Social media has quite quickly become the best tool for businesses, big or small, to connect with consumers.According to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report an overwhelming 92% of marketers said that social media was important to their business.
Due to the use of social media, that same report shows that 90% of marketers have witnessed an increase in exposure for their business, 77% witnessed an increase in traffic and a staggering 73% witnessed an increase in sales.
What makes social media marketing successful? Below are 4 examples of creative, innovative and almost seamless social media marketing by startups that big business can learn from.
1. Bloom & Wild
Bloom & Wild launched its small startup business in 2013. Its concept is simple. The company provides a letterbox flower delivery service to consumers in the UK. What set Bloom & Wild apart from their competition is not only the astoundingly beautiful and good quality flowers they sell, but also their strategic, innovative and resourceful digital marketing strategy.
At the core of Bloom & Wilds social media marketing was a motif of
“Targeting the right people, testing formats to see which worked best, and sharing content that represented their business story.”
After rigorous testing, through a range of different platforms and media styles, Bloom & Wilds found their calling on Instagram. They discovered a huge reception and considerable publicity and engagement throughout the community. Bloom & Wild posts artistically photographed, beautiful bouquets of flowers.
Additionally Bloom & Wild engages with their awestruck community by providing prizes and events almost every few days. How to win these prizes? They can be from liking posts, sharing which bouquets are your personal favourite or by uploading a post about your own Bloom & Wild flowers.
Bloom & Wild say “Instagram advertising is an exciting new channel for us, and so far the results have exceeded expectations. We’re really looking forward to experimenting and increasing our presence over the coming months,”
This campaign had seen an increase in sales by 62%, a £2.5 million growth in capital and huge increase in exposure, website traffic and loyal customers.
2. Exploding Kittens
In early 2015 various Kickstarter records were broken. A new startup table top card game, Exploding Kittens, was responsible. The game, as described on its Kickstarter page, is a ‘highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian roulette’ where players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game. The deck is made up of cards that let you avoid exploding by ‘peeking at cards before you draw, forcing your opponent to draw multiple cards, or shuffling the deck.’
To get funded its creators Elan Lee, Matthew Inman and Shane Small launched a Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising £7,000. Exploding Kittens exceeded this target in just 20 minutes. In 5 hours the campaign reached £700,000 and by the end of the campaign with 219,382 backers the card game raised over £6 million.
How did this startup become the most backed project in Kickstarter history?
Exploding Kittens displays an example of the importance of good quality visual campaigning, community knowledge and effective engagement. The social media campaigns had an absolutely stunning flair with engaging, simple and vibrant videos and illustrations. The artwork helped along by Inman, who is also the creative force behind the hugely successful oatmeal comic website, is easily shareable on social media and adored by fans. Adding to this, the team behind Exploding Kittens knew the value of knowing their community and engaging with them.
“You have to watch the community. You have to make sure their needs are being addressed. You have to provide them with things to do every single day. You have to make sure complaints are heard and dealt with.”
From day one, the team engaged with the community giving them ‘more things to do every single day’. They added ‘stretch goals, tied to an achievement system’. This included simple things from taking pictures of themselves with cats, as cats or putting beards on cats, whereby doing so will unlock achievements.
The team behind Exploding Kittens also utilised their extensive knowledge of YouTube communities such as Smosh Games. Exploding Kittens offered the community a first look at the game and test runs as long as they broadcast themselves playing the game to their 6 million subscribers.
All of this, knowing their audience, brilliant target visual campaigns, competitions and community engagement kept Exploding Kittens in the minds of their target audience and significantly helped them pool the market awareness their tabletop game needed.
You might be shocked at seeing Chobani on this list. The Greek yoghurt is now sold in nearly every major retailer and the company is worth over a £1 billion. However, Chobani only started up eleven years ago back in 2005. The huge growth of this business has been due not only to its remarkable product but its adaptive social media strategy in its early days.
Here are just two social media campaigns from Chobani that big businesses should learn from.
One of the most successful campaigns was a 2009 campaign where Chobani asked its customers to submit videos, images, graphics or any media of themselves praising its Yoghurt. The content was shared across the company website, all social media platforms and even build boards and TV ads. Chobani says this campaign was responsible for an increase of revenue by 225% between 2009 and 2010.
Chobani also used social media as ‘word of mouth’ style loyalty branding. The yoghurt company asked their consumers and fans, aptly named Chobaniacs, to share their Chobani experience as a ‘Love story’. One experience was of a student who had cycled for hours and over a long distance just to see how the Yoghurt was made. This campaign soon sped off and stories started flying in with around 1,500 tweets and 150+ Facebook comments a day!
HelloFlo launched in 2013. The brand is a subscription service that sends packages to women each month filled with pads, tampons and more. Business started slow. However, business boomed almost overnight after HelloFlo’s first YouTube video “Camp Gyno” went viral. The short, honest and hilarious ad has now been watched over 11 million times on the site.
Its second video ‘First Moon Party’ had equal success.
HelloFlo’s social media strategy has worked by offering something that counteracts the common, boring, safe and anti-realistic feminine hygiene product ads. It was daring, brave and hit exactly at the heart of what its market wanted to see.
Every big business can learn from the success of the startup social media marketing campaigns of Bloom & Wild, Exploding Kittens, Chobani and Helloflow. The campaigns had developed through research and testing a decent knowledge of their target audience. The campaigns created something entirely unique to sell their brand and they engaged in smart and innovative ways with their community.