Inspirational Social Media Marketing: Case Studies

Social media can lead to success, if it’s used in the right way.

We’ve mentioned before that if you find the right way to leverage social media, you could soon find yourself on a fast track to success. But we realise you don’t want to hear us say it; you want to see it in action.

We’ve gathered together seven case studies that will show you how different companies have approached social media. Each of these companies is from a different walk of life and many have used different tactics, but each has had some degree of success.

Read on to see how others approached social media marketing in business and feel free to take home a few tips in the process.




Oxfordshire-based hotel

Owning and operating a hotel is tough work, especially in a recession. Fallowfields hotel owner Anthony Lloyd turned to Twitter when it became apparent he would need to cut marketing costs.

Prior to the social media revolution, Lloyd had relied on word-of-mouth, face-to-face marketing and tourist brochures to plug his hotel in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. When this started to dry up, he set up a Twitter profile and began to Tweet. Regular tweets and interpersonal engagement alongside interesting content quickly saw the hotel’s following on the rise.

Today, Fallowfields has nearly 28,000 followers on Twitter. Lloyd has sent more than 45,000 tweets and follows almost 18,000 other Twitter users. For a small business, this last statistic is quite exceptional and proof that if you follow, others will follow too.

Result: Lloyd estimates that in his first 18 months on Twitter he enticed 1,000 followers and earned £150,000 of new business.







Southport Road Dental

Chorley-based dental practice

When Dr David Hickey took over the Southport Road Dental practice in the Lancashire town of Chorley, it had no social media presence. Hickey decided to change that. He created a Facebook and Twitter profile for the practice and linked them to the company website.

He didn’t stop there either. He decided a YouTube page was also in order and promptly began recording videos featuring patient testimonials. You can watch them here.

The aim wasn’t to get noticed by 100,000 people, it was to get noticed by the right people. A local dental practice doesn’t need viewers tuning in from Adelaide or Buenos Aries; it needs local people that need a dentist. That’s where SEO comes in. Social media links are gold when it comes to improving your ranking, something you should consider for your business moving forward.

Result: By creating these social media profiles, Southport Road Dental practice became more visible to Google, Bing and all the other search engine sites. This has led to increased foot traffic. Today, the practice receives as many as six new enquiries each day, up from two before the social media campaign started. Six may not seem like a world-beating number, but consider how often you think of contacting a dentist. Six new enquires a day is huge for a specialised local business.







Susan Green Books

Independent bookbinder

Susan Green creates beautiful hand-crafted journals, notebooks, guest books, and the likes. Now, let’s not beat around the bush here; that’s a pretty niche market we’re looking at. But Susan has used social media to increase brand awareness and sales.

Green created a Twitter profile in 2009 and had immediate success. Sales in her first year on the 140-character website increased tenfold. Her crafts were also featured by Dragon’s Den Deborah Meaden, which didn’t harm exposure either. More recently, Green has turned to Pinterest to promote her products too. You can visit her page here.

Result: Green’s books are visually appealing which makes Pinterest the perfect platform for her to market them. Pinterest is also a favourite of the arts-and-crafts crowd, which makes it an obvious choice for anybody selling handcrafted goods.








Fashion retailer

Looking to promote the brand’s seasonal sale, ASOS decided to use Facebook to reach out to the masses, increase awareness and hopefully sell a few clothes.

The company created an application page which allowed visitors to play a series of games. Those that scored the most points were given a pass to the ‘front of the queue’, that is to say they were given first access to the online sale.

This app was accompanied by a series of Facebook ads and sponsored stories.

Result: The ASOS app was viewed more than 1 million times and helped to generate the largest one-day revenue the company had ever seen. Meanwhile, with the app being shared around and marketing material finding its way into the general consciousness, the ASOS fan base grew by 32 per cent.








Alcoholic beverage manufacturer

The popular cider specialists decided to release a pair of limited edition ciders (Bold Black Cherry, Pressed Red Grape) to go alongside its existing range. The company turned to Facebook and Twitter to make a splash.

An app was created that allowed customers to enter their details in hope of being one of the first to try the new flavours. A series of winners were then selected and given samples ahead of the release date.

Meanwhile, influencers on Twitter were approached and offered free samples. The thought process behind this move was that these influential Tweeters could recommend the new flavours to their followers and generate some buzz.

Once the ciders hit the shelf, a call to action on each bottle suggested drinkers take a photo of themselves with their bottle of cider and share it on Facebook or Twitter.

Result: The number of sales generated through this social media campaign is almost impossible to predict but all you need do is take a look at this photo album from Bulmers to know that a good time was had by many.





Price comparison website

Already a powerhouse in the world of price comparison websites, decided to have a little fun with its Twitter following back in May.

The company asked its followers “what confuses you?” with the promise of a video follow-up to the best questions. It included a number of its own examples, including “Can you overdose on bananas?”, “How can I cure a hangover?”, and the frankly-brilliant “Will a cat land on its feet if buttered bread is attached to its back?” Each came with a preloaded video answer.

Followers then responded asking about everything from the working week and cake ingredients to office drinking etiquette and the Kardashians. You can find out more here.

Result: The most-viewed video, which was actually a response to singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran’s musings about a hotel telephone, has been viewed 229 times since May. It’s hardly spread like wildfire. So, in terms of generating click-through action and enticing new users, it hasn’t been hugely successful. However, having fun with your existing following is an important part of social media in business.







Tough Mudder

Specialist obstacle course event organiser

When it comes to adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities, Tough Mudder is fast-becoming a market leader. The company organises a series of global events in which participants tackles a 10-12 miles assault course, with teamwork the name of the game.

Tough Mudder decided to use Facebook as its principle marketing device a few years back. After creating a community page, the company began creating online events to accompany the physical events they were putting on. From there, the company began utilising Facebook ads and sponsored posts to get its name out there. It also used the Facebook search function to carefully select those it would reach out to, ensuring they fit the right demographic.

Result: Tough Mudder saw its fan base grow from 200,000 to 2.5 million in just 18 months, while sales increased 24-fold. The company calculates that the money spent on Facebook advertising saw a 5-10 per cent return. Interestingly, the company experienced a click-through rate of 5-8 times higher for its sponsored posts over it traditional adverts, proving that more subtle advertising works on social media.






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