Businesses have realised that social media is an effective and lucrative avenue to reach customers. With the saturation of brands marketing their products and services on social channels, a lot must be done to catch the attention of potential online customers. More and more we're seeing brands hop onto the ‘trending topics band-wagon' on social media. The trick is to be both on-trend, and also link it back to your brand.
A brand that has successfully pulled this off is Nando’s. They always manage to be on the pulse of what everyone is talking about on social media, give the right kind of commentary and market their product at the same time. An example of this was their Reconciliation Day campaign, where they urged local celebs who’d had public spats to come together at Nando’s and reconcile over some tasty, flame-grilled chicken. They tagged feuding celebs, such as AKA and Black Coffee, Somizi and Bonang and Lerato Kganyago and Tbo Touch.
Because these public quarrels were discussed extensively on Twitter, it created the perfect space for them to make amends on Reconciliation Day, making it a hit with the Twittersphere. Even if these feuding celebrities didn’t respond, Nando’s managed to centre the campaign around their product and drive the messaging that their food was so good it could inspire a sense of reconciliation and forgiveness. American sandwich restaurant chain, Jimmy John’s, recently used memes
to market their sandwiches.
By being aware of a popular meme that only regular social media users would understand, they managed to get high engagements. They used the well-known meme which compares ‘You’ – a bland looking, generic sandwich – to ‘the guy she tells you not to worry about’ – the delicious Jimmy John’s sandwich. This really resonated with their audience, as most of us can relate to feeling insecure about someone our significant other told us not to worry about! They were smart to put their sandwich in the more desirable position.
The key to effective social media marketing is seizing the moment. As the attention span of online audiences is so short, they’re on to the ‘next’ in the blink of an eye. Brands should try to be in on the joke. If a brand can get involved in a viral meme or social media trend successfully, marketing the product is easy. Social media is a great place to connect with consumers. If they feel the brand is being genuine, they are more likely to respond positively. It’s about being socially aware without appearing to be trying too hard.