Social media has become a critical component of many brands' marketing strategies, but with so many channels and trends, it can be hard to keep up with industry news. We've done the work for you and compiled a roundup of the best of the best. Here are six of the best social media campaigns from 2017.
1. Airbnb: #WeAccept Campaign
Airbnb is a brand that empowers people to connect and create a home away from home around the world; global inclusion is part of their value set. So it wasn't surprising when they joined the political conversations about immigration in early 2017 with their #WeAccept campaign.
Launched with a Super Bowl commercial, the marketing campaign was a rallying cry for people to come together in a highly divisive political climate. The 30-second spot was simple and low budget, driving people to social to continue the conversation. The brand also used the campaign to announce their goal to provide short-term housing to refugees and other people in need over the next five years. With this campaign, Airbnb showed how brands can capitalize on social and political conversation to build brand value through social channels.
2. Starbucks: Unicorn Frappuccino
Social media has empowered a major trend in the food industry: Popular brands have started releasing limited-time menu items for the main purpose of organic social traffic. Remember that time KFC and Taco Bell swapped out buns and taco shells for chicken? Like that. Starbucks, however, blew those brands out of the water with their Unicorn Frappuccino social media campaign.
In 2017, people were talking about unicorns. They were all over clothes, social feeds, emojis and more. Starbucks clued into this social conversation to capitalize on it, releasing a colorful, majestic drink to celebrate unicorn culture. The Unicorn Frappuccino was announced on social media and available in select locations for a limited time – and everyone was talking about it.
While the reviews of the drink itself were mixed, the social media campaign gained a ton of user-driven traffic and accomplished a big goal for Starbucks. The campaign, which required very little paid promotion, shifted the brand's public perception. The Unicorn Frappuccino showed audiences that Starbucks isn't only for coffee fans; they make fruity drinks too. With one product and a lot of social media savvy, Starbucks accomplished what some brands pay millions for.
3. Worldwide Breast Cancer: #KnowYourLemons
Here's the image the world is talking about, because it's legally changing how we see breast cancer. Join in real awareness and share. ❤️us to learn more and follow #knowyourlemons #breastcancer #awareness knowyourlemons.com worldwideBreastCancer.com
A post shared by Worldwide Breast Cancer (@knowyourlemons) on
Social media isn't just for big for-profit companies. In 2017, Worldwide Breast Cancer showed how nonprofits can use it to raise awareness as well – all with a single visual.
The organization, committed to educating women about the warning signs of breast cancer, created an infographic that used different kinds of lemons to identify the various breast conditions that can signal cancer. The concept was so simple and sharable that it blew up; the brand went on to create several subsequent ad designs and posts, and even changed their website to continue the conversation.
4: Eggo: 'Stranger Things' Tweets
It doesn't take an entire campaign to strike social media gold; Eggo showed us that in 2017 with a single yet epic thread between @Eggo, @Stranger Things and @Netflix.
If you've never seen the Netflix hit sci-fi series "Stranger Things," the show features a character who tastes for the first time – and becomes obsessed with – Eggo waffles. The frozen treats make a recurring appearance throughout the series. In an attempt to stir up some additional waffle-centric conversation on social media, Eggo devised a cryptic tweet to the show's handle, and sparked a thread between three huge social media brands – earning 8.8K retweets and some social hype from a single, simple post.
5. IKEA: 'Oddly IKEA' ASMR Video
If you haven't heard of it, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is the static-like feeling you get when your skin tingles when you hear certain sounds. IKEA incorporated this sensation into a YouTube video marketing campaign and earned lots of brand traction because of it.
The strangely satisfying video describes how to build the perfect college dorm, via a relaxing, albeit slightly odd, female narrator. Coupled with the sounds of sheets being flattened, pillows being adjusted, hangers clanging and more, the video is a relaxation inducer made viral by its sheer quirky nature. While a risky strategy, the brand tried something offbeat and went on to earn millions of video views as a result.
6. Nike: #Breaking2 Livestream
Nike is known for its compelling, story-driven marketing campaigns, and #Breaking2 is no different. Last year, the athletics brand livestreamed three runners who attempted to run a marathon in two hours – something no one in the world has ever done. While none of the runners was able to shatter the two-hour mark, one did still set a world record.
Viewers from around the world tuned in to Nike's social channels to watch the race, and National Geographic used the footage later in a documentary that's been translated into more than 30 languages. With this campaign, Nike shows us that social media doesn't have to be all about sales and pushing product; a truly viral campaign has a human story at its heart.
As you develop your social media strategy for the rest of 2018, incorporate some of the tactics these brands used last year. Capitalize on pop culture conversations, leverage a timely event or make a stand on social issues. If you execute these strategies well, you can boost your following, increase conversions and get the best bang for your social media buck.