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Brands Leverage Upon Social Media Marketing Channels During Festive Season

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Carson Kight, a mere 4-year-old from Colorado Springs, had a ‘dream-come-true’ during Christmas, last year when he reunited with his favorite UPS delivery driver, ‘Mr. Ernie’! This was a part of UPS’ Christmas campaigns on social media marketing platform in 2014, one of the most heart-warming videos uploaded by the company about a boy getting his dream truck and delivering packages to the neighbors.

Ernest Lagasca, aka Mr. Ernie and Carson bonded during the child’s infancy as per the mother. So much so that after Mr. Lagasca’s change of delivery route, the company decided to arrange a reunion for the boy. They also made it a part of their Christmas campaign where the customers had to use the #WishesDelivered hashtag and tweet their Christmas wishes to UPS. Later, after selection and other internal process, they were submitted to an interactive media wall. Against each Twitter wish UPS donated $1 to the ‘Boys & Girls Club of America’, ‘The Salvation Army’ and ‘Toys for Tots’.

As they believe, “Every delivery starts with a wish,” UPS was true to their motto when they made some of their customer’s wishes come true during Christmas, 2014, including Carson. From the point of view of social media studies, their success was banked on heart-warming content and social media know-how.

Let us take another example of a social media campaign with a combination of good content and traditional bonding. Shan Masala, a Pakistani cooking masala brand, made one wonderful TVC as a part of their Ramadan/Eid campaign. The TVC shows a son, away from home, remembering his mother’s cooking as it is Eid and festive time at home. His friend, who is also away from his home, cooks a traditional meal for his sorrowful friend.

These campaigns and many others, prove the fact that brands take huge leverage upon social media marketing channels during festive seasons. They become more creative and alert to engage with their customers during these times. India is a country having numerous festivals scattered throughout the year, although the cluster of festivals starts during this time of the year, from Ganesh Chaturthi onward. Our browsing becomes colorful as various brands start their social media campaigns by changing their website or Twitter page’s background to a colorful one depending upon the festivals. Social media marketing has become an integral part of promotion for the brands and there can be no more appropriate time for this other than a festive season.

Cultural Insight, Festivity and Social Media Campaigns: If we pay more attention to the campaigns created at the time of festivity, we will see that they mostly are based on the tradition and culture of that particular country. Advertisements or social media campaigns are nothing but communication tools through which brands convey their brand values. Having a sound insight of the target culture is always an advantage as it helps to decode consumer myths, icons and archetypes. Instantaneously, consumer can relate to his or her tradition through the symbolic representation of the campaigns. It also takes the focus away from consumerism itself and concentrates on the tradition that is in question. Festivity is a time to build bonds and memories, to share tradition with everybody, for which cultural insight is what brands bank upon to create their social media campaigns. The above example of Shan Masala TVC makes use of the tradition of having home cooked food during Ramadan. The color scheme of the TVC highlights green which evidently is one of the essential colors of Islam. On the other hand the TVC also highlights man’s nature of holding on to their own culture and tradition more when they are surrounded by other culture.

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Let us analyze a specific a campaign where festivity and cultural insight went hand in hand to make it a successful one.

According to a survey as of July this year China had 632 million mobile internet users and the highest number of app downloads took place just before the Chinese New Year(CNY) holiday period, with a 51.6 % increase in ad clicking. This happens due to the long journeys the Chinese take while going back to china from all over the world; they use their Smartphones to download Apps. Studies have shown that the most active age group on Facebook during Chinese New Year is the 25-34 in a sizable amount of 40%, closely followed by those in the 35-44 age group, followed by 18-24.

Now, with the help these data and a great insight of Chinese culture a brand could create a successful campaign. WeChat, the prominent instant messenger app in China, introduced a new service during this year’s CNY; they introduced digital ‘hongbao’, red envelopes, a traditional envelop handed out to younger generations during CNY. In first two days five million people sent out 20 million digital hongbaos, which reflects the success of the campaign.

