Social Media Marketing Blog

M&M’s Red Nose Day


In the movie, Patch Adams, the doctor played by Robin Williams uses a red clown nose to cheer up cancer patients in a children’s hospital.  Leveraging this well-known movie, M&M’s launched a social media marketing campaign in 2015 to generate awareness and money for the first ever United States Red Nose Day.  This campaign is focused on raising funds to support children living in poverty by having fun and making people laugh — a similar approach Dr. Patch Adams used in the film.

The campaign utilized the hashtag ‘#MakeMLaugh’ across social media asking M&M fans to post examples of them making someone laugh.  For each post made, M&M’s donated one dollar to the Red Nose Day foundation up to $250,000.

M&M’s garnered support for this campaign through social media influencers, celebrities and M&M fans across the US.  Additionally, M&M’s coordinated it’s efforts with NBC and Comic Relief to showcase celebrities making people laugh such as Nick Canon, Joe Jonas, Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum.

In addition to simply asking the M&M’s fan base to use the hashtag, M&M’s became apart of the community and created content that it put out on it’s own social media accounts featuring its well known and loved M&M’s characters.  To build upon the donations and awareness, the company was involved with the Red Nose Day telethon having inflatable Red and Yellow M&M characters take part in a dance party to continued to spread awareness for the campaign to increase donations.

The results of this campaign were incredible with M&M’s raising $1,250,000 for the Red Nose Day fund.  In addition, the company generated:

  • 189 million media impressions on Forbes, Huffington Post, People, Entertainment tonight and more
  • 270 million social media impressions
  • 3 million social engagements on #MakeMLaugh content
  • 78K uses of the hashtag ‘#MakeMLaugh’

So this, week I’ve got questions for you!  What is your favorite social media marketing campaign that raised awareness for a good cause?  Did you hear of the M&M’s Red Nose Day last year?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

M&M’s Red Nose Day


Mustang Speed Dating


The Ford Mustang has been a staple of American history since the original was released in 1962.  Since then, Ford has release six different generations of the Mustang for consumers and has been involved in the racing world from being a pace car for the Indianapolis 500 to drag racing, sports car racing, stock car racing and drifting.

To most consumers, the Mustang has always been associated with masculinity.  However, in 2015, with the release of the sixth generation Mustang, Ford sought to change this with their Valentine’s Day social media marketing campaign titled “Mustang Speed Dating”.

The timing of this campaign could have have been better for Ford as in 2015, the demographics of the auto industry buyers were rapidly shifting and female buyers represented 53% as the majority for the first time ever.

Enter Mustang Speed Dating.  The strategy behind this campaign was to show a woman ‘speed dating’ (a play on words for Millennials who are used to speed dating through social media apps) with bachelors by enticing them into a new Mustang and then having the woman showcase her professional stunt driving skills.  This campaign achieved two key results by doing this: (1) They changed the myth that women are bad drivers by instead presenting a skilled woman pranking men in their own comfort space of a car.  (2) Communicate that Ford’s brand is just as much for women as it is for men.  This campaign empowered women to blow away expectations and stereotypes that men hold of them with regards to muscle cars.

The results of this campaign were nothing short of incredible.  The pure message of the campaign appealed to both men who were interested in seeing the new car and seeing it driven deftly, and women who were interested in seeing a powerful women turning a stereotype on its head.  The videos went viral on YouTube garnering 13.7M views and became the second most viewed YouTube video among US auto companies.  In addition to pure views, sentiment analysis showed that the content was viewed positively by both women and men.

When have you seen social media campaigns change your perspective on a topic?  Did you enjoy this video?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

2015 Ford Mustang: Speed Dating Prank


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In September 2014, HP launched a successful social media market campaign inviting millennials in India to ‘Bend the Rules’ to showcase the creativity, talent of innovation of India’s youth.   This campaign encouraged millennials to share examples of times when they bent the rules to achieve success by uploading a video on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter accompanied by the hashtag #BendTheRules.

The thought process behind the campaign was that today’s youth have a very different perspective on life as they idolize people who follow alternative paths to greatness.  Rather than following the traditional path of getting a college degree and securing a corporate job, millennials utilize the power of technology, coupled with their passion, to established their own success.  Today’s youth do not blindly accept established norms, but rather seek to challenge the status quo and find new ways to accomplish goals.

Instantly the message behind this campaign will resonate with the target market of millennials, but HP strategically made a move that compounded the effect of the message alone—made the face of the campaign someone who represented bending the rules.

The face of this campaign was HP India’s brand ambassador, Deepika Padrone, who left behind a promising badminton career to pursue acting being an inspiration for those looking to follow an unconventional path to success.  Her career path provided an excellent example of bending the rules to achieve success.

