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Archive for Seasonal

Making the Most of the Festive Season

Making the Most of the Festive Season
Your company’s office may be decorated with the tallest Christmas tree and brightest baubles, but your brand will gain nothing from beautiful décor in the working environment. It’s time to get digital and turn your spirit for the festive season to your social media.

The Christmas season is one of the busiest times for businesses, and consequently for social media. Therefore, it’s difficult to get your brand noticed during the festive season, but with the right content, campaigns and strategy a business can optimise their social media to get the most out of the jovial period.

Change Your Logos

Editing your Facebook profile and cover photo to include a festive aspect, such as snowy graphics or your logo with a Santa's hat on, shows you’re current and makes your page friendly and inviting. Research showed that people thought residents with Christmas decorations up were more approachable and welcoming than those who didn’t. The same applies with your social media - it draws attention to your page and lets your audience know your active and the page is up-to-date.

Festive Campaigns

Christmas is a time when everyone is searching on the Internet, looking for products, services and gifts. If your company is releasing a new product for the festive season, tweets and posts that tease consumers of your new release will keep people engaged, until you finally begin to sell it. On Twitter and Instagram, engage with popular Christmas hashtags or create a festive hashtag of your own that followers can interact with.

Also, if your company is running any charity events or Christmas-themed activities it would be fantastic to post about these too. It'll make your company appear more personal and human and give your audience a chance to see your business behind the posts and photos.

Seasonal Strategy

Create a strategy and plan your posts and content ahead. Create a calendar to schedule content around your campaign with the question ‘How can my service or product benefit people at Christmas?’ always in mind. Think how your business will improve someone’s life, especially around the Christmas period. If you can’t think of a reason, this is when deals and offers could come in handy. Promotions such as free next day delivery or 50% off would help a lot of customers struggling with the economic issues and work stress induced by the festive period. Remember to always have your audience in mind. For example, followers of restaurants could benefit from vouchers with deals to get them through the door, whereas commercial businesses such as online clothing stores would gain advantage over their competition with discount codes and promotions that reduce the price of products and speed up delivery time.

Christmas Content Marketing

If your business has blog content, it is important that this too is centred around the festivities or at least partly related to Christmas. Content marketing is a great way to stand out from the competition, with articles that can be engaged with and shared amongst social media. For instance, restaurants and online grocery shops could share Christmas recipes that include their own products. However, competition grows around the season and it is important to stand out among the digital crowd. It is no good writing an article that has been written a thousand times before. Find out what is being searched, but focus on a more specific title and subject. For example, ‘Recipes for Christmas Food’ could become ‘Recipes for Vegan Christmas Food’, which would narrow down the search for a consumer and give your article and website a higher chance at being seen on Google. Tags in the article should include ‘Christmas’ and festive keywords that relate to your business and USP.

Email Marketing

Email marketing campaigns are an important way for your current audience to learn about the deals and promotions your business is carrying out around Christmas. You can send email campaigns that include gift cards, discount codes and vouchers that customers can use to purchase your products.

Adding festive season sparkle to your brand can benefit your social media immensely. Tis' the season to engage, interact and spread the Christmas cheer...digitally.

A ‘Social Media’ Christmas Carol

A Social Media Christmas Carol
Let’s all gather round for a not-so festive story I call ‘A Social Media Christmas Carol’ - a brief history of how online networking has changed.

Social media has undergone a journey over the years, from a fearful, misunderstood and somewhat unknown entity, to a diverse network that connects, improves and spreads cheer among users, but where did it all begin, and where is it all going?

The Social Media of Christmas Past

Back in the days of dial up internet, the first social media sites emerged, which were basic websites that connected people. The first recognisable social media site was Six Degrees that allowed people to create a profile and make friends. However, Friendster was once the biggest and most popular social media network that connected people through networks of friends. It was used for dating, making new friends and helping friends connect with new people. By 2006, it was pretty much dead – Facebook had stamped its footprint into the market and everything else seemed to fall in its wake. The bonds and connections between friends weakened and although Friendster tried to stay afloat, a series of technical difficulties and a lack of users resulted in its inevitable demise. As soon as blogging was introduced to the world, sites like Myspace and LinkedIn dominated the early 2000s with this idea of sharing your life to the world, meaning you could share your festive spirit to all your friends!

