Jan 14, 2022

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

In our ‘5 Successful Social Media Campaign You Can Learn From’ blog, we looked at how marketers can use the five big social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube) to increase reach and drive conversions.

This time, we’ll explore new and emerging social media platforms that marketers might overlook when developing their campaigns to see what a successful social campaign looks like. These are TikTok, WeChat, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Twitch

Let’s kick off with the biggest disruptor in the social media space: TikTok!

TikTok Social Media Campaigns

Launched in 2016, TikTok has more than 1 billion monthly users. Although that’s fewer than Facebook or Instagram, it’s more than Snapchat or Twitter. The platform is particularly popular with people under 30. Active users spend around an hour per day on TikTok. 

TikTok is a short-form video platform. TikTok videos usually last between 15 seconds and one minute, though they can last up to 10 minutes. The platform has become well known for its entertainment value, as people share funny videos, dance routines, fashion tips, and humorous mash-ups.

TikTok can be an effective marketing tool when used well by marketers to engage audiences via authentic, bite-sized video formats. If you can tell your brand story within a minute, you’re likely to engage a TikTok audience. Plus, TikTok videos are often reshared on other platforms, meaning that your video content will be seen by a huge range of audiences.  

Brands do need to have a good understanding of what makes the platform work and what content is most effective on it. For example, instead of just posting content, brands should consider offering added value such as music and challenges that users can tailor. This means that brands have to give up some control of their story and image to gain traction on this app. However, it’s worth making the effort as a lot of impulse purchases take place on TikTok.

1. TikTok Campaign - Ocean Spray

Jumping on trends is a key way to get your brand seen on TikTok. Ocean Spray made great use of a viral video (28.5 million views) that featured Nathan Apodaca drinking from a bottle of Ocean Spray on his way to work on his skateboard while singing along to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’.

The brand capitalized on the popularity of the video by sending Nathan a red pick-up truck full of Ocean Spray products in which he replicated his original post by singing along, drinking Ocean Spray. The replica video has received 4.5 million likes and raised the brand awareness of Ocean Spray in a clever way that uses the power of user-generated content rather than branded or sponsored posts.

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2. TikTok campaign - Duolingo

The language learning app Duolingo has exploded on TikTok. Featuring its owl mascot Duo, the brand has gained millions of followers by creating funny and quirky videos that give their mascot a unique and slightly scary personality! Its creative videos featuring the owl in the office with employees in various scenarios has proved a hit amongst TikTok users and creators.

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One viral video featured the line “the killer is escaping” said by Sarah Paulson in American Horror Story with Duo chasing staff around the office and inspired many memes from remixes to lip synching.

WeChat Social Media Campaigns

WeChat is a peer-to-peer communication and texting platform. It is primarily used for messaging but has evolved into a popular social media network. WeChat has its own built-in shopping and payment capabilities, which makes it interesting to marketers particularly due to the rise in popularity of social commerce. On WeChat users can order and pay for products and services directly from the app.

WeChat has more than 1.2 billion active users each month who spend an average of one hour on the platform every day and send 3.5 billion messages daily. Nearly all of WeChat’s users are in China. However, it also has 19 million users in the US.

The platform offers good opportunities for granular targeting, direct messaging, and the creation of mini-programs. It also allows brands to advertise using a range of media formats.

3. WeChat Campaign - Skittles

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

Candy brand Skittles used gaming to run an effective WeChat campaign in China. They created a mobile game for Chinese New Year based on the ‘hongbao’ tradition of gifting red envelopes. The campaign included ’The Most Frustrating Red Packet’ feature once a day for just five days which required 50,000 taps to open the envelope – compared with other games that require just one tap. The first user to reach 50,000 taps was awarded ¥49,999 (ca. $7,750), after buying a QR code on a hongbao-themed pack of Skittles to enter the competition.

This unique take on a common game format attracted a lot of attention and encouraged users to discuss the campaign with friends. It was also paired with an influencer campaign on social media and a funny TVC campaign to create some buzz across platforms. 

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4. WeChat campaign - Fendi

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

Luxury brand Fendi turned to influencers - known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in China - to promote their 2020 collection on WeChat. Using stylish photographs featuring high profile actors Xu Weizhou and Qiao Xin, Fendi used WeChat to link to their Chinese website where people could view and buy pieces from the new collection. This is a perfect example of a non-Asian brand using a popular platform to target and engage Chinese consumers and the growing Chinese ecommerce market.

5. WeChat campaign - Mercedes

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

Mercedes used WeChat’s Mini Program Ads for its “She’s Mercedes” campaign on International Women’s Day (IWD). An initiative that Mercedes started in 2017, the campaign encouraged Chinese women to use IWD to share their success stories, focusing on female empowerment and social achievement. Mercedes said that its aim was to ‘set women in motion’.

Using the hashtag #shesmercedes and engaging with KOLs on the social review platform Xiaohongshu (aka Little Red Book), the campaign invited women to post their stories on WeChat. The top 100 users won a luxury Benz handbag. The campaign was a success, with the hashtag ‘She’s Mercedes‘ hitting 4.15 million views with 300+ posts on Xiaohongshu. By including links to the company website, the brand was able to increase sales of its products.

WhatsApp Social Media Campaigns

Like WeChat, WhatsApp is primarily a peer-to-peer texting platform. However, it also enables businesses to communicate directly with an audience or customers for sales and customer support, once they share their WhatsApp contact number.

WhatsApp has approximately 2 billion monthly users, making it more popular than WeChat or Facebook Messenger. It has become the world’s third most popular social network which makes WhatsApp a great marketing platform.

6. WhatsApp campaign - Financial Times

The Financial Times (FT) found success on WhatsApp by sharing two free articles per day with select groups of WhatsApp users. The publisher found that honing its content to include market-related stories rather than news made readers more likely to return to their site within seven days.

