Don’t try to be clever, be clever : The social media playbook

A terrible social media campaign can be hurt (or destroy) your attempts at turning your business into a successful and shareable online brand.

While some have failed miserably in their social media campaigns, others have risen to the top, created fantastic campaigns and had a massive positive impact on their brand . I'll be covering some of the best, brightest and most clever brands online so we can add their tactics to our social marketing and social business playbook.

Just remember, we don't want to "try" to be clever, we want to be legitimately clever. You'll be shocked at the difference in results of your social marketing efforts, and if you find yourself list on the Condescending Corporate Brand Facebook page then it's time to take good hard look in the mirror!

Grey Poupon: The Grey Poupon Society of Good Taste


In the 1980's, mustard company Grey Poupon launched a marketing campaign which labelled mustard as a rich man's condiment. Fast forward 30 years and a new social media campaign was launched by the fine folks at Grey Poupon. Playing off their original positioning from the 80's, now labelling mustard for one of high class and good taste.

They created a Facebook application which would scan the profiles of potential fans requesting to join the Grey Poupon Facebook page. The application would check the users use of grammar, taste in art, movies and books as well as their restaurant check-ins to produce an overall score. If you received a score of a certain stature, you were then given a membership in the Grey Poupon Society of Good Taste.

Honda: Pintermission


To promote the launch of the official Honda Pinterest profile, the Honda marketing team launched the Pintermission initiative. They gave $500 to each of the people on Mashable's list of the most active Pinners on Pinterest. With that $500, they had to take a pledge to stay of Pinterest for 24 hours (a Pintermission) and go do the things they always were pinning about.

The participating Pinners were each given their own pin board on Honda's Pinterest account where they would then pin photos of what they did during their 24-hour Pintermission. This generated some great content for the brand and allowed the new Honda Pinterest profile to be shared across the internet.

Snickers: You're not you when you're hungry!


Many people are familiar with the star-studded Snicker's commercials featuring classic actors like Danny De Vito and Robin Williams with the tagline "You're not you when you're hungry." But these commercials all had a parallel Twitter campaign.

Snickers had celebrities tweet out a slew of uncharacteristic tweets which made them almost seem like they were hacked. These tweets would be followed by a tweet with a photo of the celebrity eating a Snickers bar, and the tagline "You're not you when you're hungry." Learn more here, it was a fascinating example for how 25 tweets can reach 25 million people, simply by being clever (Editor's Note: this also involves agreeing not to be an idiot) :

These are just a few examples of the exclusive club of corporate brands who've gotten social media to work in their favour - not by trying to be clever, but by actually being clever.

Stay tuned, I'm going to continue to cover some of the most disastrous social media marketing failures brought to you by Pepsi, Cheerios and others!

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