Chipotle’s Twitter Stunt Blows Up With 4,000 Extra Followers, Garners Mixed Reviews


Popular burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill baffled and amazed on Sunday, July 21st, pulling off what appeared to be a clever (or not-so-clever) marketing ploy by using an interesting approach via Twitter: “Noobism”. What’s a noob you ask? Basically, someone who doesn’t know how to use the internet, a derivative of the term “newbie”.

At first, it appeared Chipotle’s corporate Twitter account had been hacked when a series of “stream of consciousness tweets” were deployed over the course of about 40 minutes, including apparent searches for an “avocado store” in Arvado, Colorado and what looked to be a text message to a significant other requesting some grocery items of the guacamole-making variety.

Was whoever manning Chipotle’s community management duties asleep at the wheel? Was their iPhone co-opted by a grandparent who had no clue how to work the newfangled gadget? Nope. Chipotle came out and admitted the Twitter tomfoolery was indeed premeditated and part of their 20th anniversary promotional campaign. A rep from Chipotle noted their Twitter account grew by over 4,000 followers the day of the stunt compared to its average of around 250 followers a day. The “hack” tweets were retweeted about 12,000 times; Chipotle usually sees about 75 retweets per day. Overall, the company feels their unique marketing tactic went over well; unfortunately, not everyone agrees. Some saw the incident as a breach of trust and representative of all things that lower Twitter’s credibility. Some felt pulling a stunt like this could potentially alienate a loyal following and jeopardize customer trust.

While Chipotle wasn’t the first brand to stage its own hack, it certainly did get a lot of attention, whether positive or negative, that might come secondary to the fact it did indeed serve to get people talking and made headlines.


Ford Motor Company Handles Online Crisis with Aplomb

While this isn’t exactly the typical case study you’d find here (yet), it’s timely and holds a good lesson for anyone managing a brand online.

bondage02Over this past weekend (March 23rd and 24th) a creative agency in India mocked up some ads featuring risque content and using Ford branding. The “rogue group” were attempting to have some fun and show off their creative talents. What they didn’t expect was the backlash. By using unauthorized Ford branding and putting these three ads online, the ad agency was opening themselves up to a full-on Global response from Ford. The ads went viral and began to spread across the web and controversy exploded.

Scott Monty, Ford’s Global Head of Social Media, saw the article on Business Week right before boarding a plane in Europe. Their Asia-Pacific office was tasked with handling the fallout and subsequent buyer comments.

Monty  credits a well-integrated team and a globally coordinated effort paired with an excellent social media monitoring system for successfully staying in front of this potential crisis.  For smaller companies, the lesson is to monitor your social media carefully and make sure you have a competent social media team involved before anything happens so you’re ready to handle it.

For more information about how this crisis was handled, check out PR Daily, Business Insider or the thousands of news articles that have appeared globally since Monday on Google.


Digitally Competent Beverages Drive Sales


Heineken is winning the digital war for eyeballs, engaged consumers and sales, according to think tank L2.

Social media is evolving, and in order to keep up, brands must work to stay one step ahead of their competition. Heineken has done this so successfully, their biggest competition on YouTube has less than one half of Heineken’s numbers. In addition to a thriving YouTube community, the brand has also claimed the most Facebook fans with the most engagement and the most Twitter followers. Heineken also controls 60% of the organic searches on Google.

Part of their success has to do with a massively upgraded website, allowing the brand to capture data and tailor user accounts based on personal preference. This is big data management and manipulation at it’s finest. Brands have to choose their social media channels carefully, and Heineken has done an amazing job.

Find the rest of the case study and details about Heineken’s standing among other beer brands at L2.



Filmmaker Uses Social Media to Compete with Multimillion Dollar Hollywood Films


The world stood still and watched with horror as 15 year old Pakistani education activist, Malaya Yousafzai, was rushed to a British hospital after an assassination attempt by the Taliban.

What does this have to do with social media?

Malaya’s experience was a shot heard ’round the world and was one of the catalysts for a documentary called Girl Rising. The 100-minute film showcases 9 girls’ stories, from 9 different countries and their struggles just to get an education. When the people behind Girl Rising started to look at ways in which to market the film, they went directly to the grass roots. There was no way they would be able to compete with the budgets Hollywood documentaries had at their disposal. Producers chose to circumvent the traditional route of theatre distribution and rely entirely on social media tools to build a community and spread their message. As of March 3, 2013, Girl Rising has more than 245,000 fans on Facebook, more than 32,000 tickets pre-reserved and 500 screenings have been requested nationwide.

This kind of distribution and promotion–the Hollywood 2.0 route–is ground-breaking for smaller projects.

For more details, see Daily Beast’s coverage on the filmmakers, the movie, and their marketing efforts. The official trailer is available here.


