The #MeToo movement saw a fall of very high profile celebrities, politicians and businessmen around the globe. A brand that is highly associated with masculinity and getting the best from its product, took it upon themselves to use the leverage of the brand recognition by starting a social media campaign that focuses on “Gillette committing to donate $1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organizations executing programs in the United States designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal “best” and become role models for the next generation”.
As the brand has promoted its tag line “The Best A Man Can Get” for over 30 years, it decided that to stay true to its values and carry on the tagline's tradition it needed to socially and publicly begin a awareness campaign and donate to non-profits to show to its consumer, investors and employees that it cares about the social environment and since their brand's marketing campaign focuses on the personality of the man that is currently under threat in a toxic environment due to wrong actions of individuals it took the courageous step to launch such a campaign.
Although reactions to this campaign revolved around the opposite ends of the spectrum, the #BestMenCanBe social media campaign garnered over 1.5 million mentions in the first 24 hours. This goes on to show that if a brand like Gillette uses the right campaigns on social media, it can spread the impact and the awareness of corporate social responsibility efforts that are directly tied down to the brand's heritage and its the products.
Being a Hollywood star is pretty synonymous with looking good and being fit, however in the case of Chris Hemsworth, the God of Thunder himself, has taken things to a new level. Often proclaimed the hottest and funniest Avenger, Thor (Hemsworth) has often shared snapshots of his workout routines over social media, showing his fans how much work he puts into maintaining his body so that he looks good on the big screen.
With fitness and wellness being the hottest trends in today's social media engagement, it was a no brainer for Hemsworth to launch his own fitness and wellness app called “Centr”. Built around providing access to the team that supports him and for users to get fitter, stronger and happier, the platform offers expert curated content featuring Hemsworth's personal team handpicked by him and is wife Elsa Pataky. It centers around eating right, exercising right and living right. With a host of starter packages and customizability, the fitness and wellness platform has seen a wide recognition very quickly.
Considering Hemsworth himself is behind the platform, with an estimated global fan following of 32.7 million on Instagram alone, its a no brainer that he and his team used global social media marketing as the primary tool to promote the uniqueness and affordability of “Centr”. Given how new the platform is, it will probably take a while before more information becomes available on the strategy employed by “Centr” to further develop engagement with the consumers it currently enjoys through Instagram.
Plastics in the ocean have been the talk around the world ever since pictures of popular island destinations surfaced with unimaginable levels of plastic pollution. The impact of plastics on marine life has been extensively documented and aired across various media channels, however no major non-profit or mainstream company has taken up the challenge to do something about until the partnership of Adidas and Parley.
With the soul aim to avoid, intercept and redesign (A.I.R), the collaboration between sports equipment manufacturer Adidas and non-profit Parley for the Oceans focuses on reducing ocean plastics pollution through education and awareness in addition to using the reclaimed ocean plastics as a primary material for Adidas' Parley product line.
According to a recent Forbes report, Adidas made a limited run of 9000 pairs of shoes that incorporated the reclaimed ocean plastics into the materials of the product, selling out globally and setting the stage for the collaboration to grow into a potential billion dollar business. In addition to helping cleaning the oceans, Adidas also supported the launch of Run for the Oceans project through which it challenged people around the world to raise money by contributing a dollar for every kilometer run by participants in the project.
With the help of Adidas' high end endorsement deals and commissioned athletes, the company turned to social media campaigns to expand the reach of their mission to save the oceans while promoting their product line that would provide the medium for consumers to take part in their annual Run for the Oceans initiative that would serve as the biggest fundraiser for the Adidas x Parley collaboration to have a global effect.
With a spike in the use of social media platforms across most industries, it's not surprising to see high end car brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Volvo shift their focus on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for their respective marketing campaigns. These platforms have drastically increased customer interaction/engagement and also provided a fantastic base for market research for all these firms. Car brands can use it as an inexpensive tool to gauge consumer preferences and trends based on responses to the content put out on all the platforms.
Ever so often, consumers are however limited to photos of limited edition car releases or whacky concepts or brand new model launches. This has completely changed for the better as high end car brands have begun to partner with global social media influencers like James (MrJWW) and Alex Hirshi (Supercarblondie) with a combined audience reach of over 4 million viewers/followers across Instagram and YouTube alone.
With the help of these social media influencers car brands are now providing direct access to people around the world whenever they launch new cars and concepts. Since most of the biggest auto show reveals happen at Geneva (Switzerland), Pebble Beach (USA) and Shanghai (China), invitations to these events are rather exclusive and invite only especially if it's a brand like Lamborghini or Ferrari. The general public has limited access to the new cars or concepts, however people can now live through the access given to social media influencers to learn more about the car and the brand.