In addition to the HP consumer uploaded content, this campaign was spread across various platforms including television, print, social media, webisodes, Vine videos, out of home, and digital.  This widespread approach lead to sustained success and further opportunity for the HP brand as well as HP’s x360 tablet—a tablet that bends and has the tagline “for a generation that works differently”—to gain additional spot light in the consumer market.

The intent of this campaign was to change the Indian youth’s opinion of HP from being a older persons’ brand to a young, hip brand.  By showcasing HP products in scenarios where young people bent the rules and became hero for it, they were associating their brand with millennials.

As a measure of how successful this campaign was, the Vine component of this marketing campaign, HP experienced 950K active engagements and 50M organic views.

So as a millennial, how have you bent the rules to achieve success?  Any examples of bending the rules for social media marketing?

Share your stories the comments below!



In 2014, the World Wildlife Fund decided to kickstart a social media campaign to take advantage of the transitory nature of Snapchat to raise awareness for endangered animals.

Instead of sharing exciting photos as normally shared by users of Snapchat, the WWF shared photos of five different endangered animals with a simple, but solemn message stating, “Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie.”

The intent of these grim ads was to reached by creating the shocking, but realistic message of the risk to these animals.  According to the official campaign YouTube video, “In a way Snapchat is a mirror of real life. The images you see are transient, instant, unique, yet only live for a few seconds. Just like these endangered animals.”

Once the Snapchat was viewed, users were given the opportunity to support the cause by sharing the message with friends, adopting an animal, or donating through SMS.

The impact of this campaign was significant:

  • 40K posts by Twitter users in one week
  • 120M Twitter views one one week
  • Viewed by 50% of all active Twitter users
  • Reached WWF donation target for an entire month in just three days

This campaign exemplifies how social media can be used to spread awareness for causes, not just as an avenue to improve business performance.  With all the examples I have shared so far it is becoming clear how important social media marketing can be for causes, companies, governments and politicians.

As an individuals, how do you feel about this campaign?  Do you think campaigns without an upbeat message are successful on social media?  What would you do to improve the message?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Donate to WWF Here






Does Social Media Marketing Work?

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With the rapid increase of social media popularity, have you ever wondered whether social media is the right avenue for your company?

To shed some light on whether significant gains are being achieved by all marketers, the Social Media Examiner completed a 2013 study of how 3,000 marketers are doing with social media, what the top benefits are, and if their ROI has been improving.

This insightful infographic provides useful learnings for all marketers such as:

  • 92% of all marketers report it generates exposure for their business with as little as 6 hours of weekly work
  • 50% of marketers reported new partnerships resulting from at least 1 year of social media marketing.
  • 71% of B2C marketers develops loyal fan bases through social media

Further supporting the benefit of social media marketing, Wharton’s Institute of Executive Education completed a study to determine what social media friends and “likes” are really worth.  They found, through a survey of over 2,000 users of the social media site who had liked a brand revealed that each “Like” is worth $174.17.

Check out the full infographic below and share your thoughts in the comments below of how well social media marketing is working for you!




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Ever heard of Estonia?  You may know that it’s a country, but do you know exactly where it is and what it has to offer?  If you’re like me, then probably not.

That’s where one of the most influential tourism social media marketing campaign comes into play—#EpicEstonia.

In 2015, Estonia’s travel ministry sought to increase tourism and interest in all the attractions the country has to offer.  In order to achieve this, they set out to establish a campaign that would take social media by storm and let millennials do the marketing for them via SnapChat, blogs, Instagram, Facebook and more.  This was a perfect combination for Estonia who was looking to showcase the adventurous activities it has to offer—activities millennials love to take part in.  Moreover, the Estonia tourism board knew that when it comes to travel recommendations, millennials tends to only believe fellow millennials.

To start the campaign, the tourism ministry decided to select 97 millennials to be their social media ambassadors.  They saw tremendous demand with over 6,500 applications.  These social media ambassadors then become the voice of tourism in Estonia by sharing their own personal experiences of epic adventures that would be too cool not to share.

Examples of the #EpicEstonia hashtag used to share all these activities included scuba diving to an underwater prison, sweeping chimneys in the medieval downtown, swinging across the arch above a world renown music festival, and running a marathon with Estonia’s prime minister.

