Here are some of the more successful social media campaigns and cutting-edge ideas that you should know about, if you haven’t already seen them.
Will it Blend? Making a YouTube video of an iPhone in a blender cost a few hundred bucks but at last count the video has received over 7.6 million views. The video managed to piggy-back off other web traffic because ‘iPhone’ was a popular search term. Actually blending an iPhone was intriguing and entertaining. More importantly, the video showed that the product actually worked:
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Tourism Queensland’s Island Reef job was heavily rooted in social media. The concept was genius; give away a job that seemed too good to be true on an island in Australia with a great pay check during a recession. Contestants had to create a video to enter. The community that emerged could vote on the video. This was the first global initiative by an australian State DMO. It cost $1.7 million and returned an estimated $400 million in media value and $8.6 million in web traffic. Already a good deal but it gets better. Now the winner writes a blog every day – you can see it here: http://www.islandreefjob.com/
The Photo-crashing Squirrel. Banff’s DMO seized on an unlikely opportunity when a tourist took a self-timer photo that a squirrel popped into after it was drawn to the noise of the camera. The photo captured a unique experience that every tourist would like. Banff wrote and distributed a press release at very little cost. Combine that with some creative use of social media and you have very cost-effective attention from mainstream media channels across the world: http://www.canada.com/technology/Banff+squirrel+photo+gets+huge+attention/1889605/story.html
JK Wedding Intro. This is a YouTube video that just happened to take off and is now being used to solicit donations for violence prevention. This one was catchy and the crowd loved it, this takes trial and error. Over 36 million views and an interview on Today! Not bad for a wedding video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0 Better still, I like the genius behind a response that has received over 4.5 million views. Find a video that’s going viral and post a creative response. Keep it relevant too, divorce is related to marriage. What better way to promote a video production company: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbr2ao86ww0&feature=related
Skittles.com. Visiting the rainbow online will make you think twice about your presence and whether it’s worth maintaining your own URL. Why would you if you can do everything where there’s a built-in audience? Here’s a great insight into the future of the online presence of tourism destinations: http://www.wilhelmus.ca/2009/10/the-end-of-the-dmocvb-website-europe-says-yes.html.
Ikea ran a very creative campaign that I wrote about previously: http://rodneypayne.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/14/
Lastly, here’s an excellent example of how to use Twitter properly. Connect with your true customers (not just anyone who will listen) and then give them information that they actually want to hear from you. If you’re a Korean BBQ Kart in Los Angeles, you’d use Twitter to tell your passionate customers (in realtime) where you’re going to be located today: http://kogibbq.com/
For every success there are many more attempts that didn’t go viral but it’s cost-effective to try. The message from these examples is to stay relevant, choose the right social media tool and keep the information relevant. Find out what your competitive advantage is and exploit it.