by Bradley Taylor, Guest Contributor
Social networking sites have evolved exponentially in the past decade. So much so that sites such as Twitter and Facebook now attract over 243 million and 1.28 billion active monthly users respectively. As a result, a wide range of industries have begun to implement social media marketing plans within their pre-existing marketing strategies. But are these strategies making a difference?
A survey by Simply Measured revealed that over 84% of the participants questioned received an increase in traffic to their website from the implementation of merely 6 hours of social media marketing strategies per week. Consequently, many industries are developing their own social media marketing campaigns to engage with, and promote their services to, a diverse and technologically active group of prospective customers.
In recent years the automotive industry has begun to utilise social media marketing to engage with their customers and provide them with unique motoring experiences.
For instance, German motoring manufacturer BMW has amassed the biggest Facebook Page in the automotive industry – thereby enabling them to engage with their 9 million Facebook fans. Through their various social media profiles BMW advertises unique and engaging promotional campaigns, such as their outdoor marketing campaign for the electric BMW i3.
BMW integrated this outdoor creative campaign with their pre-existing social media profiles by directing customers to the accompanying mobile app which provides a virtual test drive of the BMW i3. This culmination of various digital marketing strategies enabled BMW to pique customer interest in their new i3 and subsequently corner the market in electric, environmentally friendly vehicles.
Similarly, American motoring company Ford launched successful social media strategies to captivate the buying interests of their customers. Their recent Facebook campaign known as The Fiesta Movement resulted in the sale of 10,000 Ford Fiesta units within merely the first six days of sales. Ford also promoted this campaign via Twitter using the hashtag #fiestamovement.
The basis of this campaign revolved around 100 Fiesta 'agents' carrying out a variety of adventurous missions in the new 2014 Ford Fiesta. The dynamism and scale of this social media marketing campaign reaped lucrative financial dividends for Ford; with reports from The Telegraph revealing that "UK consumers bought 121,929 Fiestas last year, making it the country’s bestselling car by a comfortable margin".
However, it is not just the automotive industry that is profiting from the limitless potential of social media platforms. Websites such as Facebook also offer small businesses an outlet through which they can interact with a large network of customers without breaking their budget.
A successful example of small business social media marketing success is SnugglePuff Crafts. Since 2012, founder Siobhan Harding has provided customers with handmade personalised wooden name signs. By creating a Facebook profile page for her business, Harding promoted her working-from-home business to a multinational audience, generating over 11,500 Facebook fans for her small crafts business.
Speaking about the advantages of Facebook, Harding conveyed how, "I use Facebook to do all of my customer liaison, from responding to messages to quotes, from billing to organising payments, from new product announcements to credit control, and even finding and negotiating with suppliers. It’s my one-stop shop!"
Nonprofit organisations can also utilise social media platforms to promote their campaign ideals and objectives to potential sponsors, as well as inform their current members about upcoming fundraising events.
For instance, the nonprofit organisation Cancer Research UK achieved landmark fundraising successes via their Facebook and Twitter campaign encouraging women to take photos of themselves without wearing makeup and to post these images on their social media profiles utilising the hashtag #nomakeupselfie.
Users could also text "BEAT" in order to donate money towards Cancer Research UK. This innovative social campaign was so successful that it raised over £2 million in donations within just 48 hours of the campaign's launch; as well as £8 million of donations being raised within just 6 days!
Ultimately, the immense success of these various social media marketing campaigns demonstrates how online media platforms permit various industries to communicate directly with their target audiences, building their brands through attentive engagement.
Have your own social media success story? Share it here!
Bradley Taylor is a freelance writer in the UK whose interests include cars, bikes, gadgets, technology and most things that can be considered automotive. You can find him on Twitter @BradleyTaylor84 and Google+.
Want to contribute to our blog? Read our Guest Post Guidelines here!
IMAGE BY CRIS YEAGER