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Social media is a fantastic marketing tool that can help you to inspire, entertain, motivate, or sell your stuff to people. While it can be challenging to keep up with all the tools and trends, sometimes though, all you need is a great idea. A great idea that gets people talking about your brand.

If you don’t have yours yet, we’ve got a handful of ideas from which to draw inspiration. Some are fun, some promote worthy causes, and some just do an awesome job of helping the company’s bottom line.

So, without further ado, here are six excellent examples of social media campaigns from 2017.

Denny’s zoom meme

Restaurant chain Denny’s took advantage of the trending “zoom” memes and managed to create one of the most popular brand tweets of all time. Their meme asked users to go on scavenger hunt and zoom into different parts of a photo of a syrup-drizzled stack of pancakes before ending on a punchline.

The results? Close to 122K retweets, 2.4K comments and more than 170K likes.

Danny’s won because people were already making zoom memes popular. So they jumped on the craze and came up with a simple yet fun idea to engage their audience.

The lesson is this: pay attention to what’s trending and to what your audience in doing on social media, and try to use that in your own social media campaigns.

Know your lemons

The Worldwide Breast Cancer charity launched a social media campaign called #KnowYourLemons. The aim was to raise awareness of the various signs of breast cancer and to remind women that lumps aren’t the only symptom to watch out for.

To get people’s attention, they took a striking visual approach and used lemons to show the different warning signs of breast cancer. Here’s one of them:

Help increase breast cancer awareness. Share this image. knowyourlemons.com

Posted by Know Your Lemons on Thursday, 2 March 2017

The charity also set up a dedicated Facebook page where people could read news updates, donate to the cause, and also join the conversation and share their personal experiences with a thriving community.

One of the reasons this social media campaign worked so well is because it managed to strike a delicate balance between serious and playful. The fact that they also gave people a platform on which to share their stories resonated with the audience and made it even more successful.

Mum’s Day Off

Mother’s Day is a huge opportunity for businesses to attract new followers and increase revenue.

Red Letter Days, a gift experience provider, took advantage and launched a clever social media campaign titled Mum’s Day Off (or #MumsDayOff). The brand asked people to share why they think their mum deserves a day off, with an award for the winner at the end of the campaign – a lunch at “A View From The Shard”.

https://twitter.com/RedLetterDaysUK/status/846640451016953856

The campaign caught people’s attention and the company began trending fast, while also gaining hundreds of new followers in the process.

But they didn’t stop there. During the leadup to announce the winner, Red Letter Days asked mums what they would want for Mother’s Day. Then they published a last-minute gift guide for shoppers to use. A fantastic idea to make some sales while they were trending.

Keeping up with the Bakers

Well-known fashion brand Ted Baker are known for thinking outside the box as far as social media goes. Their campaign – “Keeping up with the Bakers” – was no exception.

The campaign made its debut on Instagram in a sitcom-like video series featuring a fictional family. Aside from Instagram stories, they also used Snapchat as well as a shoppable 360 video.

In the interactive video, users were able to explore the Bakers household, the surrounding area, and the Baker’s fashion choice (which were, of course, shoppable from within the video).

Apart from the innovative and exciting idea and implementation, it’s storytelling that made this interactive campaign a smash success. Storytelling is always an effective marketing strategy to use, and this campaign is a classic example of how it can be successful on social media.

Airbnb’s #WeAccept

Capitalising on a trending topic, Airbnb took to Instagram to show their support and acceptance for people of all races and backgrounds. The caption said: “Acceptance starts with all of us. #WeAccept”.

Acceptance starts with all of us. #WeAccept

A post shared by Airbnb (@airbnb) on

While campaigns like this are sensitive and can often be hit-or-miss, Airbnb managed to strengthen consumer perceptions about their brand and cement their position as a world-renowned company with a focus on acceptance.

While this was a successful social media campaign, you should be extra careful about tying yours to sensitive topics. If you want to stay on the safe side, you can always run campaigns that are related to holidays like Mother’s Day or Christmas or big events like the Academy Awards as content related to these is more engaging.

Amazon’s Big Thanks

Another big brand that has had great success with Instagram is Amazon. They ran a simple social media campaign to thank their fanbase for rating them #1 in corporate reputation. To say thanks, they posted a visual showing their ranking with a caption telling customers about a discount they’re offering to celebrate their big win.

What made this campaign great weren’t just the simple idea and the presence of a discount (although it almost always helps) but the fact that Amazon knew they had their customers to thank for their win. And by saying “thank you” and also offering a discount, they managed to make their fans and followers feel appreciated, thus strengthening their connection to the brand.

When was the last time you thanked your customers for their loyalty, for their feedback, for their support?

Wrapping up

These are our choices for 2017’s best social media campaigns. As you can see, the key is to think outside the box and to come up with an idea that engages your audience and makes them feel like they’re part of something.

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