Cadbury has reaped the rewards of quirky advertising campaigns for years, and its digital marketing and social media strategy is no exception. The brand consistently launches new products through its Facebook and Twitter sites and has embraced Google+ and Pinterest.
Perhaps the magnum opus of their social media crusade to date was last year’s 'one million likes’ campaign, which saw the marketing team release images and teaser videos charting the construction of a giant chocolate thumb – resembling the Facebook ‘like’ symbol.
The campaign culminated in the unveiling of the sculpture in a studio adorned with user content and photos, all live streamed on the Facebook page. The concept was born when Cadbury’s research revealed that, despite having more than 7 million Facebook fans, only 16% ever saw content the brand posted.
The innovative campaign got people sharing and ‘liking’ the content, and engaging like never before. Cadbury realised that more important than the number of fans they netted was the sharing of their advertisements.
“Cadbury found that the best way to increase reach on Facebook is to offer fans a big reward for minimum effort on their part. While core fans may engage with all your content, to get their friends to become engaged it has to be extremely easy for them to interact,” says econsultancy.com deputy editor David Moth.
According to the 2014 Yellow Social Media Report, around 70% of small businesses have a strategy to drive people to their social media platforms, compared to 92% of large businesses. And less than half of small businesses actively facilitated the sharing of content through social ‘share’ and ‘like’ buttons, compared to two-thirds of large businesses.
Sharing content on social media can take a number of forms. It can be a follower re-tweeting an article that you have posted, or a fan sharing an image of your product or your status update, or someone ‘liking’ a witty video, podcast or interview you have uploaded.
Social media specialist Simon Mainwaring says a good social media campaign boils down to being able to share compelling stories to as far-reaching an audience as possible and inspiring customers who have made a purchase to talk about your brand to others.
So why is having your content shared so critical?
Jonah Berger, a marketing professor and columnist for BusinessWeek, argues that sharing on social media is essentially word-of-mouth advertising – which has long been revered as the holy grail of marketing, more targeted and cost effective than traditional advertising.
So how do you get people to share? Knowing your audience and what they will respond to is key. People want to share content they identify with, so links to interesting articles, inspirational quotes, evocative images and witty videos all work well.
For further advice, check out The New York Times’ The psychology of sharing study, which revealed the best times to share content on social media are as follows: Twitter at 1pm, Facebook at 5pm, Pinterest at 11pm, Google+ at 10am and email at 7am.