Social media can be a great tool for brands trying to strengthen their image and grow their customer base. Facebook pages and Twitter feeds can be effective, but innovation is what really sets one apart from the clutter. Mashable.com came out with a list of the Top 5 Smart Social PR Campaigns to Learn From that created real results for their clients.
- Rayovac—Early February brought record-setting snowstorms across the United States, which meant that millions of Americans would not be able to go into work and would likely be spending more time online at home. Rayovac, a battery company, took advantage of the increased online audience by starting the Twitter hashtag “#snowballs”. Rayovac_Battery began throwing virtual snowballs at its followers, encouraging them to temporarily change their profile picture to a Rayovac widget and throw #snowballs at friends and family. The campaign was very successful, as @Rayovac_Battery followers increased by 30% and #rayovac became a top ten trending topic worldwide.
- Healthy Choice— To reach the large number of target Healthy Choice consumers engaged in social media, Healthy Choice created a progressive coupon on its facebook page. As more people “liked” the page, the discount on the coupon continued to increase, beginning at $.75 off and eventually reaching buy one get one free. In the two-week campaign, Health Choice grew its fan base from 6,800 to 60,000 and distributed more than 50,000 coupons.
- Breeders’ Cup—To increase falling interest in horse racing, the Breeders’ Cup PR team created a twitter handle for Zenyatta, an undefeated female horse who was known for thrilling come-from-behind wins, and a Breeders’ Cup YouTube channel featuring racing footage and fan videos. @Zenyatta tweeted her thoughts, race information and exclusive updates, gathering more than 1,300 followers within one month. 1,000 YouTube users subscribed to the Breeders’ Cup channel for a total of more than one million video views.
- BALSMAS Grand Resort Hotel—This hotel in New Hampshire wanted to move away from traditional advertising and instead have its story told through social media by a real resort guest. Through social media, the “InnBedded Resorter” campaign searched for a lucky person who would live at the 8,000 acre resort for 8 weeks and share his/her experiences through numerous social media channels. The first winner stayed at the hotel for July and August 2010 and the BALSMAS saw a 20% increase in booking that August as well as doubled website traffic.
- KFC Scholarship—Each year, KFC gives out 75 scholarships through the Colonel’s Scholars Program, but in order to differentiate its scholarship competition from the millions of essay contests available to students, KFC decided to award the $20,000 scholarship to a Twitter user with the most convincing tweet. The campaign generated more than 1,000 media placements and tens of millions of impressions. More than 2,800 applicants tweeted for the scholarship via the hashtag #KFCScholar. The winning tweet belonged to Amanda Russell who won for her tweet, “Hey Colonel! Your scholarship’s the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success! Got the grades, drive, just need cash!”