Nike Stole The Olympics from Adidas

London’s Summer 2012 Olympics embraced social media more so than any other Games before it (even Vancouver’s Winter Olympics which was where the social media movement surrounding the Olympic Games began). That meant that their advertisers and major sponsors had an additional channel to reach consumers.

Adidas was an official sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Nike sponsored many of the individual teams and athletes. Nike took to social media channels as well as developing heart-string-tugging television ads resulting in an increase of more than 11% for @Nike from opening to closing ceremonies and only 4% for @adidasoriginals.  Nike used every inch of the Olympic experience it could to get people talking about their brand and they were wildly successful.


To read the rest of the case study, please visit L2: A Think Tank for Digital Innovation.

Lowe’s Sees Dramatic Increase in Followers

Pinterest is on the lips of every company with beautiful or creative products. When Lowe’s was faced with the desire to engage their one million Facebook fans on their Pinterest boards, they went to where the people were.


By using a custom Pinterest Tab on their Facebook Fan Page, Lowe’s is able to automatically pull content from their Pinterest boards and fans can see the many Lowe’s ideas and products, all without having to leave Facebook. In just nine days, Lowe’s saw a 32% increase in engagement with their followers on Pinterest. Now, almost a year later, the company has 2.1 million fans on Facebook and 3.4 million followers on Pinterest.

Lowe’s has been actively cultivating the audience of mostly women, ages 25-34, who spend the majority of their webtime on Pinterest by posting product images tied to home décor and do-it-yourself project ideas since October 2011. Followers are also encouraged to “pin” their own product pictures (with pricing), video clips and ideas on any of the 25 boards created by the company.

Other retailers and brands tapping into the Pinterest audience include Whole Foods, Nordstrom Bergdorf Goodman, HGTV and Real Simple Magazine.

Read more:

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The Gap Is Using Postagram To Build Loyalty

The Gap is giving its Facebook fans an easy way to convert any photo from their profile into a printable postcard ready to send to their friends and family during the 2012 Christmas season.  They are doing this to build brand loyalty and create an emotional connection to the Gap brand.  They are giving away 1,000,000 postcards to their fans.  Two per person.

Click here for full article on Venture Beat

7 Successful Social Media Campaigns From KLM Airlines

One of the largest airlines in the world, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, is also considered one of the best in converting “Likes” into paying customers.  Part of their marketing success is their willingness to take bold yet calculated risks.  They are able to do this because they understand the customer buying journey.  The touch points along the journey a lead or existing customer takes as they experience the KLM brand and then, how KLM works to improve each touch point along the path.

They began in social media the summer of 2009.  Since then, they had a few failures along with great successes.  One of their more controversial and successful campaigns is their Meet and Seat initiative.  See below video.  It’s a way for you to see who you may be sitting next to days before you board the plane.

Seven Social Media Campaigns Documented

To read the case studies of each campaign, go to their Facebook Page and click our social journey.  They provide details about each campaign and insight into what made each one successful.  They also did a 4 part series about their social media strategy.  Part 3 of the series talks about some of the campaigns.  Skip 1, 2, and 4.  Weak on substance and depth.   Not worth your time to read unless you are new to social media.



Blog’s Opt-In Rate Jumps By 400%

AWeber Communications, an email marketing firm, wanted to increase subscribers to their blog by optimizing their landing page through A/B Testing.  They focused on stronger headlines, social proof, and a more direct call to action.   As a result, opt-in rates quadrupled.

The Purpose

The goal of this campaign was to increase the amount of subscriptions to the blog, and make sure the current sign up process was the best it could be.  Anticipating significant results, AWeber also wanted to use it’s test as an example for why A/B testing is important.

Old Page

Prior to the test, AWeber had a functional landing page in place since  2008.


New Page

Recently they decided it was time for a change.  They found a number of successful blogs use the “X Reasons to Subscribe” format.  This format states compelling benefits to joining the mailing list.  Below is what they migrated to after a number of A/B tests and revisions.  The results were almost 4 times as successful as their prior landing page above.

Why New Page Outperformed Old

Justin Premick, Director of the Education Marketing Team at AWeber, says this: “Looking at the pages side by side, it seems obvious that the 2nd one would do better. The “X Reasons to Subscribe” format is powerful stuff. And if that’s all you need to take away from this to go test your own subscribe page, that’s fine by me.”

Data for this case study was graciously provided by one of our readers, Crystal Gouldey, of AWeber.



Who Is The Most Social Ice Cream Brand – Ben and Jerry’s

Ben and Jerry’s, headquartered in Vermont, is the best among their competitors at integrating their social marketing into the fiber of their operations.  It’s not a bolt on to the marketing department but at the core of their strategy and embedded into their operational and CRM software.   The secret ingredient – they have a well thought out editorial calendar and experienced community managers creating and curating their digital content.

Key Points

  • Creative new flavor announcements
  • Tie offline with online
  • Amplify their message
  • Interactive community