Apr 27

Social Media Hit or Miss: From sustaining the earth to unsustainable growth

Here’s our take on which brands have made an impression, for better and for worse, across the social media sphere this week. Brands are chosen based on compelling recommendations, best practices and overall reach and impact.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… your Facebook posts Where have all the supporters gone?
In order to support Earth Day and promote recycling, Honest Tea has developed a Facebook app known as “The Great Recycle.”  The app captures a user’s most popular post determined by the number of likes and comments. The Facebook user can choose which of these posts to recycle and repost it with a branded message to encourage others to recycle.  As an incentive, the Facebook user is given ten credits that they can redeem with Recyclebank, an organization that rewards green efforts with actual prizes from companies like Target, Unilever and Kashi.  The app already has over 89,000 likes on Facebook.

#BrandHit Learnings:

  • Help your brand help the earth As we discussed earlier this week, eco-friendly initiatives and brands are on the rise across the globe.  As long as it is relevant to your audience (and fits within your brand mission), almost any brand could get a nice reputation bump from a “green” program.
  • The right partners can boost a program’s success Honest Tea chose to partner with Recyclebank for incentivizing their “Great Recycle” audience, which is a perfect fit.  While it’s great to keep a program “in house,” thinking outside your own box to find relevant partners for a new launch or campaign.  Their extended network and reach would help your brand raise awareness and participation.
Remember that video that over 88 million people watched?  In case you don’t, non-profit Invisible Children created a short film about war criminal Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Africa.  Within days, millions of people had watched the 29-minute film and the Kony 2012 video was declared the most viral video of all time.  The video was launched on March 5, 2012 – cut to the “big” day for action, April 20, 2012.  Cities were to be covered in photos of Kony, rallies were to be held – all in the name of making Kony “famous” so the world’s legal system would bring him to justice.  So what happened?  Not a whole lot.  Within social media, there were 12 million mentions of Kony-related topics in March, compared to less than half a million mentions during the first 18 days of April.  Of the 19,000 in Sydney who declared they would attend the Kony poster-hanging event, only “around 25″ actually showed up.  In Vancouver, 17 of 21,000. (Source)  In addition, Invisible Children’s follow-up video saw less than two percent of the number of hits of the original. The campaign had initial success, but its social media captivity has been found unsustainable.

#BrandMiss Learnings:

  • Timing is everything The KONY 2012 video was released a little over a month before the “Cover the Night” date.  Was this perhaps too long?  Logistically, since the charity had to sell and ship out kits, it’s understandable for the time lag, but what about consumer attention span?  Did potential supporters simply forget about KONY 2012?
  • Keep up the engagement After releasing the video, Invisible Children kept up the standard social media strategy – posting content to Facebook, Twitter and to a company blog.  But to what end?  When setting brand campaign goals, don’t forget to keep things ambitious, but ultimately, achievable.