2013 Social Media Campaigns That Went Viral and What We Can Learn From Them

  • Date: January 28, 2014

Social media makes it possible to communicate with millions of people at once. But how can you make that happen? The best way to learn is from those companies who have done it. Here are some of the 2013 campaigns that went viral and why.

Three Mobile

Three Mobile’s cheerful, moon-walking pony captured the country’s imagination. The tagline “Silly Stuff: It Matters” was deliberately daft and from then on everybody got involved by hashtagging to #danceponydance. To date the video has over 10 million Youtube views and over 100 million social media impressions. Not such a silly campaign after all.

The Lesson

Push the boundaries of your imagination and make a new hashtag while you’re at it. The aim of an advert is to be remembered and Three Mobile certainly managed that. More importantly they made it clear that they wanted a response by introducing a new hashtag dedicated to the advert.

NHS Blood and Transplant

The NHS launched a social media campaign with the aim of gathering 100,000 new blood donors within 100 days. They beat their target by several thousand. Putting a time limit on 100,000 new donors gave people a target and made everybody feel like they were part of one gigantic life-saving mission.

The Lesson

Provide an aim. It is human instinct to want to meet a target. Furthermore, people love to belong to a group so giving everybody something to share – “Yeah I was one of the 100,000 who gave blood” – is a good idea.

Oreo

The Super Bowl is the biggest television program in the USA with an average audience of over 111 million US viewers, and an estimated 167 million viewers worldwide. In 2012 disaster struck when there was a sudden blackout that lasted 34 minutes. Oreo quickly tweeted “Power out? No problem” followed by a simple meme of an Oreo in a dark room captioned: “You can still dunk in the dark”. It was retweeted thousands of times and remembered ever since.

The Lesson

Don’t waste a moment! Keep updated with major events and link them to your product. If something is already trending then find a way to get your business trending with it.

Kellogg’s Tweet Shop

Kellogg’s introduced a campaign where instead of paying for products customers could tweet about them in return for a free item. It was more likely than not that the comment would be positive otherwise the individual would not be trying to get a free Kellogg’s item.

The Lesson

Let your audience do the marketing for you. Sending out a few boxes of Special K costs nothing compared to a televised advertisement. Instead Kellogg’s let the audience do the work and gained a lot of publicity for dreaming up such an original campaign.

Hashtag Killer

Hashtag Killer was set up in response to FirstWorldProblems, a very popular hashtag where people ironically shared problems such as their BlackBerry not getting signal or their iPad running out of battery. Hashtag-Killer responded by posting a video of impoverished people in the third world quoting posts from FirstWorldProblems to draw attention back to the reality of life in poor countries.

The Lesson

If you see somebody else getting a huge following work out how you can tap into that market. By targeting a Hashtag as thriving as FirstWorldProblems Hashtag Killer gained a lot of publicity and thereby raised awareness for its charity.

Summary

So if you are hoping to make your social media campaign go viral then the first step is to open your mind and let your imagination run wild. If you can think of a group campaign that everybody will get involved with and a hashtag to match it then you will find your number of followers increasing. Most importantly stay relevant. Keep updated with anything that is trending and try to tap into it to draw the attention to you.

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