1. Georgetown Cupcake
The only thing better than a cupcake is a free cupcake, and that’s exactly what sisters Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne are baking up. Every day, Georgetown Cupcake posts an unlisted flavor on their Facebook page and Twitter feed. The first 100 customers to walk into one of their six locations and order the secret cupcake by name get one for free.
Giving away 600 cupcakes every day may sound like a bad business model, but not when it’s earning you thousands and thousands of Facebook fans and Twitter followers. The online discussions surrounding each new cupcake giveaway are remarkable. Who wouldn’t Tweet/post/Instagram their free Strawberry Lava Fudge cupcake?
2. Visit Sun Valley
After a very important scientific study, Visit Sun Valley, a small Idahoan tourism site, concluded that not enough people in the world are able to skip stones. So what did they do? They built a robot.
Skippy allowed people across the world to skip a stone in beautiful Sun Valley right from their landlocked cubicles. Skippers could control the angle and direction of each skip. Skips were recorded and easily shared across all social media platforms, and the longest skip won a week stay in Sun Valley.
Sun Valley’s creative approach capitalized on a nostalgic pastime while highlighting their beautiful park.
3. Dollar Shave Club
You probably never would have heard of Dollar Shave Club had it not been for their incredibly successful YouTube commercial.
Viral videos are not easy to produce, but if you’re able to succeed, the views can be invaluable.
Successful viral videos frequently evoke a strong emotional response. Dollar Shave Club’s hit utilized humor. Others have tapped into nostalgia, inspiration, and excitement.
If you give a dog a smartphone, he’ll probably head to Germany. GranataPet pet food introduced 10 Foursquare-powered billboards across Munich and Berlin that enabled dog walkers to check in and receive a free bowl of food for their pup.
All check-ins were also posted on Facebook, building a bigger audience and greater reach for this inventive pet food company.
5. Kern Precision Scales
You probably learned in physics class that your weight differs slightly depending on where you are in the world because of changes in gravitational pull. You also probably didn’t really understand what your teacher was talking about. No worries — Kern Precision Scales introduced a way to prove it.
The Gnome Experiment sent a calibrated Kern scale and a small garden gnome to scientists around the world. The scientists all weighed the gnome and reported back their findings. An interactive map now shows how the gnome’s weight fluctuates depending on its geographical location. The more you gnome!
Kern’s program authentically utilized their product to share an idea. Forcing products into social media programs can be a major turn-off to consumers.
6. Obermutten, Switzerland
The small, Swiss mountain village Obermutten amassed over 45 thousand Facebook fans by making one simple promise: to post each fan’s picture on the village’s real life bulletin board. That’s right, Obermutten’s mayor, and presumably a tech-savvy cabinet, decided to boost tourism dollars by sharing their beautiful village with the world of Facebook.
Since making the promise, Obermutten has covered the town’s walls with paper printouts of profile pictures from all across the world. Visitor numbers in their small village shot up, and in turn, so did big tourism dollars.
Social media users love to see how their actions online affect the world offline. Something as simple as posting printouts can invite an uproar of activity.
7. Knock-Off Wood
Ana White is a mother, homemaker, and carpenter. Oh yeah, and she has over 188 thousand Facebook followers. Ana’s small business Knock-Off Wood provides detailed instructions for awesome around-the-house projects.
Knock-Off Wood has utilized Facebook as well as a popular blog to share stories and tips. Ana also has a bragboard where fans can post their own DIY success stories. Social media users love to see their own works shared by a business’s account, whether it’s a retweet or a reblog.
8. Chengdu Pambassador Program
You’re probably sick of seeing brands promote contests across social media to build their fan base. But what if the prize was a trip to meet panda bears? That’s exactly what the small Chinese town of Chengdu is offering through their Pambassador program.
Chengdu took what made them unique (pandas) and used that as their social media hook. They also utilized their Facebook page to provide frequent updates on the pandas as well as projects and adventures that the Pambassadors were undertaking.
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