The Best Social Media Campaigns of 2015

December 3, 2015

The end of the year is fast approaching so what better way to celebrate the end of 2015 than to spotlight some of the best social media campaigns of the year?

Social media is constantly changing. We are continuously thinking of better, more innovative and unique ideas to market our products and services. When we come across campaigns that really work, we should try to make a note of what it was that made it a success and incorporate those concepts in our own marketing strategies.

  1. The #LastSelfie: World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Earlier in the year, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) used Snapchat with a unique twist to launch their #LastSelfie Campaign. WWF utilised the fleeting nature of Snapchat photos to portray the disappearance of endangered species around the globe.  Heartfelt images of animals captioned with “Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie” led to worldwide recognition, an enormous boost in followers, and donations fit for a month in only 3 days.

This social media campaign was successful due to Snapchat’s modern relevance and ability to capture a clear target market of 18-25yr olds. Within the first eight hours of the campaign, 5,000 tweets were viewed on 6 million Twitter timelines. After one week, 40,000 tweets were viewed by 120 million Twitter users which was nearly 50% of the monthly total of Tweeters. Real life facts about endangered animals and a featured option to adopt ensured customers it was a company that could be trusted. The memorable and emotive images combined with an innovative, millennial statement sparked a movement allowing anyone to get involved, spreading global awareness.

Watch the heartbreaking #LastSelfie campaign here.

It wouldn’t be fair to not mention another great 2015 campaign by the WWF, called the #EndangeredEmoji. Again, they used hashtags, coupled with 17 cute emojis matching 17 endangered species, to appeal to social media users.  For every emoji tweeted, €0.1/£0.1 was donated to the WWF. Quickly the campaign became a viral success, with thousands getting involved. However, twitter users misunderstood the signup process which led to thousands thinking they were donating, when they weren’t. From this, we can learn that instructions must be clear and simple in order to avoid wasted efforts.

  1. Refreshingly Honest: Honest Tea

Organic bottled tea company, Honest Tea, posed a very controversial question; “What happens when you give someone a chance to be honest?” By activating 27 pop-up stores in major cities across the U.S offering a plethora of Honest Tea flavours for a donation of $1, the all natural tea company found out who ranked highest on the National Honesty Index. The company used Influential, a mobile enterprise technology, to couple famous web personalities with popular social media platforms to attract and connect with consumers. Instagram/Youtube/Blog celebrities with from 20,000 to 307,000 followers such as Olivia Jensen, promoted the Tea and were vital to the success of the campaign. Although the experiment began in 2011 and has continued every year, the campaign was revamped in 2015.

The results were surprising with 94% of Americans choosing to pay rather than steal. Honest Tea included an Instagram/Twitter element to the campaign to find out whether the honesty of U.S citizens translated onto social media platforms; Honest Tea asked followers to post the “unfiltered, imperfect, #RefreshinglyHonest moments” of their daily lives in which photos would be uploaded to the website. The brand director revealed that the secret to their success is all about using influencers. The physical pop-up store paired with an online platform has enabled local influences to influence others on a national level without jeopardising the safe and honest brand image.

Watch the Refreshingly Honest campaign here.

  1. The 12th Man: Branding by Air, PEMCO

Branding by Air, a Sydney-based aerial marketing company, publicly revealed the opening of an office in the U.S by flying a 12,000 square foot banner over this year’s Super Bowl. The company partnered with the U.S Insurance company PEMCO to celebrate the “12th man”; the dedicated fans of an American Football team. The giant flag featured the number 12 and was made up of 22,458 Instagram submitted photos, and 42, 501 signatures of dedicated Sea Hawks fans.

The banner was flown with the belief that highly salient advertising would capture attention and initiative activity from followers in a populated social media sphere. The campaign highly interacted with fans both online and offline creating follower autonomy, making them feel as if they were personally involved in the project and were important to the brand. The bold banner delighted and inspired Sea Hawks fans during the event that was watched by over 100 million people which in turn, increased brand exposure and awareness.

Watch the inspiring 12th Man campaign here.

  1. #withoutshoes: TOMS

TOMS is a for-profit online company that sells shoes with a unique espadrille style. Since 2006, TOMS has promised to donate a pair of shoes to a child in a developing country for every pair of TOMS shoes sold. In May this year, TOMS launched their #withoutshoes Instagram campaign. A photo uploaded to Instagram of bare feet using the hashtag #withoutshoes, allowed for a donation of a pair of shoes. The campaign was a huge success with 296,243 photos posted to Instagram and 296, 243 pairs of shoes donated to impoverished children around the world. There’s even talk of the same event happening next year.

TOMS cleverly jumped on board the popular Instagram trend of bare feet photographs which made the campaign relevant and relatable to social media users. This philanthropic campaign sincerely displayed the company’s dedication to making the world a better place with such simplicity. It just goes to show that you don’t need to overspend or overthink your social media efforts.

Watch TOMS compassionate #withoutshoes campaign here.

Uniqueness, innovation, and creativity were the driving forces behind the success of the aforementioned companies.

If you’d like to learn how to develop a successful campaign, or discover how social media can benefit your company, contact Social Media College today!

About the author 

Jonathon Tanner

Jonathon Tanner is the Co-CEO of Social Media College, Australia's leading educator and trainer for social media.

He co-authored the Diploma of Social Media Marketing, the world's first and only Australian Government recognised course in social media marketing, delivered by 25 leading colleges and TAFEs across Australia, and articulating into several Bachelor programs at Australian Universities.

His deep expertise in social media spans content marketing, social media strategy, 15 different social media networks, paid social advertising, personal branding, email marketing, and social media conversion.

Jonathon has also co-founded several other businesses, as well as spending 12 years as a management consultant specialising in mergers & acquisitions for private equity firms, growth strategy, and operational improvement.

Jonathon holds a combined Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney.

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