Businesses everywhere are slowly but surely learning how to harness the power of social media for their branding efforts. Marketing with social media is a powerful strategy, but it is a process that requires time and patience. How are some of the big corporations doing? After a lot of experimentation, speculation and consternation – progress is being made. We put together a list of some well-known companies and their recent social media campaigns. Here are several Fortune 500 corporations that are successfully leveraging social media to their advantage:
Coca-Cola made their social media debut a few years ago. They created a new office of “Digital Communications and Social Media” because they felt social media was the way to go. They still feel this way.
Clyde Tuggle, Coke’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Productivity said: “Mass media is declining in importance. Our future success depends on our continued ability to connect people to our brands and our company all around the world, one person at a time. Our new office of digital communications and social media will help us become even more comfortable and effective in these new spaces.”
Coca Cola began their social media efforts with CokeTag – a “personal, customizable widget for individuals, bands, bloggers, artists, and companies to share links to content they want to promote and drive traffic to anywhere on the Web.” A widget as a marketing tool is pretty original thinking by itself.
This January Coca-Cola launched “Expedition 206” on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Three “happiness” ambassadors began an international journey to all 206 countries where Coca-Cola is sold. Their mission is to seek out “what makes people happy” around the world. Throughout the journey, these “happiness” ambassadors will share their blog posts, tweets, videos, interviews and pictures so people can follow their adventures along the way.
Ford Motor Company
Ford has been on the forefront of social media marketing ever since it hired Scott Monty back in 2008. Monty spearheaded Ford’s social media strategy with a promise to “create content, set it free, and allow anyone who is interested to be able to share it on any of the major platforms, on a global basis.” It has been working well.
Their recent Ford Fiesta Movement social media campaign was impressive. It was a grassroots campaign that promoted the new Fiesta model by placing it in the hands of 100 social “agents” and having them promote it through Twitter, blogs, video, and events. They generated 4.3 million YouTube views, 500,000 + Flickr views, 3 million + Twitter impressions and 50,000 potential customers – and 97% of them don’t own a Ford. They did this all without spending a dollar on traditional media.
Not only has Ford faired the recession better than the other American automakers, but they are also winning the buzz war on social media sites as well.
Nabisco Triscuit Crackers
This year Triscuit Crackers is teaming up with a nonprofit organization called Urban Farming to create 50 community-based home farms throughout the country. Nabisco – a subsidiary of Kraft Foods – has rarely ventured into social media – and never in an altruistic way like this.
The “home farming” campaign has a website that includes tools to advise visitors which vegetables and herbs are best to plant based on where they live. The campaign is being supported by PR, print ads, banner ads on gardening, women’s general interest sites, labeling on the boxes that sends customers to the website, blogs, Twitter and community forums. Another tool they developed enables users to find nearby community farms, and add their own home farms to a map. Forums and sharing tools are prominently displayed.
They also include free basil and dill herb seed cards on four million boxes of Triscuit original and reduced-fat varieties.
Pepsi launched their Pepsi Refresh Project in January and it has been a refreshing change from traditional soft drink advertising. Users submitted thousands of ideas to Pepsi on ways to “refresh” their communities and thereby making them a better place. There were 32 Pepsi Refresh Grant recipients selected in the month of January and up to $1.3 million will be awarded. There are 2 grants at the $250,000 level, 10 grants at the $50,000 level, 10 grants at the $25,000 level and 10 grants at the $5,000 level every month for 10 months. The winners for January will be announced this week.
The Pepsi Refresh Project also held a celebrity challenge on their Facebook fan page. In this contest Demi Moore beat Kevin Bacon and Pepsi awarded $250,000 to support Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) and $100,000 to SixDegrees.org, an organization that distributes thousands of $20 SixDegree.org Good Cards to recipients so they can support a charity of their choice.
Writer: Dan Chambers