Social media has been one of the most powerful tools for brands to connect with the public and target customers for quite a few years. Due to the increasing competition and the fact that people are getting more accustomed and less impressed to the traditional social media marketing strategies, innovativeness has become far more important.
Five inspiring social media strategies that are innovative will be listed and explained with examples in this article. We wish the readers could be sparked with these smart ideas.
1. Take Advantage of High-profile Incidents
The purposely made marketing campaigns have turned out to be less effective these days as in this information-overloaded age, people are over-whelmed by the eye-catching information. Therefore, to take advantage from those highly attentive incidents and market the brand or products in line somehow has become more powerful than creating campaigns the brands themselves.
At the time when Momo, the Chinese largest stranger-friends-making app, went for public in America, Netease has suddenly made an announcement indicating that their former employee, Tangyan, who is now the CEO of Momo, had illegal behaviors during the time when he was working for Netease. Furthermore, Netease accuses that Tangyan had conducted illegal dealings to benefit his wife’s advertising company when he was the chief editor of Netease. Although there was no response given back from Momo side to this accuse at the moment, many brands have already put great interest and effort in changing this high-profile incidence a great marketing material. Jiayuan.com, China largest matchmaking website, has led the wave: its newly released marketing content took pleasure sarcastically on and applied the broke up of the relation between Netease and Momo to highlight its own character – helping you looking for the true love. This originality, though is commercialized with branding purpose, has successfully gained the public recognition and stood out from the thousands of marketing content during the time, and been shared million times among Weibo and Wechat.
2. Buzz-Making with the Public Topics
A public topic, such as the one with a hot laughing point is not only high recognizable, but also something that will create a strong print on public’s memory. If brands can work out their marketing campaign with these easily impressing and highly diffusible topics, the effect is considerable.
Couldn’t remember who created this ‘Mom, please slap me again (sounds so hilarious)’ comics but it did bring out a huge number of followers, especially among those post 80s. Not only the characters are picked from the old textbook these post-80s generation was using when they were little, but also the funny situation it creates has reminded every post-80s young age when they were ‘given lessons’ by the parents.
Sunny Appliance has made a great use of this laughing point by inserting their ‘Double Eleven’ promoting slogan ‘A fool you will be if buying things without comparing’, ‘Sunny Appliance Online, the cheapest ever’. It has even made an opposite version against their competitor TMALL in their iconic branding color.
This trendy idea has created a great buzz for the brand and gained many followers and sharers on different social media platforms; some users have even made their own versions to ridicule the two brands. Behind this whole event, Sunny has achieved a great marketing goal for both awareness increasing and promotion facilitating purpose.
3. Disclosure and Involvement
How thoughtful a version upgrade for a mobile app could be? None seems considering that as careful as 360 Mobile assistant, a subsidy of 360 PC assistant: it took nearly two weeks time to review from 130,000 different colors and ask for advices from one of top Chinese painter only for picking a suitable theme color for the upcoming new version.
Despite the whole long story the brand made for this color selecting program and the endorsement behind such as Maldives Blue presents a feeling of youth and warm that suits best with the new version, this process has successfully gained a huge attention to this version upgrade, and further more to the product and brand.
We are not sure how much a well-selected theme color can benefit the new version of the product; however, to release the whole selecting process to the public and highlight how much care has been put to achieve the final goal seem really a smart new way to market the product and gain public attention through the social media platforms as the users nowadays are more interested and willing to be aware of and involved into the brand development and decision making process.
4. Going Viral
Zero cost, incredible coverage, and huge amount of capital acquisition, widely adored and participated by those top elites and KOLs around the whole world, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised 11,400,000 US dollars for less than one month time (29th July to 20th August, 2014) globally, and been described as the smartest social media marketing case so far. Virus marketing, the key element behind the popularity of this worldwide event, has popped into marketers’ eyes as an innovative strategy to study about.
If we look closely to the track of the popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge, we will find the tricks to go viral. First of all, celebrities and KOLs are important in spreading the name and information. The true smartness of the Ice Bucket Challenge is it has created a great reason – charity, for those top-tiered elites to participate and a perfect excuse – to be called names, for those KOLs and celebrities to take the chance to show off, to enhance the fame and to present their business. Therefore, a properly set ‘reward’ is the second key for its popularity. The campaign form that is being simple and easy with almost no threshold for participating and experiencing is another important reason that why this campaign can burst dramatically in such a short time. Virus campaign also needs to reach the audience emotionally. Looking at the whole event, we found that no matter it is touching for raising money to save the poor ALS patients, or giving a chance to the public to laugh at those celebrities at their embarrassment, both the participants and watchers have been well affected emotionally pre- and post- the campaign. This is why so many people re-tweeted or re-shared the campaign throughout the social media platforms.
5. Being Vulgar might be Effective
Haier group in China is famous not only for its long history and appliance equipment, but also because of a comic series it invested. The whole comic series was really the top popular comics for almost every post-80s and has been a part of their childhood. However, since the generation has grown up to adult and been affected by some minor or more opened culture and materials, such as homosexuality, the two boys they knew from the comics seem more and more interesting due to their ‘So Close’ relationship.
We couldn’t say that Haier did it purposely by collecting the new image from social media for its brand logo (Haier group has the same logo of two boys as the comics they invested) as they think that the two kids also need to grow up as well. However, this idea has drew an large scale of pranks among the public: many post-80s society, who are also the main users of the social media platforms, have been so excited to finally get a chance to realize their ‘evil thoughts’ of the two grown boys (see picture right above).
Though Haier group has announced that there was no suitable new image collected at the end of the campaign and been very serious with some of the creations (many of them were deleted by Haier group staff right away), the campaign has gained over millions’ attention and follow-ups, making the brand one more time the heat topic.