Twitter polls, Instagram stories, Pinterest boards. These are solid social media marketing ideas, but they are fairly common. And, unless they are done exceptionally well, won’t help your brand stand out.
So, to help you in brainstorming some social media marketing strategies that will help expand your brand awareness and reach, here are 21 out-of-the-box social media marketing ideas.
Field Some Questions With a Reddit AMA
AMA stands for Ask Me Anything. If you’re familiar with Reddit, then you might be asking, why would I want a bunch of internet trolls to surround ask me any question they want on a public platform? Well, as someone who once frequented Reddit often, I can tell you that the AMA section can actually lead to some pretty interesting and fun conversations.
The key is to pitch yourself as being worthy of an AMA. Most often, you see actors, musicians, politicians, scientists, and other celebrities hosting AMAs. But, you can also see your fair share of less famous people. For example, take a look at this AMA from 2015 about a small business owner who quit his job to start his own software company. Some may say that’s not as interesting as Elon Musk doing an AMA, but there is a large audience out their who want to learn more about regular folks who have important stories to tell.
This works especially well if you’re a small, local business. Now, I’m not sure if these corny ads that go viral every now and then are intentionally made this way, but regardless, they are an effective means of increasing your brand awareness. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then check out this compilation video (1:44 is perhaps one of the greatest commercials of all time):
You have to imagine that there was some semblance of self-awareness when they were making these commercials. That being said, it definitely feels like people are laughing with, not at, these small town business owners. They’re awkward, cringe, and have more corn in them than a Famous Dave’s cornbread biscuit. Creating a commercial like this is a great way to show your fun side (as long as you make it obvious that you’re in on the joke).
Inspire Movement With a Scavenger Hunt
At the University I attended, their Instagram page often featured shots of an area of the campus where people had to guess where the location was. The winners would then get a gift card or discount at the bookstore (because paying $125 for a book you’ll open twice during the semester is better than paying $150… I guess).
Businesses can use the same approach with their own Instagram feeds. Take three pictures around your city or town (it can be a street corner, graffiti wall, tree, or anything). Post those pictures and Monday and say whoever takes a photo in front of one of the spots and uses your hashtag or tags you in the photo will get a prize. Make it so you can only win once every two weeks, which will encourage more people to get involved.
Create Humor Through a Gif Contest
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, gifs are the language of the internet. What better way to connect with an audience on social media than with a gif contest. Let’s say you have a big announcement to make to your consumers. Maybe you’re having a huge Cyber Monday sale. Announce this on Twitter and then say, “Respond with a gif that corresponds with your excitement.” You’ll get a slew of hilarious gifs and you can retweet the best ones, who will get an additional discount.
Get in on the Meme Game
Here is the harsh reality of social media: it works significantly better for some brands and industries than others. Take the watch industry. Watch brands have extremely large followings on their social platforms (i.e. MVMT). It’s easy for them, as they can share awesome photos of people wearing their watches in beautiful locations all over the world.
Do you know what industry doesn’t lend itself well to Twitter and Instagram? The packaged pastry industry. However, that hasn’t stopped MoonPie from becoming a viral sensation every week on Twitter (I wrote about them in this blog a few a couple of weeks ago, where you can read more about how they break through the clutter with their surreal comedy).
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there as a brand. Everyone has an issue that they care about and would like to help be a part of the solution. You can use your brand as a platform to help bring awareness to the cause. This is becoming more and more common with brands from all types of industries.
Some business might incorporate the issue into their business strategies (“We donate 1% of every purchase to the _____ foundation”), while others will just promote important events on their social media accounts (Today is International Women’s Day and I’ve already seen a lot of Twitter and Instagram accounts posting about this). This is a great way to increase your brand’s goodwill.
Watch this quick video to see how savvy businesses save time and hook better leads: