The Top 5 Social Media Campaigns of All Time

Businesses of all sizes from everywhere in the world have been attempting to crack the code to a successful viral marketing campaign. While it may seem like social media has only become a key factor in the viral campaign industry over the last several years, social media campaigns date as far back to 1999 with the movie The Blair Witch Project.

We’ve compiled our own list of the Top 5 Social Media Campaigns of All Time. Maybe you can pick up a few tips from these successful marketing strategies:

1. The Blair Witch Project



There may not have been Facebook and Twitter in the summer of 1999 when The Blair Witch Project was released, but these marketers made one of the first ever attempts at a viral marketing campaign. They were able to generate a big buzz for a small budget movie by posting fake newspaper clippings about the disappearance of the movie’s characters on web sites and message boards. Were the events depicted in the movie based on a true story? We will never know.

This campaign sparked interests in the film months before its release, and led to box office earnings of $29 million during its first week alone.

2. Old Spice Spokesman

While the Old Spice slogan “Smell like a man, man” and its TV commercials are successful marketing campaigns on their own, the grooming products company hit gold with their interactive viral social media campaign. Spokesperson Isaiah Mustafa was already popular from their commercials, but Old Spice took it to a new level by interacting with fans via web videos in 2010. Fans submitted questions to Mustafa via Twitter, and the Old Spice spokesman responded to these questions with over 180 web videos. He responded via video to one Twitter user @Alyssa_Milano four times and even sent her flowers.

Talk about increasing audience engagement, am I right?!

3. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Perhaps one of the most engaging social media campaigns of its time, the ALS Association generated 70 billion video views and raised $220 million in the summer of 2014. The association raised awareness for ALS by having people dump buckets of ice on their heads and post a video of it on social media, challenging other friends to do the same and donate to the cause. Celebrities from all over got on board with the campaign and posted hilarious videos of themselves participating in the challenge. Amongst the most popular celebrity Ice Bucket Challenges were Justin Bieber, Bill Gates, and Kim Kardashian on the Ellen Degeneres show.

The ALS Association spent no money on promoting this campaign, and was awarded the Facebook for Good award in the Facebook Awards.

4. Always #LikeAGirl


Another 2015 Facebook Awards winner for their viral campaign was the Always #LikeAGirl campaign which raised awareness and confronted gender norms. Their videos called for a change in perceptions of what it means to “act like a girl.” As these videos went viral all over social media, and especially on Facebook, they generated a lot of feedback from their audience and social media users. The feminine hygiene brand increased the emotional connection with their audience and boosted purchase intent. The #LikeAGirl video became the most watched video in Procter & Gamble history with 76 million views.

5. World Wildlife Fund #LastSelfie


And finally a viral social media campaign from 2016, the WWF’s #LastSelfie Snapchat campaign brings awareness to animal species at risk for extinction. The idea behind their campaign was to show audiences that endangered species are disappearing in the world just like selfies disappear from Snapchat in 10 seconds. These vibrant images capturing different endangered animals grab your attention, along with their sad but brutally honest captions that this could be their “last selfie.” The WWF took something everyday like a selfie and used it as a call to action, raising awareness for animal species in danger of going extinct all over the world.

All of these viral campaigns have one thing in common: they thought outside of the box. To create a viral social media campaign, you need to get away from ‘the norm’ and get creative outside of your comfort zone!


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4 Reasons Instagram is a Growing Advertising Power

Fortune recently released an article stating that Instagram is attracting more advertisers than Twitter. Facebook’s visual-oriented app has been generating a lot of press recently regarding its’ growing number of users and increasing power as an advertising platform. According to a recent Facebook study mentioned in Forbes, 60% of users says they have learned about products or services on Instagram, and 75% of users take an action such as clicking a link, doing a search or telling a friend about a product after being inspired.

