Think you’ve seen it all when it comes to social media? Think again!
Here are inspiring examples of brands re-thinking social media and using it to surprise, delight (and, of course, gain boatloads of likes, shares, follows along the way)!
Proof that any brand can make social work.
Smart Brand Awareness:
It’s no secret that food pictures dominate a lot of space on social media. Just search hashtags like #yum, #foodporn or #foodie and you’ll see that the general public is slightly #FoodObsessed.
Better yet, take anyone under the age of 25 to a fancy restaurant and just watch what happens when their food arrives…
Food pictures are here to stay, and some smart restaurant brands have found a way to capitalise.
Because not all users will dutifully tag the restaurant where their food pictures were taken, restaurants like Megu and the Voltaggio Brothers have started placing their branding directly on the food and drinks themselves.
By doing so, these smart brands have found a really simple way to let social media do their advertising for them, while also adding to their customers’ experience. Now that’s #yum.
Gather Real-Time Data:
Social media, by its very nature, allows people to see what’s happening in real time.
During disasters, smart data companies and scientists are able to use social media to gather on-the-ground data and provide emergency workers with a realtime view of which areas are most affected.
The examples below show Gnip and VisionLink’s overlaid timestamped social posts on a map, which gave emergency services up-to-the minute info during Hurricane Sandy and the Colorado fires.
Brands using social media to help those affected by natural disasters and terror attacks is now also a common practice – a recent, heartwarming example is celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s reaction to the Grenfell Fires:
Caption Reads: “To any of the 100’s of FAMILIES effected by this terrible fire at Grenfell Tower Notting hill today, You are all welcome to come hang out in my restaurant and be fed and watered by my Jamies Italian team. We are in the Westfield just around the corner. Food and drink free of charge so just go and speak to my manager Juan and we will sort you out and give you some love …. this is for victims of the fire our thoughts, love and prayers are with you all big love jamie x x x x”
Proof that social media isn’t only about fun and frivolity – it can be used to make a real difference too.
First Direct bank have proved themselves worthy of their customers’ trust – a fact that they felt set them apart from their competitors.
But how do you get weary new customers ‘trust that they can trust you’?
First Direct used social technology to find and publish customers’ social mentions of them – and broadcast them all in various marketing campaigns.
This idea, though not new (digital marketers have been waxing lyrical about social proof for years), proved hugely successful for First Direct, winning them advertising awards and significantly impacting business targets.
Examples like this show how scarily simple it is make social media work for you – even if you’re not necessarily a cool or exciting brand.
As you can see by the examples above, social media has provided a massive (and free) platform for all sorts of brands to make a name for themselves on a global scale.
The takeaway here is that shouldn’t get fooled into thinking social a frivolous pursuit that only works for a handful of companies: if you’ve got a social media account, you’ve got a powerful tool at your fingertips – and an infinite number of ways to use it.