Social Inspiration: The Top 10 Social Media Influencers and Strategies

By on May 25, 2012
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Wouldn’t it be great to know who out there in the world is getting social media right? There are several people who are forging ahead with social communication, and you need to learn from their example. Today, we showcase ten businesses and social strategies that you should be emulating with your own business.

#1: Starbucks Rules

An excellent social media user across a variety of sites, the thing that makes Starbucks such a great ‘role model’ is that all of their sites are highly interactive. They know how to communicate!

#2: The Burger King Campaign

Burger King needed to promote their new TenderCrisp Sandwich – so they created the ‘subservient chicken’ social ad campaign. Fans could go to the website and type in various commands (like ‘moonwalk’) – and the chicken would do it. Fifteen million hits later!

#3: The Cadbury Gorilla Campaign

One of my personal favorites, was the Cadbury Gorilla campaign. The video included a life-like gorilla, drumming along to music by Phil Collins, and driving people to the Cadbury’s website. Along with massive traffic increases, Cadbury’s enjoyed a 7% sales increase.

#4: Whole Foods Market

Good old Whole Foods Market is making a splash on Pinterest with their delicious food pics and interesting pin boards. With boards like ‘Super HOT Kitchens,’ and ‘Cheese is the Bee’s Knees’ – this is one brand on Pinterest to learn from.

#5: The ‘Will It Blend’ Campaign

Considered one of the greatest viral campaigns in social media today, the ‘will it blend’ campaign improved blender sales by 700%. The campaign focused on blending unusual items, to prove the superior strength of the blades and motor.

#6: The Bing – Farmville Alliance

A great example of two brands working together – was when Bing took out ad space on Farmville, offering free Farmville cash to players if they ‘liked’ Bing’s Facebook page. Using this popular game ad space, Bing added a neat 425,000 fans to their page.

#7: Evian and The Baby Campaign

The most viewed video on Youtube ever, is the reigning Evian roller baby ad campaign. It’s been seen by over 60 million people, and attracted over 50,000 comments. You can learn a lot from this incredibly viral video.

#8: The Old Spice Campaign

Old Spice zeroed in on their target demographic by ‘bringing their advert to life’ – or getting the star of their ‘smell like a man, man’ campaign to appear in over 180 web videos, where he would answer fan questions. A huge touch-down for brand interaction!

#9: The Heineken Social Campaign

Heineken is known for progressive Facebook advertising, with interactive apps, features and incentives. When they reached 1 million fans, they launched a secondary campaign – sending Heineken employees into the streets to hug people to say thank you. They called it the 1 million hugs campaign, and it was just as successful as their first campaign!

#10: Ikea Social Campaign

When Ikea needed to promote a new store, they uploaded images of the showrooms and allowed people to tag their names on items that they liked. The first people to do this, would get these items for free. A highly successful social campaign that won awards!

If you take a close look at these social strategies, they all involve bringing something unique, new and innovative to the mix. Apply these lessons in your business, for huge social success.

Heard of any other great social media campaigns? Tell us about them here!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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