A popular messaging platform was MSN Messenger, which was renamed Windows Live Messenger before it was shut down in 2014. It provided fifteen years of awkward conversations, status updates, video calls, a series of emoticons and ‘Nudges’ and ‘Winks’, which were short videos designed to get the other person’s attention. MSN was once the only way to communicate with friends with an ability to ‘Appear Offline’ to avoid people contacting you. However, the platform was swiftly made redundant by Facebook’s messaging app as people could connect and talk with their friends all in one place.

Although social media had potential, it still wasn’t being used in the same way it is now.

The Social Media of Christmas Present

Presently, social media has moved away from desktop usability and turned its focus onto mobile phone apps. Social media strives to stay contemporary, but with so many giants in the playing field, it’s hard for new social sites to become popular. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter dominate amongst social media networks and are constantly changing and making improvements that keeps users entertained and engaged. Live video is the most recent development on social media as sites such as Facebook look to eliminate any reason for a user to leave their app.

Media that disappears has been made favourable by apps such as Snapchat, with Facebook and Instagram both taking on this idea of 'Stories' with images and video that are no longer available to view after twenty four hours. Instagram have created a bigger focus on photos, with many users this year gearing up to share images of their Christmas gifts for their friends to see.

Although many social media sites try to stay current, the market is moving quickly and constantly, meaning whatever is present at the moment is almost immediately outdated.

The Social Media of Christmas Future

It’s hard to predict what the future holds for social media sites, but there is definitely no sign of Facebook and Twitter going anywhere anytime soon. 2018 is bringing artificial intelligence, new algorithms and improvements for users. Social media will focus a lot more on relationships, between users and between the platform and a person. It seems sites are starting to use their methods for good, such as Facebook’s new A.I. technology that will try to prevent suicide amongst users. With this in mind, another turn for social media could be its focus on a person’s well-being, offering a more long-term relationship with posts and photos, instead of a fleeting ‘like’ or a 24-hour story.

There could also be this idea of a ‘Premium’ experience in social media. With more and more sites pushing advertisements into the faces of users, it could well be soon that sites start charging for individuals to get rid of the interruptions to videos and pop-ups.

However, it is quite likely that the sites of today will not be around in the future as technology develops and things become old news within minutes. With everything at the touch of a finger and pretty much every idea thought up and reused, it’s hard to predict what the future holds for social media, but it’ll definitely be a sight to stick around for.

Unique Ways to Celebrate Easter in the Office

Unique ways to celebrate easter in the office

There are tonnes of unique ways to celebrate Easter in the office, many of which can help your team bond and make for awesome social media content.

We love a holiday at Giraffe. We want to encourage as many companies as possible to get celebrating pretty much everything that they can.

Social media is the ultimate way to get your brand looking human and interesting. Users are far more likely to follow, recommend or enlist the services of a company that look real and fun. Easter is the perfect opportunity to have some fun around the office. After all, you made it through the cold winter; you deserve it.

This year we've decided to have an Easter egg hunt with a difference. On Thursday 13th April at 2pm, we're going to blindfold a member of the team, set up a live stream next to an egg somewhere in the office, and get our followers to direct them to it. Great right? We thought so too - catch it here.

Aside from that, here are few ways you could get your colleagues embracing their inner-child:

Have your own egg hunt with a twist

Let’s face it; most of us miss being able to go on an Easter egg hunt, so have an extra-special one of your own in the office. You can get really cheap plastic eggs from various craft stores; fill these with specially selected office perks such as “Doesn’t have to make the tea for a week” or “Coupon for one free lunch on the boss!” Please note; you may want to check with the boss first. Be unique!

