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The best social media campaigns of 2011

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Social media campaigns continued to mature in 2011. It's not all about Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Getting a bunch of Facebook "likes" isn't the true measure of success.

The best campaigns of 2011 were different. They did something that hadn't been done before. Or maybe certain aspects had been done before, but they were done differently and in new ways. The true measure of success for some of these is not yet apparent, but time will tell. Here are my top marketing picks in social for the past year.

Internships.com
Every year has one social media campaign that is so out of the box (sorry to use that cliché, but sometimes it just fits -- it really fits) that it deserves the crown as the most creative of the year.

This year, Internships.com hopped on board the crazy train and rode it to success.

Where some saw a Hollywood star's high-profile meltdown, Internships.com saw opportunity. As Charlie Sheen split from "Two and a Half Men" and began his Twitter rants about tiger blood and #winning, the year-old company paid for Sheen to seek out an intern via an Ad.ly tweet.

It remains to be seen whether Internships.com can last for the long haul. Compete.com data show a huge spike in March (Sheen's tweet went out March 7), and bit.ly statistics show more than 481,000 click-throughs to date on the link used in the tweet.

What impresses me most about the campaign is that the company took a risk. No one really knew how the whole Charlie Sheen brouhaha was going to turn out, and attaching your brand to a celebrity in these circumstances isn't always the wisest move. But Sheen persevered, and in the fall, his Comedy Central Roast got that network's highest ratings ever, even up against his old show.

And so Internships.com hitched its wagon to a #winning campaign.

 

Comments

Peter Bordes
Peter Bordes December 18, 2011 at 12:53 AM

Thats a good point and one of the reasons i love the Twylah Twitter publishing platform so much http://www.twylah.com . Its combines both the immediate real-time web traffic with the longer tail seo that Twitter doesn't empower users with (which they should). Now all the Tweets are web pages and you can track and have all the analytics that web publishers have. i think they are about to start letting users also have display placements in their pages. The WordPress for Twitter :)

Amy Vernon
Amy Vernon December 14, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Great question, Peter -
I'd think that, based on the Compete chart above, that it didn't have a *huge* boost long term, but it does appear to have moved the needle slightly. They did have a nice (much smaller) spike in June, but that was probably when they announced the winner of the internship contest. However, summertime isn't the big time of year to search for internships, as most people would have them already lined up by then.

Probably there'd be an SEO benefit, as well, and that has a somewhat intangible, longer-tail value.

I do know that Marty Weintraub of aimClear has come up with really detailed, complex ways of determining the conversion data of clickthroughs from Facebook ads.

Peter Bordes
Peter Bordes December 14, 2011 at 8:40 PM

thank you Amy! that a pretty impressive click thru rate. wonder what happened on the back side. btw do you know of any good social media click to conversion data?