Marketers have found that playing off memes is an effective way to insert themselves in popular online conversations — and pick up a little press.
See, for example, the Obama campaign’s response to Clint Eastwood’s “Invisible Obama” routine, which took place at the 2012 Republican National Convention in August. The next day, staffers tweeted a picture of Obama in a chair marked “the President” with the caption, “This seat’s taken.”
In other instances, PBS purchased the keyword “Big Bird” on Twitter after Mitt Romney said in the first presidential debate that he wanted to withdraw government funding from PBS despite his affection for the Sesame Street character. Wonderful Pistachios has played off a number of others, including Honey Badger and Keyboard Cat.
Data has shown that photos attract twice the number of Likes on Facebook that text-based status updates do. As a result, brands like Oreo and Burberry are investing heavily in image and video creation for the platform, as well as other visually oriented platforms like Tumblr and Pinterest.
Brands Celebrate Milestones With Elaborate Thank-Yous
It has become customary for brands to thank their followers when they hit big milestones.
Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” Becomes Promotional Tool
Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) section has become a promotional tool for a range of personalities, including the President. It has become particuarly popular in the entertainment space: comedian Louis C.K. and This American Life host Ira Glass used it to promote releases this year.
Kickstarter Becomes Hub for New Product Launches
Kickstarter is more than a platform for crowdfunding — it’s also an effective way to grab the media’s attention and market a product ahead of its launch. One PR professional we spoke to recently says she uses the platform almost exclusively for marketing new products these days.
Brands Gain a Sense of Humor
On social media, some brands have stopped behaving less like generic spokespeople and more like people you’d want to hang out with — i.e., those with a dynamic sense of humor.