Social media tip: Get some photos of your staff with their baskets full of eggs and share them on Facebook. If you’ve really embraced the whole employee advocacy on social media thing, tag them all - this will help to hugely boost your post reach and engagement rate.

Go full-blown Faberge

Aside from being my favourite sub-headings I have ever written, this one is great fun if you have an office full of creative types - or even more so if you don’t. Why not spend an afternoon reliving those days at school when you painted eggs?

You could even go with a theme that represents your company - we'd probably go for our favourite memes or Ping Pong champions of the 21st century. Blowing-out eggs is much easier than you think, but if you have a big office or just can’t be bothered, many craft stores sell polystyrene eggs that are perfect for painting.

Social media tip: Share photos of everyone’s egg-fforts (egg efforts, sorry) across your social networking accounts and get your followers to vote for their favourites!

Easter Bake-off

It’s a fact universally renowned that everybody loves cake. There’s something tremendously transformative about the existence of a victoria sponge in the workplace. Alongside being the perfect accessory to tea or coffee, cake is perfect enjoyed on it’s own. It also helps makes the office look more homely. It smells good. Did I mention it tastes nice?

Cake.

Yes, cake can do wonders regardless of the season, and Easter should be no exception. Being a holiday that has become of chocolate and sweet treats, an office Easter Bake-off is a no-brainer. If you really want to go with the season, you could always make an edible Easter bonnet.

Social Media Tip: Create a new Pinterest board especially for all of your Office baking efforts and encourage foodies to share. Food also does awesomely well on Instagram - get hashtagging!

Let your Easter-magination Run Wild

However you end up celebrating Easter in your office, do it your way. There are plenty of things you can do over and above a little decoration and a few chocolate eggs lying around the place.

From all of us at Giraffe Social Media, have a brilliant Easter!

Maximise Your Valentines Day Social Media Message

Valentines Day Social media marketing message
Love it or loathe it, Valentines Day is another opportunity for you to maximise your social media marketing with a heartfelt promotional message.

What does Valentines Day mean to you? It could just be another day of the year. Or maybe it’s an opportunity for you to secure yourself a place in your partner’s good books for the next few weeks. Or perhaps it calls for some thoroughly embittered snooping at your Facebook friends’ perceived happiness, while cooking up a whole dine-in-for-two for one.

All are suitable ways for yourself to spend the day... some arguably more so than others. But now we have something else to consider. What does Valentines Day mean for your business?

The role of social media in relation to holidays and seasonal events is often one of increased activity. People take to networks to communicate their best wishes to their loved ones and share their own experiences. This increased activity can and should be made use of to expand your brand reach. Because the best social media stategies are a collision of the digital and the real world, companies that succeed in nailing seasonal social media marketing campaigns are commonly the most successful.

Facebook have lovingly leant a hand this Valentines Day

Facebook insights have lovingly put together an infographic with key trends and statistics for the occasion across Facebook and Instagram and published it on Facebook Insights. Some of the key points highighted for businesses to consider this year include optimisation of how brands are seen on mobile and the publishing/promotion of seasonal special offers.

Focussing on the conversations that your target audience engage most with

Possibly some of the most useful findings within Facebook’s study are the sort of discussions and conversations that each audience demographic commonly engage with. These should be used to help decide on the style of campaign voice that you opt for as a result; when you know what your audience want to say, you can emulate that voice and maximise your chance of getting noticed.

Maximising your brand’s marketing message is not just about saying the right thing to get noticed, but about saying the right thing to get noticed by your specific audience. The full Infographic will likely prove useful for you to decide what to talk about, but here are some findings for key demographics.

  • Each gender discussed romance, loved ones and date night ar a similar rate.
  • Women are more likely to engage with discussions about gifts and food & drink than their male counterparts.
  • Young male Millennials are more likely to be anti-Valentines.
  • Young Millennials in general (that is ages 18-24) are most engaged with the anti-Valentines topic.
  • The second-most prominent conversation type for men to engage with was that of proposals and relationship status.

