5 Lessons Learned From The Most Epic Social Media Wins

Last week, we took a look at the ugliest of ugly social media disasters. We laughed, cried, cringed, and ultimately, learned a few important lessons about what not to do if you want to effectively speak to your audience on social media. As fun as that was, we’re going to look at different side of the coin this
week, and delve into five amazing social media wins and the takeaways from each.

1. Think fast.
When Super Bowl 2013 experienced a power outage, the social media team at Oreo was quick to capitalize on the event with this tweet:

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Oreo’s quick action paid off in the form of nearly 16,000 retweets, more than 6,000 likes and plenty of buzz in the post-Super Bowl advertising discussion. But unlike the other brands that paid millions of dollars for a spot to air, Oreo’s well-timed message was posted for free, teaching us all the value of thinking on our feet in social media. Before you post too quickly though, make sure your message is well thought out, and take a minute or two to proofread.


2. Plan ahead.
Charity: water is a nonprofit committed to providing access to clean water to every person on the planet ¬– a big goal that requires big plans. In 2013 on World Water Day, the organization rolled out a perfectly crafted strategic campaign that encompassed several different social media outlets and successfully reached thousands of people. The organization held sidewalk events all over the world that were featured on Instagram, created a “Pledge Your Birthday” project that went viral, and posted creative World Water Day Facebook memes. Everything was topped off with #WorldWaterDay, and the campaign resulted in outstanding numbers of engagement, including 7,408 new birthday pledges. Marco Rubio even posted a tweet about the campaign, joking about his water bottle media fiasco earlier that year. Though this is the complete opposite of Oreo’s on-the-fly social media genius, charity: water proved a carefully crafted social media campaign can be equally as rewarding.

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3. Personal messages are always better than automated ones.
When Purolator, a Canadian shipping company, received a complaint on social media from a dissatisfied customer, the social media manager could have easily issued a canned response, directing the customer to an overcrowded customer service hotline or email. Instead, he responded like this:
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Instead of avoiding the complaint, Purolator took this opportunity directly talk to the customer, show that his experience mattered, and establish an even stronger relationship with him than before.


4. Listen to your audience.
In 2013, Maker’s Mark announced it would be changing its formula to meet the high demand of the drink. This recipe change included cutting the alcohol level, and Maker’s Mark drinkers from around the world made it evident they were not happy through social media. Instead of trucking on with a plan Maker’s Mark had no doubt put a lot of thought and time in to, the company issued this message on Facebook:

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With nearly 28,000 likes, this popular decision, much like the Purolator incident, ended with followers feeling heard, appreciated, and likely more loyal to the brand.


5. Focus on messages that matter.
The Proctor & Gamble brand Always needed to deepen their relationship with its next generation of potential consumers. Instead of filling their social media feeds with sales-y messages featuring their products, Always created this video:[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs” title=”EXIT%20social%20media%20marketing” width=”510″ height=”340″]

The “Like A Girl” campaign didn’t try to push a product, or ask viewers to a buy anything. It simply featured a message that Always consumers would care about, and started an important conversation about the self-esteem of young girls. It turned out it was a conversation people wanted to take part in too – the video received 53 million views on YouTube and #LikeAGirl began trending on Twitter. Lesson learned: Take part in a dynamic, important conversation that pertains to your brand, and people will pay attention.


From the biggest social media disasters to the most epic wins, there’s always something to learn from other accounts and brands in the digital world. If you have a social media failure, success or lesson you’d like to share, feel free to post it in the comments, on our Facebook or on Twitter @EXITMarketing.

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