Few ways brands can leverage upon festive seasons:

  1. An early start: To have an early start can never backfire! Brands can start with changing their Facebook profile pages or their website/ Twitter background considering the theme or color scheme of the coming festivals. There is nothing like an engaging promotional cover page to highlight a pre-festival sale.LGindia_FB_cover_page_leveraging_festive_season
  2. Creating a great content: A creative and unique content, visual or text, is the basic of social media marketing. To be noticed amidst of hundreds and thousands of brands, one has to be different yet connected to the target crowd. Festive seasons are the perfect time to be creative and experimental for a brand. Not only wishing the customers, but blending the brand value with the wish, that is what a brand should aim for during festive seasons. Moreover, the tradition of the upcoming festival has to be an integrated part of the campaign. Below two tweets from Faasos are great examples of blending all three aspects, tradition, brand value as well as the wish towards customers.Fassos_Eid_Onam_Tweets
  3. Broadcast time sensitive promotion: This is a wonderful idea to create a sense of urgency to the customers. An announcement of time-bound offer or sale is something people would like to share with their friends. This can create not only engagement and visibility, but also actual sale of the product.
  4. Being generous: Customers love to participate in contests! Festive seasons are one of those times when people feel happy and generous. They do not mind to take part in a contest even when there are little chances to win. Brands should also follow this general feeling of generosity! The prizes do not have to be big; a few vouchers also can do the trick. However, this is a great way to create a buzz about which will eventually increase brand awareness. We can remember Dell India’s ‘Celebrate Dell se’ campaign during 2011 Dussera, where participants had to take part in #HintAGift contest to win a new Dell Inspiron.
  5. Creating a platform for followers: It is always good for the brands to create a platform where the followers could come back and share their story. This is yet another way to engage the customers by having them participate on Facebook page or on Twitter; people wish to be heard and a brand’s social media page can be the ever-listening ear. Customers can share their own experience regarding the festival on the page; the brand can share the stories behind the rituals and create good content out of it.

    Cadbury Celebrations, the brand synonymous to the festivals of India, ran an excellent social media campaign during Raksha Bandhan, #SongsforSisters, where the participants had to write a Rakhi wish for their sisters and the company would turn it into a song by India’s top music bands.cadbury-celebrations-songs-for-sisters-facebook-cover-photo

    They used Twitter to bring more people to their Facebook page where they had to participate. It evoked the emotional bonding between siblings which is the quintessential aspect of Rakhi; a contextual relevance well executed.

  6. Scope for Social Awareness: A social media campaign during a festive season is a golden opportunity for a brand to create a positive face value by giving back something to the society. It can be small donation per click or per view. It also can be achieved by only creating a social awareness through the campaign. Let us take two wonderful examples for this.

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The first one is Shaadi.com’s #FastforHer campaign during Karwa Chauth, 2011, a Hindu festival where the wives fast for their husbands. The objective was to create an awareness about the fact that the sacrifices of Indian women (the base of which is certainly founded on inequality) always go unnoticed, even by their so-called nearest relation, the husbands. The campaign managed to get some influential personnel like Chetan Bhagat, Hiten Tejwani, Sulaiman Merchant and many more to participate in the campaign.

The other one is a TVC from Future Generali Insurance, created on Rakshbandhan, 2015. The TVC emphasises on the core meaning of this age-old tradition, protection and bonding, which during the course of time has been twisted into ‘protection of the women’. The TVC actually shows the brother tying Rakhi on the wrist of the sister, which is a direct take on the protector-protected paradigm.

Conclusion

Being creative is a blessing, be it for Art’s sake or marketing! Social media have opened thousands of opportunities for brands to be creative, socially aware, as well as to be able to market their products. Festive seasons in India, or anywhere in the world, are golden times for the brands to leverage upon social media creatively and wonderfully.

Image Credits: inboundmarketing.inboundmantra.com/blog, Facebook, Social Samosa

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