A recent survey revealed that the average person spends about 135 minutes on social media every day. That translates to over two hours of doing nothing but scrolling through the various social platforms every single day.

This implies that any brand that does not capitalize on this opportunity to market themselves on social media is essentially shooting itself on the leg. Social media advertising is a great – and free – way of creating leads by building a presence where most of your audience is likely hanging out.

Fortunately, most brands are aware of this and are reaping the benefits that come with. This is evidenced by the fact that close to 80 percent of businesses today have entire teams dedicated to branding and marketing on social platforms.
However, some are doing it better than others. This post will highlight the top ten most effective social media campaigns of the year so far:

KFC’s 11 Herbs and Spices 

For the longest time, we all wanted to know the Colonel’s secret recipe. However, the Colonel was not exactly keeping it a secret. At some time in November last year, the brand was only following eleven people on Twitter. The eleven comprises of six guys named Herb and the five original spice girls. Most of us were utterly oblivious to this until a certain Twitter user noticed this unique phenomenon. The user went ahead to post the following “@KFC follows 11 people…Those 11 people? 5 Spice girls and 6 guys named Herb….11 Herbs & Spices…I need time to process this.”
This was when it became apparent to everyone of what was going on, and the Tweet went ahead to garner more than 300K comments and being favorited over 700K times.

KFC later revealed that they had planted that secret on Twitter a month before it was first noticed. They even started doubting that anyone would notice it.

However, it was, no doubt, a successful campaign as it got people talking about the brand again.

Kellogg’s Eggo Campaign

When a character from one of the most beloved shows on TV mentions your brand, you have to take advantage of that opportunity. This is precisely what happened when Eleven from Stranger Things said that she loved Eggos. It was baffling but relatable. Kellogg immediately jumped on this free advertising and milked as much as they could. By utilizing the #StrangerThings hashtag that was dominating the social media landscape during the airing of season 2, their Eggos made an unprecedented comeback.

They even used images of Eleven with her favorite snack, while also providing an Eggo recipe for every episode during that season.

This campaign was made successful by the fact that Kelloggs saw an opportunity and milked it dry.

Suave Revealing Tricks in Hair Commercials 

Suave claimed that over 70 percent of millennial women believe the hair shown in ads is not achievable. They then went ahead to teach the tricks used in this YouTube video. During the video, Suave flips the script and shows their own line of hair care while recording the models’ positive reactions.

Their success came from being authentic and using the models’ reactions as a testament to the authenticity of their products. People are willing to trust testimonials over claims. Their video got over 435,000 views in less than two months and a lot of positive reactions.

The Realstagram Campaign 

Similar to Suave’s campaign, the realstagram campaign was a movement started by an influencer known as Kaitlyn Bristowe to highlight the failings of social media culture. She aimed to show millennials that most of the ‘beautiful’ pictures they saw on Instagram were airbrushed and that they were not real. And ‘being beautiful’ was all about being yourself. The campaign garnered attention when other influencers and celebrities began posting pictures of themselves without makeup on.

Taco Bell 

The fast-food giant recently ran a Snapchat campaign around the Cinco de Mayo holiday. They created a filter where a user could become a taco for a day by placing a taco filter on top of their face.

Weird? Yes. But with Snapchat being known for fleeting moments, this campaign worked wonders. It became Snapchat’s most viewed lens with over 224 million views on that day.

IHOP becoming IHOb 

IHOP (the International House of Pancakes) randomly decided to change its name to IHOb without providing any details. Being the curious creatures that we are, people immediately began speculating what the ‘b’ could be standing for. Bacon, bitcoin, bankruptcy, and breakfast were among terms in the list of possibilities. Just a day after changing their name, online mentions of IHOP increased by over 6%. IHOP kept up the stunt for a week while playfully responding to the queries. A week later, they revealed that the ‘b’ stood for burgers. By that time, #IHOP and #IHOB had garnered over 297 million expressions. It was, indeed, one of the most genius marketing schemes ever done on social media.

Wendy’s Trolling McDonalds 

Despite Wendy’s being a lot smaller than McDonald’s – Wendy’s has 6,500 stores compared to McD’s 37,000 – they have been whooping them on social media. Wendy’s are trolling McDonald’s whenever they get the chance.

For instance, on Black Friday, McDonald’s put up a Tweet saying: “Black Friday ****Need copy and link****.” Wendy’s retweeted saying, “When the tweets are as broken as the ice cream machine.”
That’s just an example of what Wendy’s does to McDonald’s on a regular basis. The funny posts get millions of impressions and only serve to humanize the brands.

McDonalds Bling Mac

You already know of the Big Mac. But did you hear of the ‘Bling Mac’?

Big Mac lovers stood a chance to win an 18-karat ‘real’ jewelry piece designed to look like a hamburger. To win the Bling Mac, all you had to do was tweet on Valentine’s Day declaring your love for McDonald’s using the hashtag #BlingMacContest.

Outrageous? Yes. But it was attention-grabbing, and that is all you could ask for.

Social media platforms are powerful vehicles for driving brand awareness. When you put some creativity into it, you can come up with an ingenious idea that might set the internet ablaze.