An Examination of 5 Outstanding Social Media Marketing Campaigns 

Some of the biggest global brands create successful campaigns that reinforce their brand, boost sales and engage their audience. By examining five of the most interesting and successful social media campaigns you could be inspired to create your own successful, and interesting campaign.

1.Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz is adept at social media campaigns. In 2013, Mercedes Benz launched an Instagram marketing campaign in a bid to reach out to a younger audience. They asked five top Instagram photographers to photograph the wheel of the Mercedes CLA. The photographer got the most likes got to keep the car.

By the end of the campaign, Mercedes received:

  • 87,000,000 organic Instagram impressions
  • 2,000,000 Instagram likes
  • 150 new marketing assets (photos)

You can incorporate an idea similar to this by answering these questions.

  • Can you offer a competition that asks people to try to test your product?
  • What prize would your target audience value?
  • Can you recruit bloggers or influencers via social media to promote your product or service and reward the person who attracts the most likes?


Dove, despite some fumbles along the way, has worked hard to promote its ‘real beauty’ campaigns, it seems its Real Beauty Sketches videos are striking a chord. Dove knows who their target market is, primarily women, and they create content that tells a story that women can relate to.

Unilever, Dove’s parent company, found that 80{735f2e4b65c3f1982e3012daf49d8651419bebdced28f8d40dc0564cadc91c3b} of women are exposed to negative talk on social media. Dove created a marketing campaign with a goal of changing that experience and making social media a more positive experience for women. Dove and Twitter built a tool to launch the #SpeakBeautiful Effect. The campaign was created to help women make social media a more positive place. An algorithm offers an easy, digestible way to analyse personal behaviours and identify areas where women and can be more positive when sharing messages online. It helps break down which body-related words people use the most and when negative chatter appears during the day.

According to Dove, women were inspired by their message.

  • #SpeakBeautiful was used more than 168,000 times
  • There were 800 million social media impressions of the campaign

The main take away for marketeers.

  • Knowing your audience is the only way you will engage with them.
  • Create your customer persona. Know what life stage they are in, if they’re employed, what their interests are etc.
  • Link your audience with your brand values to create a successful campaign.

3. Nutella

Nutella has taken advantage of the ‘foodie’ fad of posting pictures of every dish. To their credit, it has worked. They have taken a relatively boring looking product and made it interesting, showing a fun side to the business. Their Twitter campaign #WorldNutellaDay, asked people to post their pictures of how they enjoy the hazelnut spread and share their image online with family, friends and coworkers.

In your social media campaign, you could consider introducing:

  • A story that is relatable for your audience, and one that they can participate in.
  • Key influencers and bloggers can be a great way to introduce different types of content and to see how they have fun with your brand.
  • Encourage your followers to share their experiences with your brand. You could consider hosting an event or starting a global reach campaign using a hashtag and choosing a date for an event to bring it all together.

4. Oreo

Oreo is known for its creative social media marketing. They are consistent with their branding and manage to achieve real-time reactions to current events. In 2013, the lights went out at Super Bowl and during the half-hour-blackout Oreo tweeted:

“Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark”

This was retweeted more than 16,000 times and is considered one of the most successful campaigns. The brand was one of the early adopters when it came to posting on social media every day, and it was this marketing decision that meant they were ready when this opportunity struck. They had the following and they had the team of writers in place ready to act.

While you might not have the resources to employ an international team of marketing writers who can tweet witty and brand-relevant content in real-time, you can plan and make social media advertising a priority.

What you can do:

  • Prepare content ahead of time. Schedule content on a weekly basis, or bi-weekly depending on what is relevant to your industry.
  • Plan content to respond to upcoming events, such as international holidays or industry-relevant events.
  • Allow time for ad-hoc advertising that is created in response to current affairs and engages your followers.

5. Airbnb

Airbnb attracts an audience with its visually compelling posts. On Instagram, they post user-generated photos from hosts and guests. The content embraces their new campaign ‘That’s Why We Airbnb’ which is captured through real photography. The campaign follows the stories of everyday travellers who use the platform, as well as celebrates the uniqueness of people’s lives and the concept of non-conformity.

It aims to spread the message that for each person, travel is a unique experience, while being a universally desired and subjective phenomenon at the same time. Each experience is different and embracing that is the essence of the campaign.

The 360-degree campaign is to feature films that will air on multiple channels, while the campaign will also be seen across social, digital and PR channels over eight weeks in 2020. The initial set of TVCs is to illustrate two stories. One is an unconventional family of five who view travel as an educational tool to learn life skills through real-life experiences.

Airbnb is all about accommodation.] However, they sell the idea of travel, an idealised version of life and a way to join a tribe of people who choose to experience life in a way that many people find enviable. They market an idea, not a rental property.

You can include this targeted marketing approach by:

  • Creating a story around your brand, and one that can be personalised.
  • Invite your audience to identify with your brand message by using their images.
  • Post images of your ideal customer persona and invite your audience to identify with your brand values.