Most social media advertising is poorly suited to the medium. According to Vindico, nearly all (98%) online video ads were re-purposed from a broadcast original. The lack of originality is one reason ads and sponsored stories on Facebook realize comparatively low average click through-rates of under 5%, says Spruce Media.
One exception is Kimberly-Clark, owners of billion dollar brands such as Kotex, Kleenex and Huggies. According to Chief Marketing Officer Clive Sirkin, “we don’t believe in digital marketing. We believe in marketing in a digital world, and there is a difference”. Kimberly Clark recently ran two social media campaigns in Israel that achieved the unthinkable- 100% engagement. These brand campaigns, both of which cost less than $10,000 and reached nearly 10% of the entire Israeli population, represent the potential for social media advertising.
Kleenex “Feel Good” Campaign
Real-time, social tracking tool Buzzilla , helped Kleenex (tissue) identify 50 Facebook users across Israel who had posted about missing work due to illness. Obtaining physical addresses from helpful friends in their FB network, within 1-2 hours these Facebook users received a personalized “Feel Good” care package, delivered directly to their door. The kits included items like chocolate, medicine and of course, Kleenex. See a video description here.
The result: For a cost of only $5,750, one hundred percent of the recipients posted a picture of the kit on their Facebook profiles with warm words about Kleenex, generating 650,000 impressions. The total cost per engagement (Like, Share, etc) was $3.2 USD while the general Facebook CPM (cost per 1,000 exposures to the posts during the 10 day activity) at that time was only $9 USD.
According to Eran Sion, Digital Marketing Director at Hogla Kimberly Clark, “Our digital campaigns are designed and tested to achieve a precise emotional reaction, and leverage crowd sourcing to reach a broader audience. Before running this, we did a trial, focusing on 5 people in my personal Facebook network. I would recommend running a trial”. This effort has been featured by more than 50 industry publications, including USA today, and will soon roll-out in the New York area. “The US version will adapt, of course”. This includes the use of Twitter and a much more stringent level of privacy.
Kotex “Woman’s Inspiration Day” Campaign
Like any successful campaign, Kotex began with an underlying truth- Each woman is a unique individual, with her own personality, way of life and style. They then identified the social media platform where women feel comfortable expressing themselves via style and design. Pinterest is a social catalog service- a virtual pinboard, where users post collections of things they love and “follow” others’ collections. 70% of Pinterest’s 19 million users (comScore) are female, according to Jay Ehret. You can see a guide to using Pinterest here.
For “Women’s Inspiration Day”, Kotex created the world’s first Pinterest campaign, with the goal of generating buzz for its new “Design” series. The company aimed for a precise emotional reaction, ran a trial campaign, and even prepared a press release in advance. The idea was to transform an inspiration in Pinterest into a personalized gift delivered to 50 social media influencers. Using photos on their Pinterest boards as a guide, a well-known artist created a physical version of these items that was boxed and shipped directly to the women’s doorstep. The only requirement was agreeing to “repin” the gift on Pinterest and other social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For less than $10,000, one hundred percent of the women posted about their gift, yielding 695,000 impressions.
Brands devote far less advertising budget toward online social media and mobile than established media like television and print. Innovative campaigns such as Kotex and Kleenex in Israel, with 100% engagement levels and virality, may help brands re-evaluate how they allocate their marketing budgets.