In the great big world of social media marketing, there are a lot of outstanding promotional campaigns that grab headlines, engage audiences and promote new or established brands in unique and different ways.

You know the ones … they make you laugh out loud, gasp at their cleverness and wish you could come up with something equally fantastic for your company or organization’s online marketing strategy.

Our MKT Communications team has selected five particularly effective campaigns that stuck with us long after their online promotion ended.

  1. NATIONAL GEO ON FACEBOOK: Who doesn’t pick up National Geographic for its cover photo? And who doesn’t dream of having a picture they took grace the pages of this beautiful magazine? The mag scored big last year with a clever contest that allowed fans to upload a photo they’ve taken to its Facebook page, create a caption and see what it would look like published. Submissions were automatically entered to win a great travel package, but the entire exercise generated huge buzz in Facebook circles.
  2. #PURPLEYOURPROFILE: So simple, yet so effective. This campaign, promoted during a 60-second Super Bowl Commercial to mark World Cancer Day, saw Chevrolet partner with the American Cancer Society to ask its followers to tint their Twitter avatar or FB profile purple to raise awareness and money for cancer research. More than 2 million people engaged after Chevrolet promised to donate $1 to the society (to a max of $1 million) for every purple profile.purple
  3. ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE: This stroke of #socialmedia genius captivated people around the world, from average citizens to CEOs, politicians and celebrities. (Prominent participants ranged from TV diva Oprah Winfrey and Microsoft’s Bill Gates to Alberta musicians such as Paul Brandt and Jann Arden.) Most likely even you knew someone who dumped a frigid bucket of ice water over their heads and had it videotaped and shared online to raise money (and awareness) for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). More than 17 million videos were shared on Facebook and viewed by an estimated 440 million people.
  4. #SHARE-A-COKE: Always a leader in innovative marketing, the soft drink giant Coca-Cola #killedit by taking its recognizable label off 20-ounce soda bottles last year and replacing them with 250 first names popular with North Americans. You could even go online to and send personalized ‘virtual bottles’ with friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #shareacoke. Brilliant in its simplicity, and a whole lot of Coke was sold, too.
  5. BEST JOB IN THE WORLD: Tourism Australia captivated the daydreamer in all of us in 2013 when it launched a contest to fill six ‘extraordinary’ jobs in six ‘extraordinary’ areas of the country. Clever job titles included Lifestyle Photographer, Chief Funster, Taste Master and Outback Adventurer. Successful applicants (short-listers were flown to Australia for interviews) were paid for their six-month ‘working holiday’ sojourn. Not only did the campaign beautifully showcase Australia, it drew applications from 330,000 people from 196 countries and landed media exposure around the globe.

What are your favourite social media marketing campaigns – we’d love to hear from you!? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Social media campaigns we wish we’d thought of
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