Seven useful social media case studies from 2013

We get sent a huge number of social case studies at Econsultancy so I thought it would be useful to collate a list of some of the most interesting ones I’ve seen in the past few months.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and not all of the brands have been kind enough to share the results just yet.

However they are all noteworthy uses of social media to promote an ad campaign or product launch. Most of them are from the first half of 2013, though a couple of the examples came in the last few months of 2012.

If you think there are any glaring omissions please flag them up in the comments…

FIFA 2013

To launch the new FIFA 13 video game EA created a Facebook app that focused on user-generated content as a way of drumming up excitement.

Working with social agency Collective and a budget of £40,000, EA first analysed behaviour on its Facebook page to work out what sort of activity drove the most impressions, interactions and sharing.

It found that user-generated content significantly outperformed other forms of content as people love showing off their FIFA skills and watching others score great FIFA goals.

EA therefore created the FIFA ‘Goals of the Week’ app, which encouraged users to upload their best goals on a weekly basis with EA’s community managers then aggregating the most ‘liked’ goals into a ‘Goals of the Week’ reel.

Following the launch of the app on September 25 2012, submissions of uploaded goals increased by 350%, with over 13,000 submitted. 

The videos have been shared thousands of times, achieving 4.28 million views in three months.

Weetabix

A number of brands have turned to Vine this year as a way of engaging with their customers, including Weetabix.

It used the six-second video platform to promote its On the Go Breakfast Biscuit range.

Weetabix shot a series of clips focusing on a normal morning routine, then encouraged other users to tweet @weetabix saying how they wanted the story to progress.

Audience reaction from Weetabix’s 10,000 twitter followers determined how the story continued, through the use of hashtags such as ‘#getup or #hitsnooze’, ‘#grabbreakfast or #leavethehouse.’

In total four Vine videos were produced reaching over 262,000 people on Twitter. They secured impressive results, including almost 1,000 retweets for the final video, reaching an audience of over 600,000 Twitter users and leading to a 5x uplift in growth in fan numbers.

The Vine activity was part of a wider social campaign that included a Facebook app and a Facebook competition.

BNP Paribas

To mark the 40th anniversary of BNP Paribas’ sponsorship of the French Open the train operator worked with We Are Social to design an event that allowed Twitter users to play a game of tennis against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Or, more accurately, they could operate a social media-controlled robot that launched tennis balls at Tsonga live on a tennis court.

After logging into a microsite through Twitter users could drag-and-drop a tennis ball on a virtual on-screen tennis court to adjust the positioning of their shot. 

The user’s shot was then encoded as a hashtag and placed into a tweet from them, to which they could add a personal message to Tsonga before it was sent.

The on-court robot, connected to the internet and Twitter via 3G, then selected users’ tweets at random and fired tennis balls at Tsonga, with each shot mapped precisely to the positioning of each user’s choosing.

I’ve not seen any data on how many people took part in the event, but it’s certainly an interesting and unique way of engaging tennis fans.

Stockholm Pride

Last year a court in Moscow banned the city’s Pride festival for 100 years. In response Stockholm Pride decided to invite Russians celebrations in the Swedish city by sending tweets using the hashtag #GOWEST.

The campaign was based around a minisite that allowed users to compose a tweet-invite that was automatically translated into Russian. In addition, the user’s location for that particular tweet was changed to a location in Russia.

The aim was to get #GOWEST trending so it would reach the widest audience possible and raise awareness of the issue.

It’s a clever idea and a good PR stunt, and according to the Wall Street Journal the hashtag trended in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod. 

However a counter on the minisite suggests that it only achieved 5,700 tweets, which isn’t a huge number in the grand scheme of things.

Confused.com

In May this year Confused.com ran a campaign through Twitter that responded to user questions with personalised videos.

After encouraging users to submit questions using the hashtag #confuseddotcom the insurance company posted around 20 different video responses on May 15.

It’s a neat idea that fits well with the brand image, and it also hopped onboard an existing hashtag. However it appears that the videos achieved very few retweets, so brand exposure may have been limited outside of its existing follower base.

Battlefield 3

Another EA example, this time promoting the launch of an ‘Armoured Kill’ add-on for its Battlefield 3 game. As with the FIFA campaign EA exploited the popularity of user-generated content by creating a film shot entirely within the Battlefield game.

The film paid tribute to video game clips that fans had previously shared online, created a unique piece of content that not only made heroes of the fans who created the original moments but also showed off the new Armoured Kill add-on.

With no advertising or official social media support, the Battlefield 3 Moments video has achieved over 625,000 views across YouTube and racking up 25,000 ‘likes’ in the process.

It also gained coverage in magazines and blogs including PCGamer, Kokatu and Engadget. As the entire piece was produced for £45,000, the cost per view – excluding those generated by the PR – is just 7p.  

Bulmers

Following a tactic commonly used by Cadbury, in February Bulmers officially launched two new fruit flavoured ciders through Facebook and Twitter.

The idea was to spark interest among Bulmers’ social communities by giving them exclusive access to the new drinks ahead of the full launch.

Social agency We Are Social created a ‘Try It First’ Facebook app that allowed fans to enter their email address to be in with a chance of being among the first people in the country to try the new products, with ten winners selected each week for a fortnight.

 

The packaging contained a call-to-action encouraging people to post pictures of themselves with the new bottles to Facebook and Twitter to share with other Bulmers fans.

Bulmers also contacted key influencers on Twitter to offer them a bottle of the new flavours so they could share their thoughts with their followers.

Though social product launches aren’t a new idea as such, it’s still a good way of drumming up excitement around a new product among brand advocates.

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Seven useful social media case studies from 2013

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