,500 times on Instagram, and more posts have also been made on Twitter and Facebook.
Why It Worked: This campaign is powered by User Generated Content (UGC) which will help your brand build its reputation through the audiences and social media channels of influential users. UGC also helps brands build their content library by gathering high quality visual assets from other users and re-sharing them with permission.
The # ExploreBCLater campaign is also beneficial for travel bloggers who have been hard hit by the global pandemic. By participating in the #ExploreBCLater you can convert your existing assets into new posts.
When running a social media campaign, it's always important to offer something valuable to participants as well.
What You Can Learn: Sometimes you need to roll with the punches and find a way to adapt to challenging circumstances. This campaign is a great example of how to turn lemons into lemonade and create a feel-good campaign that gets audiences interested and interested in BC as a travel destination while delivering a responsible and caring message.
Platforms used: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and traditional advertising
What Starbucks did: In February, Starbucks UK partnered with Mermaids, an organization dedicated to helping transgender and gender-sensitive youth, on the #WhatsYourName campaign.
The values-driven campaign, which combined television advertising and social media engagement, focused on Starbucks' desire to be inclusive of people of all genders by honoring their chosen names.
The campaign builds on a familiar aspect of the Starbucks experience – your name is on the side of your mug – by making a commitment to respect the names customers choose to mention.
Trans rights are human rights! #WhatsYourName ad is so beautiful and made me and my girlfriend so emotional. It makes me even more determined to help more trans youth and give them the pride, support, and love they deserve. @Mermaids_Gender @StarbucksUK @Starbucks 🧜🏼♀️ ♥ ️🌈 pic.twitter.com/6BjmiuiFiQ
– Sophie Armishaw @ (@sophiearmishaw) February 2, 2020
It's quite a heartwarming (and award-winning) campaign that invited users on social media to use the hashtag #WhatsYourName. They also encouraged people to post photos of their mermaid tail cookie, which was used to raise funds for mermaids using the campaign hashtag.
Why it worked: This campaign used one of the most traditional advertising methods, a TV commercial, to create a buzz on social media. You created a simple, straightforward campaign hashtag. And they led with their values, which helped make this campaign a real, emotional impact.
What You Can Learn: Many brands avoid politicized topics, but ultimately, your employees and customers want you to make the world a better place. In particular, they want companies to be leaders on diversity and community issues.
Starbucks drew critics with the #WhatsYourName campaign, but by standing up for one thing, they also gained a lot of fans. This reputation building was especially important after they were called in in 2018 about a racist incident at one of their US locations. By sharing campaign messages of inclusivity and respect via #WhatsYourName, Starbucks has been able to restore trust and respect for its customers and show the world what kind of company they want to be.
Platforms used: Twitter
What Digiorno Did: During National Pizza Month 2019 (also known as "October") Digiorno offered free pizza to customers who tweeted #DeliveryDigiorno.
We're getting into the delivery game during National Pizza Month!
Tweet #DeliverDiGiorno + your city and you could have DiGiorno delivered! pic.twitter.com/BCyaNJfpaZ
– DiGiorno (@DiGiorno) September 23, 2019
Confession: I've never eaten Digiorno pizza in my life, but I still remember the slogan from years of prime-time television in my youth: "It's not a delivery, it's Digiorno!" The campaign was brilliant because it played on its most famous attribute.
I just got a free pizza! Free dinner is the best dinner. 😁😁😁 Thanks @DiGiorno! #deliverdigiorno pic.twitter.com/qTFne6H1yO
– Ben Kucharski (@HelloBK) October 31, 2019
We will deliver DiGiorno to Atlanta!
Tweet #DeliverDiGiorno #promo + 🍕 emoji and you could have a DiGiorno pizza delivered today!
NoPurNec.18 + VoidWhereProhib. Rules: https://t.co/vNKeK2aTny pic.twitter.com/YpCoYACNlM
– DiGiorno (@DiGiorno) October 11, 2019
In addition to organic engagement, DiGiorno used advertised tweets and advertised trends to draw attention to their campaign. They also ran a contest asking customers to input which cities would be selected for delivery destinations in order to generate interest.
DiGiorno delivered a total of 1,100 pizzas (still frozen, by the way) in five major cities and achieved 55.3 million impressions for their campaign. A delicious and smart success.