So why are marketers flocking to Instagram? Here are 4 reasons Instagram is a growing advertising power:

1. The option to extend Facebook ad campaigns to Instagram

One of the biggest advantages that Instagram has over other social platforms like Twitter, is that they have Facebook’s advertising technology. The large social media power allows its advertisers to extend their Facebook ad campaign to Instagram, increasing the visual app’s advertising revenue. Forbes stated in an article that eMarketer estimates Instagram will generate $1.5 billion in global advertising revenue this year, representing 8.4% of Facebook’s net mobile ad revenue. Facebook’s advertising technology will also allow Instagram advertisers to target highly specific audiences and make it more useful for sharing news and activity updates.

2. Marketers go where their audience is


And their audience is more likely to be on Instagram than Twitter, given that Instagram has 400 million monthly active users in comparison to Twitter’s 310 million monthly active users. Instagram has also become the better advertising platform for targeting a younger population, as 90% of its users are younger than 35 years old in comparison to Twitter where only 29% of its users consist of millennials.

3. Target people based on their interests


Instagram also benefits in the marketing industry through their deep “interest graphs”. The social media app allows users to follow a variety of accounts based on their interests without having to make a follow “request”. This leads to users assembling around certain “sub-committees” based on topics that interest them, such as fashion, health and food, allowing marketers to target users specifically based on these interests.

4. Advertisers rely on images and video


emarketer graph


Finally, it’s all about visuals. Instagram started out as an image-based social app but has increasingly become a more popular platform for video as well. And when it comes to advertising, visual content and video is always considered more engaging. According to emarketer, when advertisers were asked about their reasoning for producing image-focused media  67% said it was “more engaging,” while another 50% said “social media requires” its creation. Since the app launched video, its video-viewing times have been constantly increasing, and according to Forbes, Instagram CEO said the rise of new video tools “will continue to shape the app’s direction down the road”.

Marketers are flocking to wherever their target audience and consumers can be found. When it comes social media platforms, it is looking more and more like Instagram is the place to be.   

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Videos Gone Live: Tumblr is the Next to Launch Live Video

Video seems to be all over the news lately, so it has probably solidified its position as the next big thing. But you might also be hearing whispers about live video, and rightly so, because a multitude of social networks are implementing live video into their platforms. So let’s break it down, who’s doing what with live video?

The second largest search engine in the world, YouTube, has had the option of making live videos for a number of years, live video never really became a must-use feature. Maybe it was too soon for live video, and the online world just wasn’t ready. It can also be difficult to find live videos on YouTube.  For a viewer to know when a video is live, they need to be subscribed to that specific channel. Only then will they be notified when a video is broadcasting live, other than that it comes down to luck if you stumble across a live video. This problem is easier to get around for the likes of Twitter and Facebook, because they are primarily social, rather than primarily video. It’s easier to find what people are doing and saying on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter confirmed its acquisition of periscope back in March 2015, which got the ball rolling for the other social networks to jump on board with live video. Periscope allows users to create a live video which remains on their account for 24 hours, after which it will be deleted and gone from the internet forever. This was a great move for Twitter whose user growth has slowed. If Twitter manages to monetize periscope correctly it may become a key revenue driver for the company.

Facebook followed shortly after, but instead of acquiring an already existing product, Facebook started from scratch. They’ve partnered with several digital media publishers, including Buzzfeed  to push live video across multiple audiences. The first Facebook live video that Buzzfeed published was of two team members attempting to explode a watermelon with rubber bands. The watermelon stayed strong until the 44 minutes mark and the audience reached a peak of over 800,000 people watching live. The video now has over 10 million views, this being the differentiating factor between Twitter’s periscope. When a video goes live on Facebook, it stays on a person’s profile until they either delete it or set it to expire after a certain length of time.

Even Amazon is all aboard the live video train, with their product Twitch. Twitch is a platform to watch live video gaming, e-sports competitions and music broadcasts. The more focused video topics shuts the platform off to people who aren’t interested in what Twitch has to offer, but that move may actually keep its user base happy as they have a more focused online community.

The latest name to enter the live video realm is Tumblr. Bought in 2013 by Yahoo! (The acquisition outraged Tumblr users) The blogging site has 550 million monthly users, and can be a pretty mysterious place when you don’t know what you’re doing. Tumblr have taken a different approach when it came to implementing live streaming onto their platform. The Tumblr platform supports a multitude of live streaming platforms. These include YouTube, Kanvas and Upclose.

