We communicate via fleeting Snapchat messages. Our Tweets are capped at 140 characters. Our Vine creations are just six seconds long, and even our Grams are now “Insta.”
In this maelstrom of brevity in the ever-changing landscape of social media, timing is everything when it comes to making a lasting impression on social media users with increasingly shorter attention spans. Successful marketing wins over online audience with well-timed tweets, captivating photos and/or simple Vine videos.
By focusing on appropriate events or festivities that cater to their audience, the following marketing campaigns successfully identified the leading trends of the day to produce well-timed and memorable online impressions across various social media platforms.
1) Tide’s Halloween vines
What happens when you combine the annual Halloween buzz with one of the most talked-about horror movie remakes of the year? A bloody good viral marketing campaign for detergents, apparently.
In 2013, Tide created a successful six-second horror ad with a chilling nod to “Carrie,” a horror remake that was opening during that Halloween. It was as entertaining and memorable as it was short and simple — a bleeding detergent container, a bloody prom dress, a bloodcurdling scream and the tagline “STAINS BETTER BE SCARED.”
When it comes to timing your social media marketing efforts, annual holidays or celebrations are the easiest targets because certain topics or keywords are guaranteed to trend. And with the foresight to capitalize on the Vine platform in its infancy, P&G was able to captivate consumers with a revolutionary and timely marketing campaign.
By combining the seasonal theme with the trending remake of #Carrie, P&G saw 300 percent increase in Facebook engagement, over 8 million impressions on Twitter and more than 25 million total media impressions.
Stains better be scared indeed.
2) Arby’s epic Twitter “beef” With Pharrell Williams
When an event as big as the Grammy Awards approaches, countless marketing opportunities arise in the form of hashtags and trending keywords. During the 2014 event, Arby’s social media team found a humorous fodder for going viral: Pharrell William’s hat.
At the time, the R&B singer’s comically (or fashionably?) huge Vivienne Westwood hat was all the rage from the moment he stepped in front of the cameras. Noticing that Pharrell’s ridiculous hat resembled its logo, Arby’s decided to poke fun at the R&B superstar with a cheeky tweet that resulted in this light-hearted Twitter exchange:
The Twitter banter was a massive hit: the original 50-character tweet by the sandwich chain generated almost 80,000 retweets and 59,000 likes.
Among hundreds of thousands of hashtags, tweets, and photos that plastered the web during the 2014 Grammys, Arby’s honed in on one thing that everyone was talking about: the hat.
Next Grammys, be on the lookout for what oversized item Pharrell wears.
3) Heineken’s Instagram ticket hunt
Here’s one thing everybody can agree on: we all love free tickets.
As a sponsor of the 2014 US Open Tennis Championships, Heineken took ticket giveaway to another level by hosting an interactive photo hunt for tickets to the men’s final.
The beer manufacturer’s “Crack the US Open” campaign on Instagram utilized the app’s photo grid feature to stitch together a mosaic of tennis fans in their seats, prompting followers to embark on a huge ticket hunt over the course of three days.
1,500 individuals participated in seven photo hunts, resulting in a 20% increase in followers for Heineken’s Instagram account.
By recognizing a special niche of its brand audience (beer-loving tennis aficionados) and analyzing their interests and needs regarding a timely high-profile event, Heineken was able to expand its online followers and potential consumers effectively.
Clearly, timeliness and topicality matters
Creating a digital marketing campaign that speaks to the right audience may seem like a daunting task for marketers trying to make a splash in an ocean of Tweets and Vines and Grams.
But it works the other way too — with so much useless info and tasteless junk flying around the Internet, an ingenious piece of marketing won’t be overlooked. When your campaign slices through the excess of information to strike that sweet spot where timeliness and topicality intersect, it will get noticed.
Still curious to learn how to utilize social media platforms to increase your brand awareness? Check out our guide to millennial marketing.
Do you have a favorite super-timely social media campaign that we didn't list? Does it involve Taco Bell? Either way, let us know. Tweet us at @Perfect_Search!