Why It Worked: Digiorno took advantage of National Pizza Month when they knew customers would tweet (and think about) about pizza on Twitter. They combined organic interest and promoted tweets to generate authentic enthusiasm for their activities, and encouraged participation by offering rewards (pizza!) For participating in the campaign hashtag.
What You Can Learn: What Is Your Brand Best Known For? If you play off these traits like DiGiorno, you can attract new fans and charm your current supporters.
If you take advantage of a popular event on social media (like National Pizza Month), you can also surf the waves of audience interest. You won't be the only brand competing for attention, however. So you need to combine a tempting offer and an attention grabbing concept like DiGiorno did.
#DistanceDance with Proctor & Gamble
Platforms used: TikTok
What They Did: Proctor & Gamble – likely the consumer goods giant in charge of your toilet paper and toothpaste – partnered with TikTok sensation Charli D'Amelio to urge people to stay home and the spread of the To prevent coronavirus in March 2020.
Stay home and do the distance. Tag me and the hashtag on your video. P & G donates 25 to Feeding America & Matthew for the first 3M videos #PGPartner
♬ Big Ups (feat.Yung Nnelg) – Jordyn, Nic Da Kid
With the help of the advertising agency Gray, they started the #DistanceDance on D’Amelios channel. TikTok users have been encouraged to include their own version using the campaign hashtag as Proctor & Gamble donated to Feeding America for each of the first 3 million videos.
It is an understatement to say the campaign has started. In the first week alone, #DistanceDance got 8 billion views and 1.7 million iterations, with celebrities, sports teams and other big names involved.
Stay Home and #distancedance For the first 3 million videos posted, P&G will donate 25 to Feeding America & Matthew to help families in need
♬ Original sound – ashleytisdale
Contact @charlidamelio to inspire Rosie Red to try the distance. Stay home and stay safe everyone! | #reds #fyp
♬ Big Ups (feat.Yung Nnelg) – Jordyn, Nic Da Kid
The hashtag currently has 16 billion views and is growing.
Why it worked: Dance challenges are the be-all and end-all of TikTok. Users share simple, original choreographies tuned to popular songs that other users can imitate or ripple. Teen users even put their parents in dance challenges.
By understanding TikTok and its audience, the creators of #DistanceDance have made a home run.
What You Can Learn: A smart influencer partnership can take your campaign to incredible heights. D’Amelio is the most-visited influencer on the platform with over 59 million fans, but you don't necessarily have to work with the biggest influencer you can afford. The more important factor is being fit: finding an influencer who aligns with your brand values and audience.
Plus, many brands still have to venture into TikTok, even though the platform is now (and growing) the sixth largest social network. It's especially popular with Gen Z, with roughly half of all users between the ages of 18 and 24. So if your brand is looking to reach a young, savvy audience, consider the power of TikTok (or maybe even TikTok's competitor Reels).
Spotify # 2019Wrapped
Platforms used: Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
What Spotify has done: Since 2017, Spotify has been sharing year-end data with its users and summarizing the most popular songs, albums and artists in a personalized "Spotify Wrapped" summary.
For 2019, they got bigger, with a recap of the past decade (2010-2019) showing how users' listening habits and preferences have evolved. These summary snapshots were provided in shareable image formats and are perfect for posting on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Thank you @RollingStones for spending 2 hours with me on @Spotify this year. You are my number 1. #spotifywrapped https://t.co/tNi0xzbXnN
– John (@ThetalkJohn) December 30, 2019
The irresistible nostalgia combined with the fun of personalized data made for an incredibly shareable campaign, which is why your feeds were likely to be dominated by # SpotifyWrapped posts in December.
Spotify also created personalized summaries for artists where they could see how many fans they had, what countries their music was streamed in, and how many hours in total they streamed.
Why it worked: Users love personalized data – even if some of us would (ahem) be grateful not to know the number of times we've listened to Adele cry. This is why you can't resist a good buzzfeed quiz or a particularly accurate horoscope.
Providing users with fun and insightful data visualizations to share, Spotify essentially creates a successful advertising campaign that their users can use to promote them. That kind of social proof is hard to beat. The Spotify Wrapped format is so recognizable that it even became a meme.