Hence, it isn't surprising to see high end car brands tailor their marketing campaigns in terms of press releases and press conferences to include social media influencers like MrJWW and Supercarblondie get first access that can be shared with all their followers. This helps the companies create the necessary buzz and hype that traditional car magazine and publications are limited to as consumers turn to those publications for their opinion on the build quality and drivability of the car rather than the first access content.
As more car brands are pushing into the lifestyle aspect of owning a car, the connection made through social media influencers tends to reach out further than traditional news publications as most of the influencers tailor content on the aspect of living with high end cars and the various adventures they take in order to enjoy their high priced possessions. This is much harder to do through the car brands own social media pages as consumers will only look at the content as a promotion rather than making an emotional connection that they usually make when they see the same content through social media influencers. Given the success of the partnerships with social media influencers, car companies have begun to focus further on marketing campaigns that can be tailored around the lifestyle of these social media influencers to make that emotional and personal connection with their consumers.
Red Bull was founded in 1987 in Fuschl am See, Austria by Dietrich Materschitz. His inspiration for the company can be attributed to Krating Daeng – a popular energy drink of Thailand that is mostly consumed by blue collar workers. Mateschitz developed a formula for the beverage and created a differentiation strategy, repositioning the brand as a premium product while developing an action sports lifestyle marketing campaign. Red Bull didn’t develop a new product but rather created a new product category.
In 1992 Red Bull expanded into international markets that included Hungary and Slovenia. Red Bull entered the United States in 1997, when it became available only in California. In the year 2000, the company expanded into the Middle East. Today Red Bull is available in 171 countries and over 68 billion cans of Red Bull have been consumed so far. Financial information remains confidential as the company’s majority stake remains privately held by the Mateschitz family. This rapid international expansion was not driven by pure luck or brilliant marketing strategy through traditional channels, it was built on top of a successful global social media advertising campaign.
The first right move adopted by the company was securing presence across all social media platforms. This ensured that the company could communicate with different audiences and amplify the potential reach of its brand. However, the company went further into realizing that there were different groups of customers with similar interest within each platform. Therefore, Red Bull decided to secure multiple pages and accounts across all platforms, so it could tailor specific content for different niches inside its broad customer audience. For instance, the company has pages on Facebook named “Red Bull”, “Red Bull Adventure”, “Red Bull Snow”, “Red Bull Music”, and so on. Similarly, the company owns different YouTube channels such as “Red Bull Music & Culture”, “Red Bull Surfing”, “Red Bull Motorsports”, etc.
Securing its presence in different social media channels could ensure that the company could potentially reach different customers and creating different pages for each niche helped to build relevant and engaging content tailored to them. However, Red Bull’s biggest success should be heavily attributed to understanding its main customer segment right from the start. Red Bull started as an energy drink company but soon acknowledged that its main consumers were not energy drink enthusiasts or tired people looking for a spike on energy, but rather artistically driven persons with an active lifestyle and young individuals within the action sports arena. Therefore, Red Bull started releasing “complementary” products to support this brand positioning, and today has a wide range of products that extend outside the beverage space. The company has Red Bull TV, Red Bulletin, endorsed athletes, and hosts several globally recognizable sport and entertainment events. Red Bull has been effective with their marketing efforts in creating a community around the brand. This helps create a statement around what your brand actually stands for and it is a huge advantage when creating content for its audience on social media. For example, Red Bull is present on the skateboarding niche through its Instagram account, @redbullskate, and could easily relate to amateur skateboarders that love to see the skateboarding content and end-up relating the amount of adrenaline and energy that seems to be present on the posts to drinking the Red Bull energy drink.
Red Bull is always providing content that people would like to speak about, share with their friends, and engage in social media. This was the case of the Red Bull Stratos Project, a space diving project involving Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner parachuting to Earth from the stratosphere. With over 4.5 million views in only one of the company’s YouTube channels, the video of this project went viral worldwide, gathering enough attention for the project, the Red Bull brand and, consequently, for the energy drink products that had their sales rising.
In summary, Red Bull is way more than just an energy drink company or even more than just an energy drink and radical sports event company. Red Bull is a marketing powerhouse on steroids. The company understand its main audience and knows how to build special content for them both on the digital and real world. With a huge team dedicated only to the company’ social media efforts, Red Bull seems to understand the pros and cons of each platform and how to best leverage them to its interests. This was undoubtedly a crucial factor in the global success of the Red Bull brand, today seen as a radical sports and energy drink company.
