Top 10 Social Media Campaigns of 2010

It’s that time of the year when we look over the last 12 months to take stock of the year’s successes and failures and create some countdown lists of our favourite things. This week we’re looking at the which social media campaigns have been the most successful in 2010.

Sesame Street

As mentioned in a previous post this week, Sesame Street has had a very successful year with video-based social media. Taking inspiration from other popular campaigns, like the Old Spice man, they’ve managed to turn around a number of parody videos in record time. With 281,800+ Twitter followers and 138,700+ Facebook followers (and various character-specific pages), the campaign is a definite success.

Old Spice

Probably the most famous campaign of the year, the Old Spice campaign did an excellent job of bringing the brand right back into the 21st century. Funny adverts won the YouTube visitors over, while a quick response to those who commented with follow up videos won the social media experts over.

The result? It’s always difficult to tell with sales, but initial reports after the first couple of months suggest an increase of 107% of the Old Spice bodywash.


The Tippex “A hunter shoots a bear!” video was one of the first YouTube videos to really embrace the interactivity feature. By giving visitors the opportunity to choose what the hunter would do to the bear, using the Tippex mouse, the company produced a viral that mimicked the popularity of the Old Spice videos.

Sales are yet to be announced, and we doubt it will have the effect the Old Spice man had, but with Christmas card time just around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see if the video reminds people of the product.


Domino’s adopted a Foursquare check-in strategy early on, and benefited from a 29% pre-tax profit in the first half of the year. By giving out free pizza to every mayor (the person who has ‘checked in’ to that store most regularly), they increased visitors on foot and online.

Proof that jumping on the wagon before your competitors will nearly always keep you one step ahead.


A type of social media in its own right, Groupon sells reduced deals for a short period of time, once a certain number of people have signed up for it. A couple of months ago, they realised ‘Grouspawn’, a dating website for bargain-hunters. The social twist? A couple that conceives a baby after meeting on the site win a scholarship for the child.

While it’s unclear what effect Grouspawn had on Groupon’s sales, it’s clear that the company has an innovative approach to their social media. Their strategy is made up of a strong affiliate scheme, the adoption of ‘Superlocals’ who write regular local reviews, and Twitter and Facebook for every town. By realising that word of mouth and social interaction are the keys to expansion, Groupon have dominated the group-purchasing market, and continue to do so.

Coca Cola

Coco Cola’s Facebook page has been widely complimented for its early adoption of an interactive landing page. Regular videos, blogs and discussions on the page keep fans hooked, and coming back.

A great example that a simple, consistent campaign is just as effective as something flashy.


Back in June this year, a survey of brands revealed that Starbucks was the most popular brand on the social web. Their high level of followers is attributed to listening and engaging to their customers, and asking their followers to spread the word about their page. Their ability to converse with their customers and find out what they want has led to a Facebook page that is effectively customer-built.

Compare the Market

The furry star of the Compare the Meercat/Market adverts has been a cult figure for a few years, and the company made the smart decision to maximise on that popularity. Apps for the iPhone, a Facebook page for Aleksandr Orlov, and regular adverts and YouTube videos kept the popularity of the meercat going.

Are you more likely to head to the friendly meercat company, or the company with an irritating opera singer?

E.L.F (Eyes Lips and Face)

Brands that only sell online benefit most from social media, as they lack the offline presence on the high street. However, selling online usually means a company can offer lower priced items as they cutting out the middleman.

E.L.F is a prime example of a company who offers a low cost product through the medium of social media. Regular discounts for Twitter and Facebook users once thresholds are reached, a blogger outreach and a YouTube channel featuring many of the up-and-coming beauty bloggers has led to word of the new brand spreading like wildfire.

The result is a Facebook page with over 87,000 fans, who constantly update the page with their own reviews and discussions of the products.


The confectionery brand has been building its social media campaign over the past couple of years, and it’s finally paying off. Sitting third behind Starbucks and Coca Cola among U.S brands, it has over 13 million Facebook fans.

The high number of followers is down to the promotions they offer, like 2 for 1s and money off vouchers.

What has been your favourite social media campaign this year?



How the world spends its time online

How much time do you think you spend online? With internet access at work, at home and on your mobile, you’re never far from an opportunity to tweet, Google something or shop online.

Check out this infographic How the World spends its time online, taken from a recent Nielsen study.

To summarise:

  • The average American spends more than 60 hours a month online. That’s the equivalent of 30 days a year!
  • 42% of users are viewing content, 22% are using social networking and 36% are using other aspects, like retail sites, email and search sites.
  • The average person visits 2,646 web pages a month, 89 domains and log on 57 times.
  • The most popular brands include Google, MSN/Bing, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, YouTube, Wikipedia, AOL, eBay and Apple.
  • Brazil leads the pack for social network usage, with Italy, Spain and Japan following just behind.
  • Of the Americans surveyed, 55% use the internet, 45% send or receive emails, 40% use search engines and 30% get the news.

Do you spend more than 60 hours online a month?

Source: Penn Olson



Sesame Street continue their social media success

Image by pipot83 via Flickr

Whoever is dealing with the social media for Sesame Street this year deserves a medal. The classic TV series has always been popular with children and parents alike for its fun take on education. Many of the characters have taken on a cult status over the years, with Elmo in particular becoming a hit toy every Christmas and gracing the t-shirts of trend-loving students.

But this year its cult status reached new levels, with a series of parody videos on YouTube.

The latest video spoofs Apple with the song “There’s an app for that”, for the ‘iPogo’ (an interactive pogo stick.) Have a look at the video below.

The Old Spice spoof is another must-watch, getting over 2.6 million views in just five days.

Companies often want to produce videos that they hope will go viral, but they tend to go about it the wrong way: by saying “let’s make a viral”. If you set out to make a ‘viral’ rather than thinking about what people might genuinely want to watch and forward to friends, you’re already on the wrong track.

The creators of Sesame Street have thought about what they do best, thought about what people on the web are interested in, and made them something that’s both true to their brand and perfect for sharing online.

What’s your favourite successful brand viral?



Corporate Social Media Summit Thoughts…

We all enjoyed attending the inaugural two-day Corporate Social Media Summit in London last week. It was good to hear from a whole range of companies including PepsiCo, Dell, DHL, Intel, Nokia, Citi and UMBRO about how they are evolving their social media strategies.

I moderated a session on how companies can manage their reputations online through social media with Colin Hensley, head of corporate communications for Toyota and Jakub Hrabovsky, head of social media and web relations for Vodafone.

Here are some of the key points I made to the audience before Colin and Jakub took to the podium:

Customers feel that they are now the brand owners. Through social media, they want to tell you what the brand means.

They expect brands to engage in the same transparent and direct way as they expect from everyone in their lives.

Networks of people are now becoming the key force in brand communications. In this new paradigm, brands protect themselves by aiming to always create great products and services which customers love, and by dealing with individual customer complaints quickly and effectively.

Within the context of social media, brand communications has to move from aiming for solely commercial transactions to demonstrating that you share the interests of your audiences.

Protecting brands online is about building and participating in fresh networks with your customers and being useful and helpful within those networks. Because, at the end of the day, those customer networks are more efficient than any large organisation.

If you create a good relationship through those networks then it will spread fast, magnify and build positive word of mouth. Remember in this realm one person really counts because they have a whole network which they are a part of on Facebook, Twitter etc. However if you contribute to a poor relationship with your audiences then it will also spread fast with obviously less desirable consequences.

The art in this context is to make sure you use social networks strategically – and really think through how you are going to act and behave on your social media presences.