Do you remember the time you used to buy magazines every week with your pocket money? The times when socialising with friends meant just that – going out to play, talking to each other and venturing out of the house?
Nowadays socialising can mean a whole host of things – from chatting with friends on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from the comfort of your own sofa, to meeting up with friends in restaurants and bars, and probably taking a snap of your fancy food to post on Instagram (#foodie).
Social media has had a huge impact on our personal lives, meaning not only do we meet up with our friends and share these experiences with the rest of the twittersphere, we hashtag #every #single #post to try and generate the most likes and comments.
This urge to increase online engagement isn’t just for personal gain. Businesses have also jumped on the social bandwagon to create an online community and push brand awareness.
In the past, businesses would use more traditional techniques to gain interest and engagement for their brand – flyers, newsletters and television commercials would be launched at the click of a button. But these methods alone just aren’t savvy enough in today’s society – so without the hype and engagement of social media, the older approaches to advertising and marketing will be ignored faster than you can say #IceBucketChallenge.
Businesses need to find new and imaginative ways to get the social community involved with their brand. Only the truly innovative and engaging campaigns will go viral and take the twittersphere by storm. Let’s take the #ManOnTheMoon campaign from John Lewis as an example.
Over the Christmas period, this highly anticipated advert got people talking, tweeting, commenting and ‘liking’ the company’s seasonal advert (which never disappoints). This viral campaign – which pulled on the heart strings – told a story about a young girl that is using the family telescope one evening and is shocked to find a man living on the moon, all alone. Lily – the young girl – is determined to show him that she is thinking of him. The story goes on and Lily eventually manages to send the old man a present – a telescope of his own, so he can look down to Earth and see Lily too.
The aim of the Christmas story was to ‘show someone they’re loved this Christmas’. John Lewis partnered with Age UK to help raise awareness and funds for the charity. The tear jerking #ManOnTheMoon campaign went viral using emotive marketing to promote the all-important moral of the story. The ad successfully helped to raise money and awareness for the charity, with stores working with their local Age UK to help fund activities such as lunch clubs, Christmas social events and activities in stores.
As we move further into 2016, we are bound to see even more exciting and engaging social media campaigns, maybe another summer #IceBucketChallenge or a #BestShotEver for us to take part in? One thing’s for sure, the hashtags will keep coming, the brands will keep posting and we will keep sharing and getting involved.