For more information about how to better tailor your social media message this Valentines Day, check out Facebook IQ’s study “Valentines Day: Happens on Facebook and Instagram”. Have a reasonably lovely Valentines Day.

XOXO

The Office Christmas Party, Social Media and Not Getting Fired

Social Media Christmas Party

“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.”
                                                                                                                      - Phyllis Diller

The office Christmas party is notorious for horror stories. It’s no wonder - your colleagues are the people you spend the most amount of time around. Add alcohol, carbs and the inevitable Secret Santa into the mix and you’ve got yourself a very, very volatile cocktail.

You don’t have to look far before you uncover some tales of Christmas party terror. Now the stress of the occasion has been heightened with the addition of our pal social media…

Christmas parties are an incredibly important part of the year for a great deal of workplaces. They are a great source of reward for many of your colleagues. They can help bring your team together and promote a sense of community within the workplace. But for certain personalities these can also be a considerably stressful experience - and it’s not always the person you expect.

The last thing you want to do is wake up with an awful hangover to discover that you said something untoward to your Managing Director, shouted at Jeff from accounts because you “just can’t stand that haircut any longer”, before making a pass at your HR Manager. But sadly - it happens.

There are plenty of articles out there that can help you make sure you don’t do something silly at the party itself. A good model to follow is moderation. Now we are in an age of social media, there’s another thing that you should keep in mind before - and after - the party, to make sure you don't inadvertently end up losing your job...

Be careful what you post online

For the Facebook savvy, this can seem like a fairly obvious tip. But with more and more people realising the potential that not overdoing your privacy settings can have on your job prospects, it’s a good idea to remind yourself. Here are a few pointers to help make sure you still have a job in the morning:

1. Double-check people are cool with you posting
We know how positive posting pictures of your office occasions can be on brand awareness and PR so we think you should definitely be doing it - but your bosses and people you work with may be less keen. So double-check they are cool with it before you get going.

2. Post positive...
Regardless of how harrowing your party is, somebody went to the trouble of organising it for you. Show your appreciation to these people by being positive about it. If it's obvious that people in charge have really gone the extra mile, rave about it.

3. Don’t focus on the booze...
There’s a likelihood that there will be alcohol at the party, there will certainly be other things you could rave about. The food for example. Or the novelty pencil sharpener that you got given as your Secret Santa present.

4. It’s not just you that could be hurt…
If you have a video of sweaty colleagues dancing inappropriately they may encourage you to post it right there. But would they the morning after? Or when their line Manager brings it up in their next appraisal? It can be good to keep those sort of decisions until the morning after.

The office Christmas party can be incredible for social media engagement - so long as you think about what you post! So keep these tips in mind, be sensible and have a fantastic time. The most merriest of merry Christmases to you and your colleagues!

Giraffe Social Media Twelve Days of Trendmas

Giraffe Social Media Twelve Days of Trendmas

It’s Christmastime and you would certainly know it if you stepped foot in Giraffe Social Media HQ. The garden has turned into a grotto, the music is 85% Christmas music and there seems to be an abundance of cookies around the place. So we couldn’t help but celebrate the only way we know how - through social media. Read on to find out more...

Social media is often a joy to behold around the festive period. Throughout the years we’ve been treated to some Christmas crackers directly through social networking. Recently even the John Lewis advert, while still a TV medium, has spread primarily through Facebook and Twitter.

Social media’s capacity to facilitate a developing global conversation makes it the perfect candidate for such an exciting period. Many businesses take advantage of these channels to promote deals, others to raise awareness of a cause, others just as an excuse to be silly.

Naturally, we have opted for the latter.

Giraffe Social Media Twelve Days of Trendmas

Over our last twelve days working in the office before Christmas Day, we will be re-living some of the biggest and best social media trends of the past decade. We’ll be re-making glorious memes, re-creating viral music videos and re-visiting some of our favourite social media trends.

