The best brands in the world own social media.

Using their creative teams to the full, they pull out all the stops to create social campaigns that help to push their message and boost sales.

In this post, we look at some of the best case studies out there on social media, and pick out a few lessons to be learned.


Oreo: Lights Out, Social On

Oreo and its fantastic use of a power cut during a Super Bowl clash has become part of social media legend. But if you want to see how it was done and how it all worked, head here for a case study on it.

Standout Quote:

Because we picked such a big stage, we decided to have a social media command center, so that we could respond in real time to buzz

The key takeaway:

Always be listening to your audience, and keep your finger on the pulse of current events.


H&M: Mastering Google Plus

These guys have been killing it on social media for some years, but they have managed to tap into one platform that some companies find very difficult: Google Plus. This case study goes in depth to find out how the clothing company uses the platform to engage with fans.

Standout Quote:

We want our followers on Google+ to feel that what they get is unique

The key takeaway:

Regular, relevant posting on Google+ makes a huge difference.


GoPro: Power to the people

GoPro has that insanely unique feel that makes it a cool brand anyway, but this YouTube case study really shows how they manage to corner the market on the video platform. Don’t forget a lot of this stuff is user generated too.

Standout Quote:

It is really neat to see people’s passion coming forward

The key takeaway:

If your audience is in love with your product, let them evangelise about it.


Sony: Making Pinterest it’s true home

Sony can’t really put a foot wrong on social, and the veteran company has nailed it again with their approach to Pinterest, This study shows exactly how they manage to get it right.

Standout Quote:

The excitement about Pinterest got the web team to get really creative and figure out a way to make it work.

The key takeaway:

Research what other people are pinning, and do it better.


Honda: Using Influencers to gain leverage on Pinterest

Honda has always been that little bit more creative than other companies. This time it knocked it out of the park with this incredibly clever Pinterest move. Check out the case study here.

Standout Quote:

This gave Honda exposure to many more followers than it could have had on its own.

The key takeaway:

Carry out a spin on user-generated content by finding influencers and encouraging them to market for you.


Air Asia: Creating huge viral potential

Air Asia are not the biggest airline in the world, but they created a very exciting campaign a couple of years ago that really demonstrated how to use social effectively on a number of different levels. They gave away a plane on Facebook.

The winner of the competition didn’t receive a free plane (obviously) but instead the opportunity to take 302 of their Facebook friends on a plane journey from Australia to Malaysia. The campaign was a huge success, with the ability to tag ten friends in the photo of the plane and its seating plan.

To say this was a huge success is a bit of an understatement, however. As the case study shows, 20% of the entire Australian Facebook audience saw the campaign.

The viral aspect is what made the difference here, with everyone involved having 302 other potential people involved too.

Standout Quote:

The biggest Facebook friendship test ever conceived. It grew from local, to national to international news, generating PR value of $1,627,593.

The key takeaway:

Use your audience to create momentum.


Cisco: Using social to save money and the planet

Cisco used to do traditional product launches, with plenty of press releases and some rather dry presentations. Then they discovered social and found that, if they were a little more clever about things, people would listen more readily.

Using YouTube, Facebook and Twitter among other channels (including Second Life) this product launch went so well it has changed the way the company now does things. Enjoy reading this detailed case study and think about how you can tap into your customer’s innate need to have fun.

Standout Quote:

If they’re playing games, that’s how they want to engage and that’s who they are.

The key takeaway:

Find out what your audience loves and tap into that with your content.


Coca Cola: How to enhance a brand that already straddles the global stage

Coca Cola is a huge brand and it has one of the most recognisable logos in the world. Right now, it’s FB reach is absolutely massive and something that couldn’t possibly be bettered, right?

Well, the way Coca Cola uses its Facebook presence is a lesson for all businesses everywhere. The ability to tailor pages and even content geographically has been clearly understood by Coca Cola. And it has done this well, with infrequent posting not being an issue, simply because the aim is to reinforce the brand through a variety of pages.

And it works. Really well, in fact. Coca Cola isn’t in danger of losing it’s well over 60 million fans on Facebook, but it knows that keeping that brand strong is simply a matter of using a channel to its full potential.

Standout Quote:

one of the privileges that comes with its international celebrity is the ability to leave its Facebook page unattended for long periods of time.

The key takeaway:

Use the platform’s filters and settings to tailor your content to segments.


Standard Life: Using Twitter as a lead generation tool and value exchange

Standard Life were not early adopters on social by any means, and it took them some time to get things right. But they have totally maximised their Twitter usage so that it has become second nature for them now to find leads and develop massive customer engagement. They have cracked the evangelist route, where Twitter followers become your best selling tool by waxing lyrical about your service on the platform. They did this by targeting the right people to follow and then building up engagement.

It has worked really well. The case study shows that 72% of the followers the company now has are financial advisors, which is the community the company wants to reach.

Standout Quote:

Over the past 18 months we’ve managed to grow our number of followers organically, engaging in conversations only where appropriate.

The key takeaway:

Follow the right people and keep things specific on Twitter. It pays. Literally.

standard life

So What now?

These case studies make for good reading, but for the small business it’s all about taking one step at a time. Use a couple of the takeaways here to start structuring your social strategy. It makes sense that you should follow the right people on Twitter, and get selective for example. Pretty soon, you’ll have a social strategy with a solid foundation to build upon.