From primitive time to medieval era of social media until digital, as many of them called it „golden era“, social media has become indispensable part of our daily life.
In primitive time, late 70s , there were newsgroups in 1979, bulletin board systems (BBS) and the introduction of early chat rooms at the beginning of 1980, social media has slowly occupied our time and changed the way we communicate, gather and share information in that global jungle.
Medieval era of social media, beginning of 90s, gives us Internet Relay chat (IRC) and forums, and the kids (now grownups) from that time remembers it with a smile on their face.
Golden era, present time, of social media started around 2001 and brought many innovation, such as Wikipedia, first crowd – sourced encyclopedia, followed by Friendster, MySpace, Facebook in 2004, and Twitter in 2006. MySpace was very, very popular and a true innovation in the beginning of that time. Facebook came later and swamp the digital market entirely, crumbling Myspace like it was a cookie. Soon after, second media platform, Twitter, opened the door of „go – to“messaging and become an unique platform for business users.
When we talk about use of advertising and promotion in business, we can say that it has come so far since the beginning of the advent of the internet and social media. Throwing away traditional marketing methods and orienting only on digital platforms made us work constantly towards educating ourselves in this area. Nowadays, there are numerous social media platforms and advertising opportunities for business owners, at much affordable price with quicker and measurable results. Worth mentioned, are surely, Google Adwords for targeted marketing and channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more.
And what are the challenges of new digital era? How can we satisfy clients? How can we be better, more innovative and ahead of time?
The answers on these questions are that we must learn from the past: trends and challenges, best strategies and tactics, campaigns and innovation.
In that case, it’s crucial to take a look back at the most successful social media campaigns of all time:
- „The Blair witch project“movie was a horror story of young documentary makers, released in the summer of 1999. Attempts of the marketers who worked on this project were simple. They wanted to make a big buzz, teaser to promote this movie. Although they had a teeny budget, they managed to make this story to be told to generations to come. It was a first viral attempt in history of social media, by mixing offline and online playground, using websites and message boards to stoke the interest in the movie before releasing, and using fake newspaper clippings about the disappearance of the movies main characters and police photos of the missing car. Movie site Box office reported that the film, with a help of these promotional techniques, made more than $29 million during its first week of wide release. It has generated about $249 million worldwide.
- Evian “Roller Babies” was a YouTube mega hit in 2009 that featured computer-generated babies who wore roller skates and break dancing and back flipping. This was the most viewed online ad in history of advertising. Other social media records more than 54.000 comments and tweets to date, as well as more than 60 million views.
- Old Spice “Smell like a Man, Man” TV commercial featuring the handsome Old Spice Guy (NFL player Isaiah Mustafa) was launched just prior to the 2010 Superbowl and rapidly became a viral video sensation. Isaiah was popular before in TV commercials but made his breakthrough via this campaign by interacting with fans on Twitter and other social media platforms. More than 2,000 people sent questions and in a 48-hour period, nearly 200 personalized video responses were created and posted to YouTube, including many celebrities, such as Ashton Kutcher, Alyssa Milano, setting new trends for consumer engagement and sparking another viral hit.
- Ikea “Facebook Showroom”. IKEA wanted to promote an opening of a new store in Malmo, Sweden and they posted on Facebook album of new showrooms. The first people who tagged the items won them. Shortly after, engagement on this album was raised rapidly. The campaign won a 2010 Gold Cyber Lion at Cannes and was one the best examples of viral impact on Facebook.
- Burger King “Subservient Chicken” campaign, launched in 2014, portrayed a website video game of a man dressed in a chicken suit with an idea to promote the chains TenderCrisp Sandwich. Subserviant chicken was able to do 322 commands as you entered them in a little chat box in the video. Website received 15 million hits in the first five days
What’s ahead? What’s there? Which way you goin’ Billy?
Phenomenon marketing, aka viral marketing, of course, is a perfect storm which consists on many factors: time + place + message (who, to whom, for who) and with a perfect ingredient of good luck.
If we are going to believe what great minds are saying about the social media future, such as Mark Zuckerberg who said “If I had to guess, social commerce is next to blow up”, we need to draw some numbers regarding this.
The year of social commerce:
- In 2013: $5 billion in sales
- In 2014: $9 billion in sales
- 2015 prediction: $15-20 billion
Not far from the truth, social commerce is rapidly creating a path and has a great influence for a social giving. In the 1st place there are socially-responsible products, then social donations and now there are friend recommendations.
Myth or a true story? Many influencers and digital gurus are saying that social media marketers will become data-driven marketers. And what they are saying? Are we becoming data frenzy? Or we just need to pay more attention at audience and segmentation, distribution, planning (the necessary evil), to determine objectives and measuring impact and test our content carefully. Well, we can deal with that.
2015 will be challenging but not in a way of innovation, as much as in adopting and adapting new ways how old platforms are used. We need to think about how we approach many more young generations who are coming on Facebook because time and trends are changing. Also, we must pay attention at booming rates of old school users who are “riding the waves” of Twitter, Instagram etc.
Its “easy as pie” to draw conclusions based on social media predictions. Here they are:
- Best practices are now a must
- More story, less promotions
- If you want to promote your product, pay for it
- The “story telling” just got that much more important.
So, people, be social not promotional!