There are several articles and studies out there showcasing the power of social media. However, sometimes it takes a practical and inspiring example to really understand how this platform can generate such a big impact. One such example can be witnessed in Stacey Heale’s powerful talk at TEDx. Although the subject of this talk is not directly on social media marketing – the main topic of this series of blog posts -, there are valuable lessons to be learned from Stacey that could be leveraged both by companies engaging in social media marketing and individuals concerned with personal branding and/or personal development.
Stacey Heale, a fashion academic and researcher, decided to get out of social media motivated by the feeling that she was losing a lot of time on useless videos and articles posted by her friends. The days following her decision to shut down all her social media accounts were very productive and she felt great, feeling very present at every moment of her day. However, shortly after she was negatively impacted by the news that her husband, Greg, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. It was already difficult to handle this situation on her own, but it started to get worse when she made the first few phone calls to family members and close friends. The problem was that they were getting very emotional over the phone, crying and even getting angry at the situation, which caused even more trauma for Stacey and Greg. The next form of sending out this bad news was through text messages, which might sound odd but it is a safe way to deliver the news from a certain distance and not feel the impact on the other side. The next day she decided to reactive her Facebook account and let more friends now through social media. Stacey and her husband chose an “appropriate” picture and the right message to post the news on her Facebook page. After making the post, Stacey started receiving several notifications of people sending her messages and these “beepings” did not stop for over a month. She was overwhelmed with the number of messages of love and support.
This was certainly great to help Stacey and her family through this difficult scenario. However, the bad news did not stop at her husband’s diagnosis. She realized that without a private health insurance plan the treatment cost £100,000 and she and her husband had neither the health insurance plan nor the money to pay the treatment. Therefore, she decided to start a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for her husband’s treatment. Stacey felt very uncomfortable about asking for money through social media but she needed to put herself out there for her husband. She started the campaign, cross her fingers, shared a post on her Facebook, and luckily 24,000 people in 48 hours raised the £100,000. The total amount gathered was over £200,000.
She was so thankful that through social media she saw so much love that she decided to start speaking more about her husband’s disease. With a very positive repercussion, she started opening more about how she felt and even shared some stories such as when she caught herself sitting at her dog’s basket while having a panic attack when hearing her children screaming, or how she would always come to her parent’s house after leaving the hospital – when Greg was first diagnosed – and would take slipping pills with a bottle of wine to sleep in a fetal position. These are all very personal and delicate moments of her life, but she found out that by talking vulnerably she was not receiving pity from others but rather empathy and connection. So, she decided to carry on.
realized that “it’s really easy to want to crave someone else’s life when yours
is just being smashed to pieces” but being honest and transparent with what you
are sharing could potentially attract like-minded people how’s only concern is
to help and send love. She mentioned that there is a saying that it takes a
village to raise a child and she thinks it takes a city to live through cancer,
and she constructed her city through social media.
Stacey and Greg’s story illustrates how social media is powerful in attracting people with similar interests, believes, and even values. Companies should leverage this learning to understand that even the company’s values should be stated or transmitting somehow in their posts, so it can resonate with others and potentially attract a bigger audience. The couple’s story also demonstrated how being transparent and sharing what might seem as vulnerabilities could have the opposite effect of what one could first imagine. Companies should also leverage this learning to understand that problems or negative press are always good opportunities to be transparent and take responsibility, let your customers/followers understand what happened, and learn from it. Bottom line, social media is a transformative tool that should be leveraged with transparency so you can attract other users that really resonate with your beliefs.
Social media is more than just a tool for socially engaging online with friends and family. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, What’s App, and others, created an opportunity for companies to reach their potential customers on a global basis. The amount of data recorded and analyzed by these platforms’ complex algorithms is sufficient to understand what are the specific interests and needs of each of its users and, therefore, when should these platforms leverage these users to sell spaces on their “screens” to businesses interested in advertising their products. According to the online portal Statista, world online advertising spending in 2018 surpassed the $74 billion mark. Social media is not only a tool for connecting people but also to connect marketers with their desired audience.
