5 outstanding social media marketing case studies

Do you read social media marketing case studies for inspiration? It’s always a good idea to benchmark against your competitors or pinch ideas from them, but it’s also worth looking at success stories from the biggest brands out there. You might not have their budget, but you can always gain inspiration from their campaigns.

Here are five of the best brands on social and what I think you can learn from them:

1.Mercedes Benz – Repeated, successful social media marketing campaigns

Mercedes Benz seem to win every time with their social media campaigns.  The one that stands out to me was back in 2013 when they created what I still believe to be one of the best Instagram marketing campaigns to date. Mercedes wanted to reach out to the younger audience so they hired five top Instagram photographers to each take the wheel of a new Mercedes CLA. Whoever got the most likes got to keep the car – so they all really worked at it!

By the end of the campaign, Mercedes has received:

  • 87,000,000 organic Instagram impressions
  • 2,000,000 Instagram likes
  • 150 new marketing assets (stunning photos)

What lessons can you learn from this? Could you put your followers up for a challenge and make it into a competition or campaign?

  • Can you do a competition that gets people trying out your product first?
  • Think about your target audience. What is a prize they would value?
  • Like Mercedes you could recruit bloggers/influencers via social media and get them blogging about your service or product. Whoever receives the most engagement wins.

2. Dove – Connecting with their target audience

Is it just me or do all the Dove marketing campaigns make you cry? If you’ve seen their Real Beauty sketches campaign, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Dove’s goal is to make women feel good about themselves. They know their target market and create content that tells a story that women can relate to.

Dove did some research and found that 80 percent of women came across negative chatter on social media. Dove’s goal was to change that and make social media a more positive experience. As a result, Dove teamed up with Twitter and built a tool to launch the #SpeakBeautiful Effect, that breaks down which body- related words people use the most and when negative chatter appears during the day.

According to Dove, women were inspired by their message.

  • #SpeakBeautiful was used more than 168,000 times
  • Drove 800 million social media impressions of the campaign

Dove know their audience. Knowing your audience is the only way you will engage with them. The best way for this is creating personas. Knowing what life stage they are in, if they’re employed, what their interests are etc. will certainly help you when creating content. Then think about linking your audience to your brand values in order to create something just as successful as Dove’s campaign.

3. Nutella – Incredible content that makes you salivate

Each post makes you want to eat Nutella. There are a lot of people (including me) who take photos of their food before they eat it. Nutella does the same and it works. Nutella isn’t afraid to be fun and creative with different ingredients. Nutella is just a chocolate spread yet they manage to have fun with it. Do you, or could you, have a bit more fun with your brand?

Here are some ideas for having fun with your brand:

  • Are you on different social media channels? If you’re B2B you might not think that Instagram is for you, but it can be a great way to demonstrate your brand values by telling a story. Fedex is a great example of this, showing images of their trucks always on the move. This tells a story that they are always delivering and that is the key message we take away.
  • Key influencers/bloggers can be a great way to  different types of content and to see how they have fun with your brand (if this is new to you, read our post on the rise of the social media influencer).
  • Instead of posting behind-the-scenes photos at your head office, can you encourage your followers to share their experiences with your brand? Maybe host an event or go out and meet them.

4. Oreo – Smart content planning and timely delivery

Oreo is another brand that is known for their creative social media marketing. They must have a big design team to produce their content, but it works! They are consistent with their branding and manage to catch onto real time events. We all remember when the lights went out at the Super Bowl and during the half hour blackout Oreo tweeted out:

This was retweeted over 15,000 times.  Are you thinking outside the box about your brand? Plan ahead for events coming up that you might be able to jump on to.

Do you plan your social media content out? If you’re in B2B and don’t currently create content read here for some B2B content marketing tips to help you get started, or check out our B2B marketing strategy tips ebook for 2021.

It’s always a good idea to prepare content ahead of time. If you can schedule content on a monthly basis – perfect, but if not bi-weekly is great. That way you can check what events are coming up and plan content around them. This gives you time for any ad hoc creative to be done, such as jumping on real-time events like the Oreo blackout example above.

5. Airbnb – Stunning imagery and UGC

What might look like a visual travel blog, Airbnbs content attracts fans with their visually compelling posts. On Instagram, they post user-generated photos from its hosts and guests. The content embraces their new campaign of ‘Don’t just go there, Live there’ which is captured through real photography. Each post receives high engagement, between 3,000 and 14,000 Instagram likes.

Airbnb social media case studyAirbnb Instagram case study

This is a great example of thinking slightly outside the box. Airbnb is all about accommodation. They don’t just post images of the inside of people’s homes. Seeing the culture and images of places all over the world comes with the experience of where you stay and that’s what connects with people. Think about your brand: are you just posting about the product/ service itself? Why not tell your followers a story instead?

Thanks for reading. I hope by reading these five social media marketing case studies it has spiked some inspiration! If you need any help with your social media advertising, influencer marketing, or other aspects of your social media strategy, feel free to contact us.

Jeremy Taylor
Date: 27th June 2016
Category: B2B Marketing Content Marketing Social Media Marketing Social Media Strategy

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