Opportunity Knocks: How to Use Social Media to Elevate Your Activation



Ever-changing, social media continues to offer new options for sponsors and experiential marketers. Brands of all sizes can increase brand awareness and target larger audiences using social media campaigns. Social media promotes engaging stories which share information and increase buzz. It is important for brands to capitalize on social media trends because they can create a multi-platform experience. Marketers looking to gain brand visibility can run a social media campaign for upcoming activations to drive traffic to the activation and the brand’s website. Creating and curating a social media experience can further leverage sponsorship and improve activations.


Quickest Way to Success: Video

Many sponsors produced video content to visually capture an audience rather than only offering statistical content. A video post visually captures an audience and can connect with them on an emotional level. Sponsors get creative with their videos to show potential customers the brands image.


Why Video?




Taylor Swift for Apple

You probably remember this one. Apple launched its subscription music service, Apple Music, in 2016 with #TAYLORvsTREADMILL. This video was everywhere: Apple utilized traditional (television) and social media to capture their audience overnight. Swift’s treadmill incident was not only relatable, but quickly became a one-click away ad for customers to purchase Apple Music.

“Although this video ad was hilarious, its popularity is nothing to laugh at: the video has 1.4 million likes on Instagram and 68,000 retweets on Twitter. It’s been viewed more than 15 million times on Facebook.” (as of article date: 04/2016)

This video ad was very creative and unique; Apple very successfully announced its new product. Swift, typically in a love/hate relationship with the media and public, received instantaneous relatability kudos. Drake - who has the featured song “Jumpman” in the video - found a hit thanks to Swift. Overall, Apple is a brand quick to adopt new marketing advances and incorporate social media into their sponsorship.

Taylor Swift falling off a treadmill because of Drake

Posted by The Independent on Saturday, April 2, 2016


David Coulthard and Jake Shepherd for Mercedes-Benz

Social media video ads developed alongside the rights holder typically engages audiences better due the rights holder (usually) understanding its audience better than the sponsor. Leveraging sponsorship deals requires a joint relationship between the sponsors and rights holders. Creating shareable content gives brands the opportunity for maximum user engagement in its social media activation component.

Mercedes-Benz does a great job of taking its sponsorship assets and creating shareable content to entertain and capture the brand’s ideal audience. In 2012, Mercedes performed the ultimate stunt in there world record attempt video with David Coulthard and pro golfer Jake Shepherd. This unusual video was an advertising campaign for the SLS AMG Roadster and had over 2 million views on YouTube. Creating a YouTube video ad gave Mercedes the opportunity to creatively collaborate while staying true to their brand. Youtube video content creates a platform for a sponsors audience to stay involved and engage in the video multiple times.

Live Social Broadcast

Brands now have the power to broadcast to anyone in the world at almost any time. Facebook and Instagram Live have created a big shift in communication. Both are fantastic ways to see organic footage in the moment. The ongoing trend towards live video allows an audience to feel more connected in a more personal way.

Facebook Live is easy to operate and lives on once the live broadcast is complete. This is a great feature for brands to see who wasn’t able to tune in to the live stream but watched the content later. Facebook Live is set up to develop and stream longer videos. People tend to spend a longer time watching videos on the Facebook platform, rather than Instagram or Periscope.

Instagram Live and Periscope are ideal for connecting with new users that can be interested in a certain brand. These are shorter videos that once your livestream ends, the video is gone. Before going live, it’s important for a brand to advertise what they will be going on live about. Live video is a great way for brands to show live action from their activations. It opens the opportunity for the audience to gain and view more content.

Brands and sponsors should use live video to their advantage because it’s free and the likelihood of success is high. Live video is available on all popular social media channels (Facebook and Instagram Live, Periscope, and YouTube). Brands can use whichever platform(s) will most successfully reach their target demographics.

We're LIVE from Rufus King Park in Jamaica, Queens to Turn Up The Vote. Join us, Common and Howard Schultz to celebrate National Voter Registration Day.

Posted by Starbucks on Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Other Visual Content: How to Connect through Photo

Sponsors and experiential marketers can appeal to their audience through other visual content like images. Successful brands use social media activation to build brand visibility and share images of their experiential activations. A creative and high quality photo is necessary for post success. All campaigns (photo and video) should use hashtags to convey what the post is about, allow for easier tracking, and most importantly, encourage engagement. A photo on social media is a great conversation starter for a brand. The more comments and sharing increases the level of visibility in the brands market. Activity on Instagram can help you network will grow and attract more followers, especially if your ideal demographic is younger.

However, videos are starting to replace written words. Video content is consumed in seconds and can connect to an audience on an emotional level. Video and photo on social media both produce quick and rich content, but a video engages an audience longer, displays verbal or nonverbal tone and can have an unlimited amount of images. There are many successful components to social media, but high quality photos and video will increase your campaign’s likelihood of success. Ensure your captions are simple, engaging, and ultimately, quick reads.


Find Your Fit

Remember: social media is full of tools, options and success stories. There will be trial and error involved in finding the right spot for your campaign. But luckily, the platforms want to see you succeed (new platforms notwithstanding). Create content that is valuable to your audience, not a sales pitch. Work to stoke FOMO in your audience then present a way to engage. What works best for your sponsorship or experiential marketing activation? Let us know.


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