This can be considered a great move for Tumblr. Instead of dedicating time and money trying to create another platform for people to sign up to, they let other companies do the hard work but reap the benefits of the progression of live video. Multiplatform support also means great news for their revenue stream. It may indeed mean that they can negotiate strong marketing deals with a multitude of brands.

It’s a smooth move for Tumblrs parent company Yahoo who aren’t well known for their innovative ideas. Their future is highly uncertain. In 2012 they changed CEO 4 times, eventually settling on the current CEO Marrisa Mayer, who despite best intentions still hasn’t managed to get Yahoo! out of the old folk’s home. In fact, back when Yahoo acquired Tumblr Marrisa Mayer stated ‘Tumblr is incredibly special’ and promised not to ‘screw it up’.  

As of February 2016, Tumblrs value decreased by $230 million dollars. Rumours are circulating again, and the core of those rumours involve Yahoo being sold, but only time will tell what will happen to Yahoo, and in turn Tumblr, and if the move to support live video will work wonders for revenue.
It looks like live video is here to stay, and it will probably only continue to grow in popularity in the next number of years. Will it ever replace regular pre-recorded video? Probably not. Pre-recorded video gives the user a lot more control over the content being published. It’s safer and live video takes that safety away. While younger generations may be more open to taking risks and making mistakes with the content they upload, brands certainly won’t be as quick to take those risks.


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Twitter Set to Make Changes to Character Limit

Twitter are making some changes to its platform in the coming weeks and users are delighted at the prospect. Which gives a nice change to the usual uproar from users when any social platform announce changes. It’s being reported that the platform are planning to eliminate the character limit in place for links and photos within a tweet.

Twitter saw the birth of micro blogging. With its 140 character post limit it meant people weren’t bombarded with lengthy posts, instead giving people bite sized information that they actually wanted. From its initial conception Twitter has come a long way even becoming a useful online marketing tool.

In order to stay relevant in the ever changing tech sector Twitter need to regularly update the platform and introduce changes that will benefit users. Rumours began to circulate in January that Twitter where planning to change the 140 character limit to 10,000 characters. People were less than excited by this news, seeing it as complete switch from the original concept and taking away the one thing that differentiated Twitter from other platforms. Rumours were quenched later by CEO Jack Dorsey who said they were keeping the 140 limit.

While users breathed a sigh of relief upon that news, the latest news has people much more excited. It seems that they are planning on eliminating the character limit for photos and links. Any avid twitter user has most likely had the issue when they try to post a photo with what they perceive as a hilarious caption only to be faced with the dreaded 0 telling them they have no characters left to complete their tweet. As of now links to other sites and photo URLs are counted as characters within a tweet, taking up a minimum of 23 characters. The change would give Twitter users a lot more freedom when it comes to what they want to say along with a link or photo. This change is set to be released in as little as two weeks.

Many twitter users were delighted to hear the news of the latest change, with the only negativity coming from the fact that users believe this should have been implemented a number of years ago. We won’t know the reasoning behind why it has taken them so long to implement a feature that users have wanted for years, but it is a positive step for the company, which some might argue is much needed. People are beginning to speculate at the lifetime of Twitter, with many people saying the platform in its current state can’t last.  It has been claimed that Twitter execs don’t know where to go next, or how to add innovation to the existing platform to enhance user experience and gain revenue.

Twitter seem to be at a standstill of around 300 million users. While this seems like a large number, there are most likely a number of these users that are not actively using the service on a daily basis, which is what Twitter needs in order to sell ad space. While they reported a profit at the end of 2015 their stock price fell by 36%, and experts believe without new users Twitter can’t sustain any level of profitability. When compared to Facebooks 1 billion users, with plans to continue to grow, Twitter cannot compete.

So without innovation and new users, the question arises, how long will Twitter last? While it is certain that they won’t go down without a fight, without a significant revenue stream they can’t afford to pay people to keep the company running, and without them there is no Twitter. However this is just speculation, the new change to the character limit could just be the first in a long line of changes that the company are about to roll out, and users old and new may just start flocking towards a revitalised Twitter.