Each day from the 12th through to the 23rd of December we will post a new trend on our Facebook page. Be sure to follow us so that you don’t miss any! Join the conversation using #12DaysofTrendmas.

Have the merriest of Christmases!

Giraffe Welcome Sheleena to the Team

Sheleena Cameron Giraffe Social Media Manager

The one thing that really defines Giraffe Social Media are the people who we have working here! We appreciate how each person’s individualities and unique skills can make our office a far more vibrant place to work and help to develop our constantly evolving service - and whenever somebody new joins us, we get rather giddy...

This week we are incredibly excited to be able to introduce to you a brand new member of the Giraffe family, Sheleena Cameron! Sheleena recently graduated from the University of Essex where she studied English Language and Literature. We stole her for a few moments to see what makes her tick...

Welcome Sheleena!

Thank you!

Describe yourself in three words, one adjective, one verb and one noun.

Sheleena is fun.

Clever. Obviously you studied English at University - did you enjoy it, did you do anything fun, join any societies etc…

I did enjoy! I didn’t really like the language bit at the end of it but I enjoyed it all the same! The only thing I joined was the Cheerleading team - a very successful team I might add. Other than that I worked at Starbucks at the SU which was fun.

What made you study English Language and Literature?

Nothing much apart from the fact that I’m good at English and I like reading.

Fair enough! So what drove you to apply to work with Giraffe?

I can’t remember, it was a while ago - I think it was June! I was looking for jobs that I knew I could actually do, and when I saw the Giraffe job description the main thing I noticed was the company values, which I knew I could really get on board with. So I was like, “this sounds like fun, let’s try here!”

What are you most looking forward to about working here?

Getting good at table tennis, and also the bake offs - I love baking! Although the standard here has been ridiculously high so I’m going to have to practice.

What's the weirdest thing about the Giraffe team that you’ve noticed since starting here?

Nothing much, at first I found it odd that everybody was bare foot but then I thought, “why not?!”

What was the last picture you took on your phone?

Oh I was on holiday. It was a selfie on the bus that takes you from the terminal to the plane, we were a little delayed because there was too much in the hand luggage...

What actor would play your fictional nemesis?

Oh… I just don’t know! Somebody ridiculously dramatic like Andy Samberg. Just because you’d want to laugh, and I’d imagine my story to be a bit of a comedy. Something like Scott Pilgrim Vs the World… Except not as long… That film is LONG.

What’s the weirdest dream you can remember?

My Nan died (she’s not really dead, I’m pretty sure she’s going to outlive me), and for some reason the amount of money we had inherited was written on ketchup sachets...

If you could have a pet anything what would it be?

Hmm… Well I’d want something practical… potentially a Hippogriff because that would be pretty cool and certainly help me save money on airfare!

Do you ever doubt the existence of others?

Wow, that’s quite existential… No?... I think?...

What question do you hate having to answer?

Where are you from, drives me insane!

Have you ever collected those stickers you get on fruits?

Pretty sure I must have as a child! You know, you get a banana, take the sticker off, stick it on your lunchbox, standard.

Any dietary requirements we should be aware of?

I am allergic to a random additive, but I don’t know what it is yet. So I could eat something and potentially my throat could close, but we don’t know what that is… it adds something of sense of adventure to mealtimes.

Wow. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on that. What's your favourite abstract noun?

I don’t know! Could be dream? You could say I’m a dreamer… But I’m not the only one.

What superpower do you wish you had?

Oh, apparition, 100 percent! You’d just have to leave a second before you had to get somewhere, I’d get so much more sleep. Or the ability to find anything immediately without fail...

Lastly, what is love?

Baby, don’t hurt me.

