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.
Over 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 PRDaily, Business Insider or the thousands of news articles that have appeared globally since Monday on Google.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Prior to the test, AWeber had a functional landing page in place since 2008.
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.
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.
The Mexico division of Nike launched a unique social commerce campaign called #makeitcount. See Facebook app they made for it. Anyone with Nike shoes equipped with the wireless sensor that tracks your physical activity can win a pair of new shoes if they walk/run more than anyone in a given 15 day time period. You join the Nike auction and bid against others, not in dollars but in miles walked. At the end of each auction, a new auction starts and you have the opportunity again to win.
Great example of how a brand understands the rules of great marketing – to stick to their core story and brand promise which is about selling “performance” not shoes.