Based on a survey of its WhatsApp users, the FT discovered that 80% of the people it reached through the platform were not subscribers. They were also younger, with over a third being between the age of 26 and 35. Overall it found that people who joined the WhatsApp group were 40% more likely to visit its website and subscribe.

7. WhatsApp campaign - Netflix

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

Netflix shares personalized recommendations with people who add it to their WhatsApp contacts. In addition, through WhatsApp’s picture-in-picture player, anytime a user shares a link to Netflix a trailer (if one is available) will play on the platform in the same way as YouTube videos. 

8. WhatsApp campaign - Yoox Net-a-Porter

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

Yoox Net-A-Porter used WhatsApp to create a personal shopper for its Extremely Important People (EIP) customers. This was created after the Personal Shopper team noticed that EIPs preferred to receive recommendations and even purchase with WhatsApp over other channels. Customers involved in the campaign praised the social platform and as a result made sales, with one person spending $80,000 on just one WhatsApp transaction.  

Snapchat Social Media Campaigns

Snapchat started off as an image messaging platform but quickly evolved into a very popular multimedia social media mobile app. People use it to share short, temporary Snapchat Stories. Marketers quickly learned how to use ephemeral content to showcase their products through vertical video.

Snapchat has more than 230 million daily active users and more than 2 million snaps are created each minute!

Snapchat has excellent audience targeting tools and ecommerce features. It’s also famous for its innovative Augmented Reality tools. Brands can create a Lens on Snapchat and use this as a hook to engage users.

Because Snapchat is such a vibrant platform, brands need to be very creative with their content. It’s not enough to have nice visuals and music, marketers also need the right strategy to drive success. The extra effort pays off, however, because the right campaigns drive direct sales as well as awareness.

9. Snapchat campaign - Gucci

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

Snapchat is now leading the way in innovative social media ecommerce, with new features such as Augmented Reality (AR) shopping that’s helping to transform the retail sector. This allows users to get a better understanding of products by experimenting with them in a virtual or augmented environment. Gucci launched the first of these campaigns with the first global shoe try-on using Snapchat’s AR Lens.

10. Snapchat campaign - American Eagle

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

Other brands have followed suit, like American Eagle with their jeans guide. Using a 3D shoppable jeans lens customers can try on different types of American Eagle jeans by using the back camera. So, when users try on a pair of virtual jeans, they can look at fit and get styling advice along with an option to buy.

11. Snapchat campaign - GOAT

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

GOAT is an online sneaker market, with a reputation for selling authentic sneakers across a huge variety of styles, including rare and luxury sneakers. GOAT partnered with Snapchat to increase its audience reach.

First, GOAT used Snap Ad App Install ads, which enabled the company to drive users from the Snapchat ad to their own app store, where users could buy the advertised sneakers. The company used Snapchat Lifestyle categories, such as Urban, Hip hop, or Sneakerheads, to appeal to the Snapchat audience.

GOAT also implemented the Snap Pixel. This enabled it to track traffic and conversions between the app and their website. And it could use this data to fine-tune its audience targeting to get more views and followers.

Finally, GOAT used goal-based bidding in Snap Ads to reduce their Cost Per Acquisition by 26%. It was able to do this by focusing on well-performing categories.

Tip: If you’re looking to try out a Snapchat campaign, watch our walkthrough video on Snapchat ads

Twitch Social Media Campaigns

Twitch is a live-streaming video service that focuses primarily on video games. The app has been downloaded more than 100 million times so far and has 140 million unique monthly visitors. This audience tends to be mostly (65%) male, but the female audience is growing rapidly. Most users (73%) are under 35. 

So, why should your brand advertise on Twitch? Twitch ads are great for brand awareness and generating interest in products, but marketers need to make an effort to fit in with the content and mood of the platform. You should avoid repeating the same ads that run on other channels. Twitch Brand Partner Studio helps brands develop content and Twitch ad campaigns that will work well on the platform. Even more so than on other social apps, influencers play a key role on Twitch, helping brands to reach the right audience and giving their content an air of authenticity.

12. Twitch campaign - Wendy’s

The American fast food restaurant Wendy’s tapped into the American Crossing gaming trend to create some buzz on Twitch. The brand tweaked their logo to create a character on Spicy Nugg island that featured in the game and hosted live streams on its Twitch channel.

It then used promotional messages such as ‘Choppin’ Trees & Free Deliveries’ and ‘Free Delivery’ on the top and bottom of the screen to urge people to take action without interfering with the game experience. 

13. Twitch campaign - Red Bull

Brands need to entertain first, advertise second on this platform. Philanthropy is a great way to demonstrate that a brand is on Twitch to do more than just sell. This is exactly the approach that Red Bull take on the platform

13 of the Best Social Media & Messaging App Campaigns

Red Bull sponsored live streams and events such as Games Done Quick to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders and Present Cancer Foundation. In these ads, the focus was on raising money for good causes, rather than blatantly promoting the brand. This generated goodwill and raised brand awareness. 

Become a Social Media Campaign Superstar

When it comes to social media marketing, it pays to think beyond Facebook ads and Twitter trends. Keep an eye on emerging social media platforms, as they can become a valuable channel for lead generation, brand awareness and sales. 

With DMI’s certified Social Media Marketing course you will learn how to use a range of social platforms to tap into new audiences, offer great social customer service, devise an effective social strategy, and turbo-charge your marketing campaigns.

Clodagh O’Brien
Clodagh O’Brien

Clodagh O'Brien is a content creator and strategist. Over the last 12 years, she has created and managed content for many SMEs and global brands. She's passionate about digital marketing and the impact of technology on culture and society. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.  

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