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Five Effective Social Media Strategies

You’ve created your blog. You post regularly to social media. But after a while, your posts start to plateau. Don’t worry – we’ve all been there. It happens to the best of us! But now what? After all, your online reputation can make or break your brand. Here are five effective social media strategies to boost user engagement:

  1. Quality > Quantity

Be active! There’s no way you’ll gain followers if you don’t post regularly, so chat it up! Have a real conversation and reach out to people. You need to genuinely connect with your followers and discuss things that matter; inspire your loyal customers. But remember: avoid spamming people. Users want to see an active account, but not an overload. Quality > Quantity. It’s okay if you don’t have a breaking story everyday – good content gets good engagement.

Keep in mind that statistics, hashtags, and questions are great ways to get high user engagement. Seriously, do not blast people with promotions. It’s also important you don’t post the same thing to each page because each site serves different demographics. Repurpose your content to make it suitable for each specific site. And as always, it’s a good idea to republish and rehash your most popular content. You can use the same idea and amazing content to reach different audiences across various mediums.

  1. Use Your Tools Wisely

Don’t overwork yourself! There are plenty of online tools that can help you get the most out of your social media posts by providing resources for real-time tracking, organization, and engagement. By using these sites, you don’t have to constantly update each site individually – otherwise that would take up your entire day!

Automated posts can work in your favor. But be careful! The autopost can be both helpful and hurtful. It’s important that every post is thoroughly looked over to make sure it’s thoughtful, good content. There are plenty of tools to keep you updated on everything, like signing up for Google Alerts and using news apps such as SkyGrid.

Scheduling Social Media Posts

Social Media Listening

  1. It’s All About the Aesthetic

If you read our blog regularly, then you know that digital marketing is on the rise. Everything is visual. If you’re not including videos, info graphics, and pictures on your blog, then you’re missing out. Social media and visual content go hand-in-hand. In fact, using graphics and images boosts interactions by 85% on Facebook. Be sure to include the following:

  • Bullet Points (See what we did there?)
  • Storyboards
  • Diagrams
  • Info graphics
  • Memes
  • Instagram posts

There are plenty of websites you can use to make graphics. Create stunning collages and info graphics using sites such as Fotor, Photovisi, Picasa, BeFunkyRibbet, or my personal favorite, Canva.

Still not sure how to include visuals? Here are a few ideas:

  • A behind the scenes shot of a new product
  • Highlighting team members
  • Old photos of team members – everyone loves a good #TBT!
  • Asking followers to add a caption to an image
  • Asking followers to share your image in action
  • Holding a photo contest
  • Sharing images from an industry event
  1. Provide Incentives

Still not getting enough interaction? Start including fun giveaways, contests, or games for your followers to participate in. These will get your audience to be more active. Make it fun and utilize classic and easy-to-play games like Mad Libs or Hangman.

Never underestimate the power of suggestion – always include a great call-to-action. What exactly is it that you want your audience to do? If you ask a question or include a fill-in-the-blank, your followers will be more inclined to respond.

  1. Keep It Real

Everyone likes to have a little fun, so be sure to show your personality. Take the time to share personal information of the company or interview employees so they can share their favorite hobbies or books. What’s life like in a typical day at your office? When you show your brand’s personal side, you’re more likely to connect with your followers.

Let’s face it: nobody likes to listen to the guy who is constantly talking about himself. The same goes for social media. Keep the talking about your brand to a minimum, and instead opt to interact with your followers so you can make a personal connection. Here are a few ways to keep it real:

  • Share behind the scenes content – take a picture of your workspace, introduce newest employees
  • Answer a question
  • Include testimonials
  • TBTs
  • Don’t focus on business only
  • Share something funny
  • Share other people’s content
  • Engage in trending topics and hashtags

So go on. Every brand needs its own style. Have fun, be creative, and get personal. And remember to always check out Viddyad‘s blog for all things video ad related (and sometimes a bit more)!