What You Can Learn: You can recycle a great campaign year after year if you add some thoughtful updates to keep it interesting. Spotify added new data and insights for 2019, including wrapped summaries for podcasters, and created world maps to show users where their music is being made:
Tying your campaign to an annual event (like the end of the year) also increases the anticipation of your fans and helps them grow bigger each year.
Pantone color comment
Platforms used: Twitter
What Pantone Did: A one-day campaign that coincided with Super Bowl 2020 in which Pantone's Twitter account shared a live play-by-play called #BigGameColorCommentary.
The campaign was inspired by a colorful coincidence: for the first time in the history of the Super Bowl, the two teams had the same basic color. In fact, the reds of the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers were only one point apart in the Pantone color index.
We have you! @darrenrovell #BigGameColorCommentary pic.twitter.com/5BXYHGLjCs
– PANTONE (@pantone) February 2, 2020
Pantone tweeted live along with the big game and provided a color-coded breakdown of the action.
Congratulations Coach! #BigGameColorCommentary pic.twitter.com/h2YWfUsiWM
– PANTONE (@pantone) February 3, 2020
Look at the PANTONE 14-0756 TCX flag! #BigGameColorCommentary pic.twitter.com/udJ4PMwpGT
– PANTONE (@pantone) February 3, 2020
Why it worked: This campaign was fun, original, and creatively used Pantone's brand identity as a color expert. A bridge was built between sports fans and design enthusiasts, with accessible posts that everyone could enjoy. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year, and Pantone has found a way to capitalize on that interest in surprising ways.
What you can learn: Campaigns can be short and sweet! If you lack the resources (or executive support) to start a resource-intensive campaign, try something fun and finite to test the water and see how your audience reacts.
Also, don't limit yourself if you're looking for a timely opportunity to start a campaign! No one would have put "pantone" and "soccer" in the same sentence before, but that unexpected angle was exactly why it worked! Think outside the box and you may come across a brilliant idea.
Common elements of successful social media campaigns
As you've probably noticed, these campaigns all looked quite different. What makes a social media marketing campaign successful? Here are the main ingredients:
1. You are loyal to the brand. Each of these campaigns reflects the brand identity and values in a way that resonates with their fans. No matter how clever the concept or the budget, a campaign that doesn't make sense to your brand won't work.
2. You are focused. Every campaign has a single, simple message at its core: For Spotify, it's "Your Year in Music". For Coors Light it's "free beer!" Your customers should never try to figure out what your campaign is about or be clear about what you are asking of them. Stick to one goal and one central message per campaign.
3. They are trackable. Each campaign has its own hashtag or channel so that companies can measure key success indicators. In an awareness campaign, this can be mentions or approvals. For competitions this can be the number of entries. Whatever your campaign goal, make sure you have an impact assessment plan.
4. They are unique to each platform. Broadcasting identical content on each platform is less of a hassle for your social media team, but it looks sloppy.
Good campaigns have core messages that are tailored to each platform and use the strengths of this network. User expectations on Twitter are different from those on TikTok, and the wrong tone or messaging can be quite irritating. Make sure you consider your target audience on each social network when developing your messages.
5. You are on time. Each of the above campaigns responded to the current events and activities that were front and center for the audience.
A social media content calendar that lets you keep track of annual events like the Super Bowl (or National Pizza Month) is a great way to plan and use opportunities to make an impact
6. You are emotional. Emotional doesn't always mean sentimental or tearful (although if you got foggy during this Starbucks campaign you won't be alone!). But to be unforgettable, you should feel something when you see them.
A great campaign offers the audience a meaningful and real message to connect with. Whether you want the audience to feel empowered, nostalgic, delighted, or understood, your campaign should be based on a shared feeling.
7. They are original. To paraphrase Peggy Olson on Mad Men, you should never try to imitate someone else's successful idea: "You come second, which is very far from first."
Each of these campaigns succeeded because they offered something unique and interesting to the audience. Pantone delivered a new version of the sports commentary. Proctor & Gamble gave TikTokkers a brand new dance. Social media users are bombarded with content every day. To get noticed, you need to provide something fresh and interesting.
Ready to start your next social media campaign? Let's go!
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