Our Favourite Social Media Fails of 2016 So Far

social media fails 2016

Social media has it’s fair share of funnies - not all intentional. In fact, some of the funniest funnies have come from misguided social media campaigns. If you make a mistake in marketing the likelihood is pretty soon somebody is going to point it out to you, and no marketing channel is quite at quick (and brutal) at doing that as social networking…

Businesses, be warned. Trolls never sleep. Under no circumstances should you make it easy for them. When it comes to your social media campaign, there is no such thing as over-proofing. Sure, nothing good came out of being overly-cautious and sometimes you have to push boundaries in order to get results. But get it wrong and the internet will let you know.

This year has held some absolute crackers of social media fails. We’ve collected three of our favourites, partly so you can be sure you don’t make similar mistakes, but mostly so we can all have a jolly good laugh at their expense.

DC Comics forgets how to Google

We did a feature on this back in January called “Why DC Comics need to learn how to Google”. While not strictly a social media campaign fail, it was certainly one of the first serious social media controversies of the year. It all started because of a little Editor’s note in the second story inside Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2, the aptly named “Unsaid”.

In the story a demi-god named Dichara is terrorising the lives of the people of Shimshal, Pakistan. As is customary in comic books when characters are speaking in another language the speech is placed between chevrons and an editor’s note is added. However, this particular editor’s note stated *All translated from Pakistanian, - a language that, most of us will realise, doesn’t actually exist.

When users discovered that a single Google search would have sufficed to confirm that (amongst other common languages) the official language is in fact Urdu the social media backlash was rather large. Perhaps the issue was trying to translate the word “Urdu” into American.

Total Beauty manage to mistake Whoopi Goldberg for Oprah Winfrey

This one was a mix of mistaken identity and campaign coverage. As part of their Oscars night coverage beauty website Total Beauty managed to spark a social media trending discussion with one tweet when their social media manager managed to mix up Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.

The tweet, which was swiftly removed after the uproar, included a picture of Goldberg looking fabulous with a tattoo showing, accompanied with the line “We had no idea Oprah was #tatted, and we love it.” The mistake prompted the start of the hashtag #ThatsNotOprah as users began sharing their own spoof versions of mistaken actors.

They say all PR is good PR, but that night not be the case when that PR is a result of offending both Whoopi and Oprah. As a result the website pledged to donate $10,000 dollars to a charity of the actors’ choice.

Microsoft’s AI Bot goes from zero to racist, xenophobic bigot in a matter of hours

Remember Tay, the AI Bot created by Microsoft who went from innocent machine learning bot to bigoted, racist xenophobe in less than a day? We certainly do. Something of a frightening exposé into what Twitter users will do when left alone, Tay was created to mimic real conversations prompted by other users.

Needless to say it didn’t take long for the trolls to catch on and change her innocent voice into something far more malicious. Inevitably Microsoft caught on and deleted the tweets, but not before we’d all had a jolly good giggle.

What have been your favourite social media fails of the year so far? Tweet us and we’ll include them! @GiraffeSM.

Big Social Media Trends: Summer 2016

Top Social Media Trends Summer 2016

In the ever-changing digital landscape, keeping a hold on trends can mean the difference between becoming a real player or your brand vanishing into obscurity. Since the beginning of 2016 developments in app functionality and content capabilities has led to an even-more contested market, with networks vying for the business of big brands, and big brands battling it out to get their content noticed over that of their competitors…

Today’s top social media trends paint a wonderfully diverse picture for the future of social networking for users. With such a huge (seriously, huge) amount of businesses and organisations now actively engaging in social media marketing, it has become even more of a challenge to take advantage of all that it offers. A renewed appreciation and understanding for what makes users tick has led to more investment into the creation of quality, original content and better community management, to the point where both of these things have almost grown to be expected by users.

In short, social media marketing is not “easy” any more, but the potential offered by today’s industry completely eclipses what could be achieved two or three years ago. There are now even more viable avenues for reaching your audience, even more ways to tell rich stories about your brand, even more possibilities to prompt real discussions and foster relationships with real consumers and turn them into advocates.

Let's take a look at some of the biggest social media trends this summer...