While all this is certainly an intriguing approach to a social media marketing campaign, the only part that matters is whether it was effective or not.  For that, I’ll let the metrics do the talking.  Keep in mind, the 2016 population of Estonia is only 1.3M people:

  • 3.1M reach in all social media platforms
  • 2.1M reach in blogs specifically
  • 810K Instagram followers
  • 178K facebook likes
  • 2K #EpicEstonia unique Instagram photos
  • +231% increase in tourism

Bottom line, it was phenomenally successful and represents a perfect example of how even governments can take advantage of social media marketing.

So are you interested in Estonia after looking at this campaign?  If not…

  • What could have the tourism board done more effectively?
  • What do you look for in social media marketing campaigns?
  • What draws you in without even thinking about it?


#EpicEstonia Official Website

“Epic Estonia” Case Study


Hello, world!

This blog is my very first foray into the world of social media marketing.  The timing could not be more paramount as it coincides with the start of one of my MBA courses focusing on nothing more than social media marketing!

I’m looking forward to using this blog as an avenue to explore real-world examples of social media marketing put into practice by well-known brands and companies.  I hope to impart knowledge and enthusiasm for this subject to all that read this blog while at the same time expanding my knowledge on the topic.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions as we begin this journey together.  I look forward to having this blog explore any specific dimension or nuance of social media marketing that is more interesting to my readers, so don’t be quiet!

Social Media & Politics

Social media marketing is not only for businesses or for artists, but it is also being embraced by politicians.  With 7-months left until the 2016 Presidential Election, the potential candidates are heavily leveraging social media to reach out and connect with supporters—one of the key benefits of social media marketing.

Social media and politics began most meaningfully with President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012 as means to connect with the targeted audiences of minorities to encourage them to go to the polls and vote during a period of time when voter rates were declining.

Since those successful campaigns, the candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election have embraces social media for themselves garnering up to 8.6 million followers through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Why is it so important?  According to a survey by Echelon Insights and Hart Research Associates, of those who say they will vote in 2016:

  • 92% have at least one social media account
  • 54% share content on social media on a daily or weekly basis
  • 40% share political news and information daily or weekly

What is clear is that if you as a candidate, company, artist, or individual looking to advance your personal cause are not actively engaging social media as an avenue to connect with your customers/clients/constituents, you are loosing important attention and visibility.  In today’s digital world, it is imperative to communicate your marketing via digital means.

So what’s your take on social media and politics?

  • Do you trust the political information you receive on social media?
  • Where do you obtain your political information from?
  • Should companies continue to focus on traditional media or just social media?


MSNBC: The Politics of Social Media in 2016


Before I Die…

How often do you think about your hopes, goals and dreams?  If you’re like me, the pace of life is often moving too fast to take the time to think about what’s most important in life.  To remedy this, artist Candy Chang sparked one of the most influential social media campaigns of 2015—Before I die.

According to Chang’s TED talk about this project which has been viewed over 4.3 million times, this campaign started as an effort to enable the people around us to improve one another’s lives even as society becomes more isolated through the ever-present focus on technology that we carry with us everywhere.

This particular campaign started in Chang’s hometown of New Orleans where an abandoned home in Chang’s neighborhood become an impromptu location to bring the community together instead of simply being an eyesore for all neighbors.   In 2009, Chang lost a very close friend that was a mother figure for her which lead her to think deeply about death and her gratitude for life.  However, because of the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, she often fails to think about how much she appreciates her life.

With the help of a few friends, Chang turned the abandoned house into a chalkboard with countless prompts stating, “Before I die I want to…”. Attached to one of the walls was a small basket with brightly colored chalk for passersby to use in completing the phrase plastered across the chalkboard.

Some of the most memorable and influential phrases that were filled out included: (1) I want to be tried for piracy, (2) I want to sing for millions, (3) I want to plant a tree, (4) I want to hold her one more time, (5) I want to be someone’s cavalry, (6) I want to be completely myself.  In Chang’s own words, “this neglected space became a constructive one and people’s hopes and dreams made me laugh out loud,

In Chang’s own words, “this neglected space became a constructive one and people’s hopes and dreams made me laugh out loud, tear up, and consoled me during my own tough times.  It’s about knowing you’re not alone. It’s about understanding our neighbors in new and enlighting ways.  It’s about making space for reflection and contemplation and remembering what really matters most to us as we grow and change.”

Since this simple art feature was first created in New Orleans, social media quickly spread the colorful images across all corners of the world.  Chang has helped individuals who were inspired in other countries create these installments in their own communities ranging from Kazakhstan, South Africa, Australia, Argentina and beyond.

I’ll end this post with a few questions for you…

  • Why did this campaign work well and spread so quickly?
  • How could a business leverage the efficacy of this campaign?
  • What do you want to do before you die?


TED Talk: Candy Change – Before I die I want to…

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