At the end of August, Evian launched a full-scale campaign on Twitter that set a new precedent in social media marketing. It wasn’t some outlandish tweet to gain attention, an awesome video/picture or a pressing question people just had to answer. It was customer service coated in the old traditions of simply taking care of people.
And that is why it went viral.
Do You Have Virality?
These days, very few social media campaigns obtain a viral standing without something in it for the followers. One may argue that the Ice Bucket Challenge is an exception to this, but that was in support of a cause. When you’re marketing a brand – trying to sell a product or service – and are seeking a viral response to your efforts, there has to be something in it for consumers. Few will participate unless there is some clear incentive.
Sure, Jimmy Fallon breaks records on Twitter weekly with his Hashtag Game. However, the incentive there is the possibility of being on national television when Jimmy reads your Tweet on his show. Everyone wants their 15 seconds of fame, after all!
The #Evianbottleservice campaign ran from August 19-21, geared toward New York City park goers on hot days (also using promoted posts targeted at the zip codes near those parks). Followers used the hashtag in a Tweet that described their location and Evian’s community managers responded. In less than ten minutes, brand ambassadors hand-delivered a bottle of Evian to participants. The following week, as a sponsor of the U.S. Open, Evian targeted the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.
With over 2.8 million impressions and 75,000 engagements, Evian’s water campaign surpassed the record for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands on tweet engagement by 80 percent. And the key to this success was the provision of a free product wherever the brand’s Twitter followers were
Giving to Get
Evian launched a successful viral campaign on Twitter, something that is far more rare than most business owners realize. Consider these points if you’re looking to do the same:
- Best Product – Focus on a the most popular product or service in your arsenal. Offer what sells best because obtain the best campaign response.
- Something Tangible – Avoid offering gift cards or simple discounts. These items have value, but that value doesn’t come off to the consumer as tangible. So, instead of $50 toward a carpet cleaning, offer a tangible, complete offer like a “free carpet cleaning of up to three rooms.” The consumer can immediately see how that benefits then, but it’s hard to understand how far $50 will go and if that’s worth an effort to participate in your campaign. Promo No-no – Avoid promotional items as well, such as company t-shirts, mugs, tote bags. These are the kinds of things you give away at promotional events. You will not get a strong response to a viral campaign attempt if these items are the participation reward.
- Product Over Service – Typically you see more success with a campaign like this if you’re giving away an item rather than a service. Exceptions to that are services that are luxuries to most people, such as massages or professional photographs (include image files with those pictures and it’s a win-win).
- Keep it Social – Social Media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are the best ways to promote and spread the word with a campaign you want to go viral. Be sure to use relevant hashtags to get optimal results (such as Evian’s secondary hashtag, #BeattheHeat).
The expectations consumers put on businesses to go above and beyond seem to always be increasing. Everyone is looking for a discount, a freebie or even both. Evian found a way to utilize this desire, which balanced marketing and generosity. These strategies may provide you with similar results.
By: Michelle L. Cramer