When it comes to social media, it’s the smashing hits that get attention. There’s so much noise out there that bold, daring social strategies have the most impact, even if the brands that are executing aren’t especially sexy.
It can be scary to take a risk on social media. We’ve all seen what happens when a bold strategy goes wrong. Remember when J.C. Penney launched their #TweetingWithMittens campaign, and everyone assumed the person manning the account had too many glasses of wine?
Thing is, rewards don’t come to those who aren’t willing to try something new. As long as you know your audience inside and out, and do research outside your company to see how things might go over, you’re likely in a position to do something great. You may find that being bold, daring, and honest on social media is what sets you apart.
Today, we’re sharing some examples of bold, daring social strategies that actually work, and explaining why these flew instead of flopped. These strategies resulted in social media buzz, more fans and followers, and ultimately better brand recognition for the companies who were willing to go out on a limb.
1. Domino’s makes it easy to get a pizza
Pizza is arguably the coolest product in the world, so in some ways, Domino’s has its work cut out for it. Even so, Dominos has been around for a long time, and was intent on upping the percentage of digital orders to 50%.
In May of 2015, Dominos announced via Twitter that it would begin accepting requests for pizza delivery via the pizza emoji. Yep, that’s right. Once a customer registered their Twitter handle with Dominos, they could tweet a pizza emoji, or the words #easyorder, to Dominos on Twitter.
The results were spectacular. Not only did Domino’s achieve beat their digital ordering goal, but the pizza delivery chain’s emoji ordering was covered by USA Today, TIME, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Jimmy Fallon, and Ellen DeGeneres.
As soon as the campaign was announced, thousands of people signed up and ordered a pizza via emoji immediately. Of course, every time an order was placed, the person tweeted, which meant advertising for Domino’s. The campaign generated 1.2 billion earned media impressions, and today, digital ordering accounts for about 60% of Domino’s overall orders. The social strategy won a Shorty Award in the Emoji category for 2015.
2. General Electric proves its cool on Tumblr
When the average person thinks of General Electric, they might imagine their dad or grandfather excited about a bunch of machines. After all, GE has been around for 122 years.
GE has made its way into the future through savvy social media strategies that prove it’s anything but outdated. And the technology leader is intent on raising awareness in affinity, rather than using social media for sales.
One of our favorite examples of GE’s impressive social strategy is its tumblr, which features Badass Machines. The Tumblr includes short videos, photos, and GIFs of some of GE’s coolest and most impressive machinery. Whether you’re an engineer or a freelance writer, you can appreciate how cool the images are.
GE has impressive social media across the board, so it’s worth taking a look at their Twitter, Instagram, and Vine pages. GE has been represented in several Shorty Awards, and won Best Brand on Vine, and Best Fortune 500 Brand on Social Media in the Twitter and Instagram categories.
3. PwC shows off on Snapchat with #BallotBriefcase
Snapchat can be intimidating, especially to B2B businesses who aren’t sure how to approach it. But just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore. Just look at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ #BallotBriefcase campaign.
PwC is an auditing firm, but they also have a history of managing the ballots for the Oscars. In fact, they’ve been doing so for more than 80 years. Instead of fading away into the background, the team at PwC decided to create a Snapchat campaign to increase awareness, especially with millennials, around the brand’s involvement in the Oscars.
To get people excited, PwC showed various people holding the #BallotBriefcase in six citiess across the country, where PwC employees got to meet the briefcase. The team even gave the briefcase its own personality as a “sassy Hollywood diva.”
Not only did the campaign build brand awareness for PwC, it also made the 200,000+ millennial employees excited about working there. When they met the briefcase, they shared their snaps. After three weeks of the campaign, PwC saw 1,062 related tweets and 406 Instagram mentions. Additionally, PwC snagged a Shorty Award in the B2B category.
4. BART gets honest on social
When it comes to government agencies on social media, you don’t expect a lot of personality. Most expect that the social media specialists managing the accounts will tow the line. They’ll never say anything negative about the employer or the situation.
Recently, however, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (otherwise known as BART), took a risk, deviating from standard responses, which are extremely risk averse. The team at BART wondered, “What if we were just honest?”
When an electrical issue took out some of the track, the BART Twitter handle did not assure customers everything would be mine. Instead, it candidly explained that the system is old, and that delays may be the new reality.
According to The Verge, BART’s team said they did this as a tactical move. Being honest would acknowledge the problem with the subway system, and also show that the organization was aware of the issue and doing everything possible to improve the situation.
Final thoughts: Dare to be different
The next time you find yourself frustrated with your company’s engagement on social media, ask yourself it there’s a way to stand out, if there’s a campaign you could run to be truly different. Instead of telling yourself that those crazy strategies are for other brands, work with your team to figure out something daring and bold that would shine for you.