The possibility of quickly and
affordably reaching potential customers all over the world created a demand for
skilled online marketers that understand and know how to leverage the power of
social media. The number of online adverting agencies boomed in recent years,
and there are even online courses teaching how to create your own social media
marketing agency and get your first $1,000/month paying customer. It might seem
too good to be true, but if we realize that by creating a simple Facebook Ad to
generate leads to your local dentist you could potentially get him a customer
who will pay more than that to his service you can see how this could sound
reasonable. Social media is disrupting the market as we know it, buy giving us
all the means to reach new audiences and get insights to help our online
business, agency customers, or the company we work for.
The true power of social media relies on the possibility of influencing your audience. It is not only about advertising to the specific target audience you believe would be interested in your products, for instance. It is more about understanding what is the best possible content you could provide to this audience to influence them to make a purchase, follow your social media business page/account, like your post, etc. We can better understand this when thinking about Instagram influencers. Regardless of being famous celebrities that started their Instagram accounts already getting several followers or unknown people that organically grew up their fan base, these influencers maintain their followers based on the content they regularly post that somehow inspire, motivates or influence them in some way. Similarly, businesses should understand that they need to create a proper strategy for each social media platform and provide content that influences their potential customers. Only after securing a good and desirable content they should show them to their targeted audience.
It is important to understand the power of social media not only as an advertising tool but also as the best platform type to engage with consumers and establish a good and recognizable customer service. Each customer has a “louder voice” on social media, with simple complaints potentially reaching several people both in and out your potential customer base. On the other hand, great customer experiences reported on social media could travel far and fast, generating good publicity for your company. Therefore, great customer relationship is becoming more of an obligation than a differentiation factor in today’s environment.
Concluding, social media gives
entrepreneurs, executives, marketers, or any people desiring to sell a product,
service or idea, a great opportunity to showcase good content to the right
people. To keep up the good work it is also mandatory that these companies
provide great customer service and are always trying to retarget their existing
user base to extend their customers lifetime value for their business.
The youngest member of one of the most famous families on
today’s show business, Kylie Jenner was recently featured in several headlines
after appearing in the cover of Forbes magazine as “the youngest ever self-made
billionaire” at 21 years of age. Regardless of actually being self-made or not,
a discussion that surfaced after her appearance on the American business
magazine, Kylie managed to leverage her fame and huge number of followers on
Social Media to create an empire on the fashion and beauty market. Analyzing
her journey into the three commas club, there is a lot to learn from this
social media expert.
After graduating in high-school and before starting what would become her billion-dollar brand, Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner was already listed on the top ten most followed profiles on Instagram with over 30 million followers and was the number one viewed person on Snapchat. These are undoubtedly huge advantages to anyone seeking to start an online business in today’s environment, but Kylie’s approach ensured unexpectedly high results.
The first lesson we can learn from her journey is really understanding your target audience. Before starting her brand, Kylie would always post about what make-ups she used and constantly gave tips to her fans. This ensured that she attracted followers with interests in cosmetics and could gradually build a solid base of potential customers for her future brand. Once she decided to release her first product, she was smart enough to understand the power of building expectation. Since she always posted about cosmetic products, she could naturally talk about the “Lip Kit Set” she was about to release without sounding like a sales person trying to push you to buy an undesirable product. After building hype for several months, she released her first product and sold out in less than 5 minutes. She repeated the same process of building hype on her social media channels to release a second product and this time hit the $19 million dollars mark in less than 24 hours. To sell all these products, Kylie uses an e-commerce platform that allows its users to easily set-up and design their online stores. Shopify’s most expensive plan costs $299 per month and includes several features such as customer data tracking, email marketing campaign and inventory management tools, etc.
This social media expert focuses on several different channels to maximize her audience reach. On Instagram, for every three to four posts showcasing her personal life she makes one highlighting her brand and products. Her approach with Snapchat is to show the behind-the-scenes of her company and advertise in first hand her up-coming products. She understands her influencer power on social media and uses it in her favor. On the beginning of 2018, she got upset after Snapchat redesigned its mobile application even after she told the company’s CEO that they should not do it, so she released the following tweet: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” The end result was the shares of Snapchat’s parent company decreasing 6.1% and losing $1.3 billion in market value in one day.
After successfully leveraging the power she has on social media to create what is currently the most relevant cosmetic company on the market, Kylie started using her family member’s fame and influencer power to boost sales of her products. She successfully launched products doing partnerships with her mom and sisters – Kris, Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney – all featured in the reality TV show with the biggest audience in the US, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
After debunking Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest self-made billionaire
according to Forbes magazine, has Kylie Jenner opened the doors for new
up-coming billionaire celebrities that understand the power of having huge fan
bases and knows how to leverage that in social media? Let’s wait and see.