Business owners and managers might look at national campaigns that go viral and think, “Gee, how did they do that? I wish I could get my business noticed.”
Going viral is a science, one that typically costs tens of thousands of dollars — or even hundreds. And really, going viral nationwide might not help your local restaurant or B2B. Marketing is not just finding any audience but finding the right audience.
The good news is, you can learn from those campaigns. I recently read this post about some fantastic social media marketing, and here’s a breakdown of how you can take some of these ideas and make them work for you.
Rule No. 1 – Be Different
First, as the article’s author observes, it’s all about engagement. So often, we create content for companies, and it’s okay, but it’s not outstanding. The reason? What makes a business stand apart is its people. Yet those people aren’t in the content we’re creating.
Many small business owners and managers don’t want to be the face on social media, but those who do find better results there. In these politicized times, most people don’t want to take a firm stand on social media, but as you read the campaigns in the above article, you’ll see some are doing just that.
We’re not saying you should kill your mascot like Planter’s did (definitely unique!), but here are some ways you can draw inspiration from these examples.
- Support a local cause in a big way. You don’t have the budget to create a full-blown production about men like Gillette did in that first example. But you can do something. Select a cause you and your team feel passionate about and brainstorm ways to make it part of your company culture, in both small and big ways. The small might be putting a donation jar and a poster in your business. The big might be a once-annual event you organize to benefit that cause. Meanwhile, you can post regular social updates or do other small things throughout the year.
- Make videos. In the example of BuzzFeed’s Tasty, it’s easy to see why that worked. After all, most of us can’t resist watching videos about food. If you’re a restaurant, get going! You can hire a local video producer to create several polished videos about food. You can also coordinate some excellent DIY videos for social that show your team making the food, delivering, serving, preparing, etc. Interview your staff on video about their favorite foods. The list goes on. If you’re not a restaurant, fear not! There are many ways to work in video. Studies show video gets way more engagement, so let’s brainstorm on ways to make it work for you.
- Start a conversation. I love the Worldwide Breast Cancer #KnowYourLemons campaign because it takes a topic many find awkward and starts a conversation. Is there something tricky about your industry or business? How can you bring up the elephant in the room? If you’re a local bookstore, maybe you feature books that help us discuss the challenging topics we face today. If you’re a dentist, get creative with bad breath, gum disease, or oral cancer.
- Partner. In Example 12 with L’Oréal’s beauty squad, they partnered with bloggers. “Partner” can mean different things depending on your business, location, and industry. You might:
- Coordinate with a local blogger whose topic relates to your business.
- Find another local business owner whose work complements yours in some way.
- Find a local, non-profit organization that benefits a group related to your business.
- Something else!
- Personalize. People love products and services that feel customized for them. In the Burberry Cat Lashes example, the company asked people about their looks. A local coffee shop might create posts showing its customers’ unique coffee orders. A landscaper might start with an Instagram survey about yard design ideas. How can you personalize the experience people have with your company so that it feels like their own? You might do this anyway, but you can reach more people by taking it to social media.
These are just a few examples of taking national campaigns and localizing them. How you apply the lessons depends on your business. Contact us to brainstorm ideas.