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Seven useful social media case studies from 2013
We get sent a huge number of social case studies at Econsultancy so I
thought it would be useful to collate a list of some of the most
interesting ones I’ve seen in the past few months.
This is by no means a comprehensive list and not all of the brands have
been kind enough to share the results just yet.
However they are all noteworthy uses of social media to promote an ad
campaign or product launch. Most of them are f rom the f irst half of 2013, though a couple of the examples
came in the last f ew months of 2012.
If you think there are any glaring omissions please f lag them up in the comments...
To launch the new FIFA 13 video game EA created a Facebook app that f ocused on user-generated content as
a way of drumming up excitement.
Working with social agency Collective and a budget of £40,000, EA f irst analysed behaviour on its Facebook
page to work out what sort of activity drove the most impressions, interactions and sharing.
It f ound that user-generated content signif icantly outperf ormed other f orms of content as people love
showing of f their FIFA skills and watching others score great FIFA goals.
EA theref ore created the FIFA ‘Goals of the Week’ app, which encouraged users to upload their best goals on a
weekly basis with EA’s community managers then aggregating the most ‘liked’ goals into a ‘Goals of the Week’
Following the launch of the app on September 25 2012, submissions of uploaded goals increased by 350%,
with over 13,000 submitted.
The videos have been shared thousands of times, achieving 4.28 million views in three months.
A number of brands have turned to Vine this year as a way of engaging with their customers, including
It used the six-second video platf orm to promote its On the Go Breakf ast Biscuit range.
Weetabix shot a series of clips f ocusing on a normal morning routine, then encouraged other users to tweet
@weetabix saying how they wanted the story to progress.
Audience reaction f rom Weetabix’s 10,000 twitter f ollowers determined how the story continued, through the
use of hashtags such as ‘#getup or #hitsnooze’, ‘#grabbreakf ast or #leavethehouse.’
In total f our Vine videos were produced reaching over 262,000 people on Twitter. They secured impressive
results, including almost 1,000 retweets f or the f inal video, reaching an audience of over 600,000 Twitter users
and leading to a 5x uplif t in growth in f an numbers.
The Vine activity was part of a wider social campaign that included a Facebook app and a Facebook
To mark the 40th anniversary of BNP Paribas’ sponsorship of the French Open the bank worked with We Are
Social to design an event that allowed Twitter users to play a game of tennis against Jo-Wilf ried Tsonga.
Or, more accurately, they could operate a social media-controlled robot that launched tennis balls at
Tsonga live on a tennis court.
Af ter logging into a microsite through Twitter users could drag-and-drop a tennis ball on a virtual on-screen
tennis court to adjust the positioning of their shot.
The user’s shot was then encoded as a hashtag and placed into a tweet f rom them, to which they could add a
personal message to Tsonga bef ore it was sent.
The on-court robot, connected to the internet and Twitter via 3G, then selected users’ tweets at random and
f ired tennis balls at Tsonga, with each shot mapped precisely to the positioning of each user’s choosing.
I’ve not seen any data on how many people took part in the event, but it’s certainly an interesting and
unique way of engaging tennis fans.
Last year a court in Moscow banned the city’s Pride f estival f or 100 years. In response Stockholm Pride
decided to invite Russians to celebrations in the Swedish city by sending tweets using the hashtag #GOWEST.
The campaign was based around a minisite that allowed users to compose a tweet-invite that was
automatically translated into Russian. In addition, the user’s location f or that particular tweet was changed to a
location in Russia.
The aim was to get #GOWEST trending so it would reach the widest audience possible and raise awareness of
It’s a clever idea and a good PR stunt, and according to the Wall Street Journal the hashtag trended in the
Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod.
However a counter on the minisite suggests that it only achieved 5,700 tweets, which isn’t a huge
number in the grand scheme of things.
In May this year Conf used.com ran a campaign through Twitter that responded to user questions with
Af ter encouraging users to submit questions using the hashtag #conf useddotcom the insurance company
posted around 20 dif f erent video responses on May 15.
It’s a neat idea that f its well with the brand image, and it also hopped onboard an existing hashtag. However it
appears that the videos achieved very few retweets, so brand exposure may have been limited outside of
its existing f ollower base.
Another EA example, this time promoting the launch of an ‘Armoured Kill’ add-on f or its Battlef ield 3 game. As
with the FIFA campaign EA exploited the popularity of user-generated content by creating a f ilm shot entirely
within the Battlef ield game.
The f ilm paid tribute to video game clips that f ans had previously shared online, created a unique piece of
content that not only made heroes of the f ans who created the original moments but also showed of f the new
Armoured Kill add-on.
With no advertising or of f icial social media support, the Battlef ield 3 Moments video has achieved over
625,000 views across YouTube and racking up 25,000 ‘likes’ in the process.
It also gained coverage in magazines and blogs including PCGamer, Kokatu and Engadget. As the entire piece
was produced for £45,000, the cost per view – excluding those generated by the PR – is just 7p.
Following a tactic commonly used by Cadbury, in February Bulmers of f icially launched two new f ruit f lavoured
ciders through Facebook and Twitter.
The idea was to spark interest among Bulmers’ social communities by giving them exclusive access to the new
drinks ahead of the f ull launch.
Social agency We Are Social created a ‘Try It First’ Facebook app that allowed f ans to enter their email address
to be in with a chance of being among the f irst people in the country to try the new products, with ten winners
selected each week f or a f ortnight.
The packaging contained a call-to-action encouraging people to post pictures of themselves with the new
bottles to Facebook and Twitter to share with other Bulmers f ans.
Bulmers also contacted key inf luencers on Twitter to of f er them a bottle of the new f lavours so they could
share their thoughts with their f ollowers.
Though social product launches aren’t a new idea as such, it’s still a good way of drumming up excitement
around a new product among brand advocates.
David Moth is a Senior Reporter at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+.