3 Examples of Social Marketing Done Right

With a dizzying array of new mobile apps created every day, it can be hard to decide where to invest your digital marketing dollars. But certain platforms have become canonical social media marketing tools. Facebook, Twitter and more recently Instagram and Pinterest are being seen as essential to the digital arm of any campaign.

But being a whiz on one platform doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be a whiz on the next. A campaign that works on Facebook may not fair as well on Twitter. It’s important to appreciate the nuance to each platform.

With that in mind, here are three beautifully executed social marketing campaigns.


Ford decided to market its C-Max hybrid with a cutting edge campaign that integrated customer Instagram photos into a C-Max commercial. For those who have been sleeping under a rock for the last year, Instagram is a social photography app that lets users capture, modify and share compelling photos with their friends. The social and visual nature of the app makes its a prime target for marketers.

ford cmax

The core of the idea is to use Instagram to create one of the first collaborative stop motion animations. First, a 30 second animation was created and individual frames were stripped out of it to create 98 billboards that are going up all across the country.

Anyone can stand in front of one of these billboards, take a picture, and hashtag it #CMAX. A backend system was built to scrape Instagram for these pics and sequentially order them using image recognition software.

What you get is a collaborative animation that is constantly changing as new people upload their pictures. If you live in a big city, there might just be a board near you!

Check out the campaign here.


Nike has been reinventing consumer choice with NikeiD, a program that lets users design their own Nike sneakers.

Nike PHOTOiD goes one step further and socializes the whole process. Users are invented to submit Instagram photos from which Nike’s software will automatically design a sneaker based on the photo’s dominant colors. Users can than either purchase the sneaker or share their creation with friends.

nike instagram

Check out the campaign here.

Taco Bell

Every year, South By South West (commonly called SXSW) attracts tens of thousands of music fans to Austin, Texas. Taco Bell targeted this young audience by making them the focal point its Feed the Beat “rockumentary.” Fans were encouraged to tweet with the hashtag #feedthebeat images and video of a show. All the footage and images were compiled by a documentarian. The final project yielded 500,000 views.

See the campaign here.

These are just three examples of innovative social media campaigns. Have any of your own?

Let us know in the comments!