6 great social media campaigns to inspire your 2018 marketing strategy

6 great social media campaigns to inspire your 2018 marketing strategy

We've been keeping tabs on the biggest, smartest, and most awesome social media campaigns for the past year. A successful social media campaign is not a given. The six campaigns in this post, will fire-up your creativity. Inspire you to great things. Take a look!

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Heineken #OpenYourWorld – The purpose-driven campaign

2017 was the year that purpose-driven marketing hit the big time. Spurred on by events in the US, global brands like Heineken moved beyond products and aspirations to touch on people's values.

Their #OpenYourWorld campaign focused on bringing people together with polar opposite views and eventually discussing their differences over – you guessed it – a bottle of Heineken.

Although the business impact of purpose-driven marketing is still the subject of some debate, the sheer scale of media coverage generated by the social media campaign was remarkable with this YouTube video alone generating over 14 million views.

It wasn’t just about a great YouTube video. On Facebook, Heineken experimented with a chatbot that connects people from different backgrounds.

It may be a while before the impact on sales is known, but in terms of reputation, this multi-channel campaign receives an A+.

For more on how Heineken makes a visual impact on social, take a look at our image analytics report for consumer brands.

Tesla and the Model 3 – The power of the social CEO

The world’s biggest EV (electric vehicle) maker is Tesla right? Wrong. It’s Renault-Nissan, but the fact most people would assume it’s Tesla shows how impactful their marketing efforts are.

Elon Musk, the world’s foremost tech superhero (super villain?) has been at his bombastic best once again this year. On social media, the launch of the new Model 3 turned heads around the world.

tesla model 3 social media images

Despite being far smaller than their automotive rivals, our research into the social media activity of automotive brands found that Tesla regularly outperformed larger rivals, generating over three times the engagement of the next best performing automotive brand on Twitter.

What really stands out for Tesla is the impact that Elon Musk has on their marketing. During the live streaming/tweeting of the Model 3 launch, Musk was front and center, sharing posts on social media to his 15 million + followers and making a huge difference to the engagement and reach of each of these posts.

The lesson? A truly social CEO can make a big impact in personality-driven social media campaigns.

campaign management cheat sheet

Dom from Domino's – The chatbots are coming

Chatbots were one of the big innovations to become mainstream in social media marketing in 2017 (read more about their future in our 2018 social media trends blog), but there was one company in particular that took full advantage of both their utility and their compatibility with social – Domino's Pizza.

I mean who isn’t interested in a robot that'll order you a pizza?

Dominos pizza bot

This is a cheeky one as Dom was first created in the summer of 2016, but given the prerequisites needed for ordering (account login, pre-order settings) it wasn’t really until 2017 that “Dom” became the master of pizza that he is today.

Now hungry pizza lovers can place a full order through Dom via Facebook Messenger, who’s even able to crack a few cheesy jokes (sorry I couldn’t resist).

We analyzed some of the top marketing and social media trends discussed in 2017 and with chatbots right at the top alongside AI and machine learning, it will be fascinating to see how things progress next year.

social media trends figures

Top social media trends ranked by number of social and online mentions in 2017

For more on social media marketing innovations in food and retail, check out our Retail Social Media Report.

Airbnb #WeAccept – Turning crisis into purpose

At the end of 2016, Airbnb was struggling to cope with a serious problem. There were widespread allegations of Airbnb hosts turning away guests for discriminatory reasons. Airbnb reacted and set new guidelines that everyone in the Airbnb community be treated equally. But they needed to spread the message.

In February 2017, during the Super Bowl, they put forward the #WeAccept campaign.

Acceptance starts with all of us. #WeAccept

A post shared by Airbnb (@airbnb) on

What makes this campaign stand out (aside from remarkable performance on social) is that Airbnb was able to turn around what could have been a source of negativity and not just fight the fire, but actually begin to own the conversation. It was a first class lesson in social media marketing for reputation management and an example of marketing, PR and product, all working hand in hand.

And those social results?

According to Airbnb, the #WeAccept campaign was Airbnb's 3rd largest driver of earned impressions of all-time at over 87 million. On Twitter, #WeAccept was the #1 advertiser hashtag used during the Super Bowl, as Airbnb generated over 33k tweets during the first half of the game, more than any other advertiser, with overwhelmingly positive sentiment.

Reactions to the overall campaign were 85% positive (based on an Airbnb internal tracker).

In case you missed their other campaigns, Airbnb is pretty good at this marketing business. Check out these data-backed examples.

Show me Airbnb in action!

#MeToo – An organic, social movement

It’s not all about brands. The non-commercial social campaign that caught our eye, was #MeToo. The campaign gave a voice to millions of women (and a few men) from around the world who had suffered sexual assault and harassment, igniting a global social media discussion.

Whether intentional or not, social media was the perfect medium for this campaign to go truly global and perhaps most importantly, for people to see that not only were they not alone, but that the issue was widespread.

The hashtag was used over a million times in just two days and spread to almost every corner of the globe. It's also notable that although organic reach may be dying, when the message is truly powerful, it can still work.

It all started with a single tweet from actress and activist Alyssa Milano and has since given rise to global media coverage, new initiatives, and greater awareness of this international problem.

Eggo and Stranger Things – The TV tie-in

Our final campaign comes from the curious world of Eggo and Stranger Things. The 80s style Netflix sensation has taken the world by storm and the brand most linked to the series? Eggo, Kellogg's waffle brand.

What makes this social media campaign smart is how they have managed to turn an oft-derided marketing tactic (product placement) into something that now feels like an intrinsic part of the series. Instead of “subtly” placing the brand in the episodes, both brand and writers work together to create something that is amusing and authentic, using social media to build this connection publicly.

Our Stranger Things 2 blog covers the subject of the social experience of TV in more detail, but let's see whether other brands can build a similar bond with a TV series as the power of Netflix, Amazon and other online TV giants continues to increase.

So those are our choices for 2017’s top campaigns. I’m sure there are plenty of others that could be in there so don’t be shy, leave your two cents in the comments below.

And don’t forget, social media campaigns are only successful if you can prove they had an impact. No prizes for guessing what I suggest you should download :)

campaign management cheat sheet