Walt Disney, Harley Davidson, Nat Geo, and other well-known brands have used social marketing to improve their brand image or enhance their advertising campaigns. This strategy aims to show the public the benefit of a brand at a social level or its ability to benefit society. But what are the best social marketing ideas and their most representative examples? Discover them in the following lines!
It was in 1971 when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman conceived social marketing in their bestseller ‘Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good’. Since then their ideas and strategies have been used by countless brands, to use behavior and social concerns for the benefit of companies.
Nostalgia to strengthen ties between the client and the brand
Harley-Davidson is the premier motorcycle dealer in the United States. However, the global demand and the existence of strong tariffs on its exports has put in difficulties this iconic brand, which will probably disappear over the course of this century.
Numerous experts have pointed out that its main problem is a generational change. Harley Davidson has failed to attract new consumers, but it does retain one of the most loyal customer communities. What did your advertisers do? Launch the Live Your Legend campaign, which uses nostalgia to strengthen ties between the brand and its customers. It was your biggest advertising success in 2016!
Involve customers with a creative contest
Contests are a great way to do social marketing. Nat Geo used this resource to promote the CoverShot program through the My Nat Geo Covershot contest. This initiative encouraged users to share images related to nature. The winning images would appear on the cover of the month and their authors would enjoy a free vacation. As a result, 10 million people gave like to the National Geographic fan page.
Testimonials to Promote Product Benefits
Another of the best ideas for social marketing campaigns is to use customer testimonials to promote the benefits of a product or service. The effectiveness of the word of mouth is beyond doubt. But it is not always easy to promote this strategy. The White House, with Obama as president, launched the hashtag #GetCovered, as part of a well-studied campaign.
The goal was for Americans themselves to tell how PPACA or Obamacare had benefited them. Some 20 million people submitted their testimonies to the Healthcare.gov website, which improved the social and political image of this health program.
But be careful with this idea! If misused, it can be turned against the company itself. A good example is #McDStories, a hashtag used by McDonald’s for consumers to tell their own experiences related to the McAuto service. However, users dedicated themselves to telling their bad experiences. The result was so disastrous that Forbes dedicated an article to it.
Make your customers feel important
Through the hashtag #GlobalSelfie, NASA used Earth Day celebration to benefit its brand (what it represents as a government aerospace agency). His campaign encouraged the most active users to make a selfie. The goal was to create a huge collage of the planet Earth with millions of images of people from around the world. In addition to viralizing itself into social networks, #GlobalSelfie allowed NASA to underscore many of the values of its philosophy.
Generate engagement for a good cause
Walt Disney once again surprised audiences with the #ShareYourEars campaign, a hashtag that encouraged fans to share photos with the company symbol (Mickey Mouse ears). For what purpose? For each shared image, Walt Disney would donate $5 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for terminally ill children.
In the #ShareYourEars campaign, there was a very important creative component: each photo had to relate to Mickey’s ears, but fans were free to do what they wanted. This freedom resulted in greater public involvement. Although Walt Disney reported that it would donate $1 million to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the success of its campaign was such that donations exceeded $2 million. Incredible!
How to use these social marketing ideas for ecommerces
Walt Disney, Harley Davidson, NASA, etc., are not small businesses. Can similar results be achieved with smaller user communities and customers? Of course! These social marketing ideas are an excellent source of inspiration for future ecommerce campaigns, as your target customers share the same concerns.
The environment, public health, and other issues can be used to provoke a reaction in consumers. The most important thing is to involve them and make them participants in the success of the brand. Let’s look at some examples and creative strategies:
● An ecommerce specializing in recycled furniture can launch a campaign related to deforestation: for every sale made, this hypothetical store will donate 1 dollar to NGOs fighting against logging.
● Another hypothetical ecommerce could sell sneakers for women and organize a sponsored marathon as part of a campaign to fight obesity. The proceeds would be donated to nonprofit organizations related to this social problem.
● In this third example, we have an online toy store, whose competitor has been involved in a controversy related to child labor. Its social marketing campaign will be to donate two toys for every product sold to schools in third world countries.
In each of these social marketing ideas, it has been previously detected what worries or worries the consumer of a company. The objective of this strategy is to associate the solution to this problem with the brand and its products.