Instagram and Snapchat making inroads as social networks

One of the most significant areas for development has been the sites themselves. Smaller apps and networks which never gained much appreciation and were never particularly looked at as a viable channel for marketing in the past have made serious inroads in the social media game. Last year it was simple to direct your attention to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in an order dictated by your target market, but at least two others have joined ranks the ranks of “to be considered”. Instagram and Snapchat each serve a separate purpose, allowing marketers to reach a more diverse cross section of users.

Video content retains its prominence, live gets serious

Video content continues to be the most engaged-with type of content across social media. It’s unsurprising when you consider how accessible a medium it is, and that fact that it requires minimal investment by users for a potentially engaging outcome. Now the live-streaming capabilities of networks have grown immensely and brands have cottoned-on. Facebook Live and Periscope have given organisations an opportunity to offer customers access to unique and exclusive stories.

Human response is more important now than ever

Social media community management is now an industry norm. Users have very high expectations surrounding how responsive business representatives should be on these channels and the extent of customer service they should offer. While Facebook has started to look towards bots for business queries on messenger, users need to feel engaged with on a human level in order to trust and advocate a brand.

Quality, original content topples quantity

It almost goes without saying that quality tops quantity when it comes to social media content, and that has never been more true than it is now. Business users who invest in creating the highest quality original content and spend time carefully crafting everything they post on their channels are the ones who succeed. Frequently posting the same message or promoting products systematically disengages consumers and is detrimental to brands on social media.

Going For Social Media Gold During the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Rio 2016 Olympics Social Media Tips

Social media managers and digital marketers, take note. We are in the midst of another of those all-too-rare moments when a global phenomenon makes the process of getting your brand noticed across the world far simpler - the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

By their very nature, global events and sporting tournaments bring the global community together, encouraging discussions on social media that surpass the normal limitations of day-to-day work. For that reason, they continue to be brilliant avenues for marketing campaigns. The simple act of getting involved in those discussions can be enough to dramatically increase the reach of brands of all shapes and sizes.

In previous tournaments we have seen some companies and organisations really push the boundaries in their campaigns. The London 2012 Olympic Games was something of a turning point for digital marketing - you need only take one look at Coca-Cola’s “Move to the Beat” campaign, which took cross-channel content marketing to another level by using music as a key component in uniting their younger target audience around an inherently social, global event.

Licensed ambush marketing for Rio 2016

One of the most interesting and significant changes that consumers and businesses will be seeing around this year’s games, is that big brands have been given permission to form marketing campaigns around the Olympics, regardless of whether or not they are official sponsors. There are, however, restrictions where this so-called “licensed ambush marketing” is concerned, such as using symbols and mentioning terms such as “gold”.

So where should the priorities of businesses who want to cash in on the games lie? By following a few general guidelines, you can expect to see maximum return on your campaigns…

Embracing the spirit of over-achieving

Your social media campaigns should be completely in-keeping with the spirit of the games. There is something of an agreed rhetoric of positivity; an air of innate ability and motivation to achieve more. It stands to reason that to gain traction alongside other campaigns, your own content will need to share that rhetoric. Social media marketers will be no strangers to motivational content as they already understand the capabilities of positive messages on social networking.

Focussing on real-time events to inspire engagement

The idea of a completely ‘social’ Olympics is one that relies on active participation by users. In order for campaigns to grow, they need to be centred on engaging your target audience. Successful campaigns from the 2012 Olympics showed us that users are no longer content with being spectators of global tournaments - they want to be participants. This means focussing on real-time events as they unfold. Social media has transformed the idea of what’s topical from entire events right down to what’s happening in those events at this precise moment.

All-but forgetting about products

The kind of stories we should be focussing in-on are not at all product-centred. Brands need to instead look at real lives - the people who engage with the games and their journeys. The Olympics is a chance to align your branding with a positive message of togetherness and achievement, not shout about sales.

Wherever you’re based, engaging with the Olympics on social media is a sure-fire way to increase your reach. Any questions? Hit us up - @GiraffeSM.

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