The 6 best social media campaigns that created the trends in 2018

The 6 best social media campaigns that created the trends in 2018

We’ve covered the trends that will matter most next year. But how do you turn them into impactful campaigns? Here are some successful social media campaigns that foresaw the future, and jumped on the trends before anyone else. But were they trendsetters, or too far ahead of their time? Let’s take a look.

Cash in on the 2019 trends

The trendsetting best social media campaigns

We covered the social media trends that will impact 2019, and there are some huge shifts coming next year (you haven’t read it yet? Come on…). And there’s even an eBook to show you how to cash-in on the trends.

But what about the campaigns that predicted the trends? Did they get mindblowing results - or did they jump on the trend a little too soon? Let’s take a look, with some inspiration for your 2019 campaigns.

AI for everyone - Lexus ES

Next year, artificial is going to go big. And people are finally going to lose the technophobia and start embracing it. Brands know how the Talkwalker AI Engine will be essential for AI marketing and social analytics. But is it possible to incorporate artificial intelligence into other aspects of your campaigns?

Lexus did in their latest marketing campaign. A true collaboration, directed by an award-winning (human) director, but scripted by artificial intelligence.

It’s an intriguing idea, but scriptwriters shouldn’t be worried about losing their jobs anytime soon. The video has gathered only 26.7k views so far. But Lexus did pre-empt the trend, so expect it to gain more traction as people embrace AI more and more.

Influencer marketing - H&M

First, we had influencers. Then, micro-influencers. Now, meet nano-influencers. Our experts predict that next year, brands will move away from celebrity influencers with their huge reach (but weaker engagement) and focus more on micro- and even nano-influencers in their social media campaigns, for driving engaged consumers in their target audience.

That’s people with small, but highly engaged and active audiences.

That’s what H&M have been working on this year. By targeting smaller influencers with their campaigns, they’ve managed to gain 294.1 engagements per mention. A phenomenal result for such a competitive industry.

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Pride season is far from being over yet! Just last weekend we have been in #Berlin dressed in our H&M Pride Outfits attending the 40th edition of the CSD Berlin Gay Pride! #Equality is not only comfy, it is sexy, don’t you agree? #happypride 2018 and see you all at Pride Amsterdam! #lovewins #loveislove #visit_berlin #pinkpillowberlin #HMLoveForAll #ad Special Thanks to @onceuponajrny for the wonderful photo! 🏳️‍🌈❤️🧡💛💚💙💜👬 — 📍A #coupleofmen's #gaytravel #travelblog goes around the world #followme on our trip✨ 🧔🏻❤️🧔🏼 Karl & Daan •••••••• 👬#gaylovers #gaysofinstagram #gaylove #gaycouple #instagay #gayworld #gaygermany #gayfollow #gaybears #gaystagram #gaygram #gaycute #gayguys #gaylife #gaysexy #gayotter #gaybeard 07-2018 🏳️‍🌈

A post shared by Gay Travel Blog Couple of Men (@coupleofmen) on

Coupleofmen may have only 44k followers, but this sponsored post for H&M earned 2.5k engagements. More than influencers with 10 times the audience.

If you want to find engaging influencers for your market, you should check out Influencer One.

Generation Z - Diet Coke’s rebrand

Gen Z is predicted to be impacting on marketing strategies next year, as brands adapt to entice this social savvy, environmentally aware generation to their products.

“There is a social media revolt. Young people everywhere are rejecting the notion that social media needs to be a part of your life. Because of this, companies need to find ways to make social media helpful and useful, educational, or entertaining to people, or lose them forever.”
Eric T. Tung GoTo Marketers

Coca-Cola was one of the first to target them this year, with a rebrand of Diet Coke. With new flavors and a younger toned marketing style, they tried to encourage a younger audience to switch.

But it was pretty divisive. With an almost equal division of positive/negative mentions (18% positive to 20% negative), it did raise awareness, but it didn’t quite have the brand impact they hoped.

PR / Marketing integration - GoPro

We’re expecting more businesses to align their marketing, PR and social media platforms next year, so they’re all working towards the same goal. After all, all these departments should be after the same thing (brand awareness and ROI), so why shouldn’t they work together?

GoPro is one of the leaders in a combined media strategy.

When one of their users recorded themselves getting slapped by a seal with an octopus (you read that right), the GoPro team were called to action. They used it to create user-generated content (digital marketing), new social network posts (social media) and a news story (PR).

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新しい @gopro #Hero7Black で衝撃映像撮れた🤣🤣 4K60fpsの安定化オンで撮ったからここまで驚いて全部撮れてた!こんな楽しいカヤックはじめて!!音声も海とかのガチャガチャ音ないし最高! @barekiwi getting octopus smashed into his face by a seal⁉️ I’ve never had such an amazing kayak everrrrr!! I am super stoked that the new @goproanz #Hero7Black captured without missing a thing although we shook so much, #hypersmooth the stabilisation managed it so well!! I made a little montage to show how good the audio came out!! No noises super clean!! Thanks to @kaikourakayaks @purenewzealand @kaikouranz @goprojp @howtodadnz @snapair for such an epic trip!! #gopro #ゴープロ #ゴープロのある生活

A post shared by 🌴TAIYO MASUDA🌴 (@taiyomasuda) on

The original video only garnered 16.1k likes. But once GoPro shared that video on their Facebook page, it got viewed 587k times. That’s integrated marketing in action.

Brand purpose - Iceland

Brand purpose is going to get big next year. (It’s that Gen Z coming of age thing again). Consumers are becoming more aware of the social impact of businesses, and are now basing their buying power not just on what the brand sells, but what the brand stands for.

“Consumers used to accept that their favorite brands were neutral. ‘Don’t pick sides, and avoid topics and statements that alienate any audiences’ were the common PR marching orders. Today, there is a different set of consumer expectations. Businesses are required to have a voice and to take a stance for their customers on important topics.”
Deirdre Breakenridge Pure Performance Communications

We’re seeing more brands using the power of brand purpose, but not all of them are getting it right.

Iceland did. Their campaign (linked with Greenpeace) took the internet by storm. Originally made for TV, but then banned, the campaign became viral overnight.

Best Social Media Campaigns 2019 Iceland results

With over 105 thousand engagements within 24 hours, the message certainly struck a chord with their audience. And drove extra sales too, with the company introducing Rang-tan toys to increase footfall in the vital Christmas shopping season.

Buying cycle social integration

Next year, we predicted the buying cycle will be much more integrated into social media. The fewer steps you have in the buying journey, the fewer opportunities you have for the potential buyer to drop the purchase.

And hey, if you’re using a social influencer to promote your product, you might as well get people buying straight from your social channels too.

Amazon is ahead of the game. Although it doesn’t cover the entire buying process just yet (yet being the key word), they’ve teamed up with Snapchat to promote visual search.

Best Social Media Campaigns Snapchat Amazon integration

Image © Snap

Users can now take a photo of a product from Snapchat, and buy it straight away from Amazon. Once the option spreads to image recognition of existing posts, you’ll see this revolutionizing the buying cycle.

What are some of your best social media campaigns?

It’s over to you. What do you think were the best social media marketing campaigns from this year? And were these brands right to jump on these trends early to get ahead of the game, or did they take too big a step too fast?

And don’t forget, you can still grab our latest eBook on how to cash-in on social media trends 2019. It’s just what you need if you want to be in this blog, this time next year…

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