3 Elements of a No-Fail Social Marketing Campaign: As Told Through Video Games

A few days ago, as I was heading upstairs to do my lights and darks in our shared laundry room, I was surprised to find an honest-to-goodness standalone arcade video game staring me in the face.

HQ11

Instantly, a few things ran through my head, such as “I didn’t think the service elevator went to this floor?” and “maybe this is for a scene from the remake of that pinball wizard movie?” Upon further inspection, I came to realize it was a social media marketing campaign stunt by none other than Headquarters Beercade. HQ Beercade is a local Chicago bar in Lakeview that boasts over 37 arcade games, old and new. They are currently in the process of opening up a second location in River North – and are employing a genius marketing technique to do it.

The premise of the campaign is this: “Play a game on us and share your score on social media by tagging it with #HQRiverNorth. Each post earns you an entry into an exclusive drawing: the chance to win an invitation to check out the new HQ Beercade before it opens to the public. Game on!” After I got over my initial excitement, and being the social media marketing nerd that I am, I realized why exactly this social marketing campaign makes so much sense.

Here are 3 ways HQ got it right, and how you can replicate their success:

They know their audience.

HQ Beercade knows who they’re talking to- I speculate they knew exactly what they were doing when they placed an arcade game in the laundry room of my mid-rise apartment building, comprised mostly of mid-twenty to thirty year olds that frequent the River North neighborhood. They knew we’d get a kick out of the novelty of the experience, and that there was a good chance we’d participate.

hq2

They know what their audience is passionate about, and they are passionate about the same thing.

HQ Beercade is in the business of making sure people have a good time while drinking craft beers and playing arcade video games. Did they talk about their drink specials? Nope. They got right down to the business of demonstrating how fun the experience can be – even if it is while you wait for your socks to dry. Their marketing message is clear and simple, and therefore, resonates soundly with their audience.

They know how to use “online” to bring customers “offline.”

In the world of social media, this is probably one of the most important steps in the marketing cycle you can take to ensure your efforts result in conversion – especially if your business goal exists outside of the Internet. You may get great marketing awareness out of it, but it’s not enough to just promote your business online – you’ve got to get people involved with your company and create relationships with your brand. HQ did this perfectly through the design of their promotion. Yes, they will get people talking about the opening by posting pictures of their high scores to social platforms – but each post gets you an entry to actually attend a pre-launch event. In person. Before anyone else. How cool will THAT experience be?! That will create not only buzz, but also loyal customers who have engaged with the brand and will visit time and time again.

hq3

In conclusion, it is important to remember the simple elements of what makes social marketing campaigns successful. You will never get your customer to engage if you aren’t giving them what they want. To be successful, you need to really listen to your customer’s needs, and make sure your marketing efforts align with delivering fulfillment.

3 Elements of a No – Fail Social Media Marketing Campaign: As Told Through Video Games

A few days ago, as I was heading upstairs to do my lights and darks in our shared laundry room, I was surprised to find an honest-to-goodness standalone arcade video game staring me in the face.

HQ11

Instantly, a few things ran through my head, such as “I didn’t think the service elevator went to this floor?” and “maybe this is for a scene from the remake of that pinball wizard movie?” Upon further inspection, I came to realize it was a social media marketing campaign stunt by none other than Headquarters Beercade. HQ Beercade is a local Chicago bar in Lakeview that boasts over 37 arcade games, old and new. They are currently in the process of opening up a second location in River North – and are employing a genius marketing technique to do it.

The premise of the campaign is this: “Play a game on us and share your score on social media by tagging it with #HQRiverNorth. Each post earns you an entry into an exclusive drawing: the chance to win an invitation to check out the new HQ Beercade before it opens to the public. Game on!” After I got over my initial excitement, and being the social media marketing nerd that I am, I realized why exactly this social marketing campaign makes so much sense.

Here are 3 ways HQ got it right, and how you can replicate their success:

They know their audience.

HQ Beercade knows who they’re talking to- I speculate they knew exactly what they were doing when they placed an arcade game in the laundry room of my mid-rise apartment building, comprised mostly of mid-twenty to thirty year olds that frequent the River North neighborhood. They knew we’d get a kick out of the novelty of the experience, and that there was a good chance we’d participate.

They know their audience.HQ11

They know what their audience is passionate about, and they are passionate about the same thing.

HQ Beercade is in the business of making sure people have a good time while drinking craft beers and playing arcade video games. Did they talk about their drink specials? Nope. They got right down to the business of demonstrating how fun the experience can be – even if it is while you wait for your socks to dry. Their marketing message is clear and simple, and therefore, resonates soundly with their audience.

They know how to use “online” to bring customers “offline.”

In the world of social media, this is probably one of the most important steps in the marketing cycle you can take to ensure your efforts result in conversion – especially if your business goal exists outside of the Internet. You may get great marketing awareness out of it, but it’s not enough to just promote your business online – you’ve got to get people involved with your company and create relationships with your brand. HQ did this perfectly through the design of their promotion. Yes, they will get people talking about the opening by posting pictures of their high scores to social platforms – but each post gets you an entry to actually attend a pre-launch event. In person. Before anyone else. How cool will THAT experience be?! That will create not only buzz, but also loyal customers who have engaged with the brand and will visit time and time again.

hq3

In conclusion, it is important to remember the simple elements of what makes social marketing campaigns successful. You will never get your customer to engage if you aren’t giving them what they want. To be successful, you need to really listen to your customer’s needs, and make sure your marketing efforts align with delivering fulfillment.

Social 5: Monday Morning Meeting Edition

This week’s Social 5 comes from a spirited discussion in the SoMe weekly team meeting. Lots of things happened over the weekend but here are just a few pieces of social media news that got us talking.

5. Twitter Data Shows When We’re Hungover. A recent data study by Twitter looks at when users tweet certain words and phrases like, “feel happy,” “feel sad,” and “hungover.” The data, which is broken down by month and day of the week, looks at tweets from 2013 to understand what users are feeling, and when. Image via Twitter.

4. Facebook Launches 15-Second Video Ads. Facebook announced that users can expect to start seeing video ads on their newsfeed in the next few months. For now Facebook says they’ll be working with a “select group of advertisers” to bring users quality auto-playing ads.

3. Facebook Ads Get Enhanced Calls to Action. Facebook’s new call-to-action ad tool may help businesses attract more customers to their landing page. Businesses can choose from 5 call-to-action buttons (Shop Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Book Now or Download) in addition to larger clickable space for ad display.

2. Police Turn to Social Media to Fight Crime, Dispel Rumors. Law enforcement are beginning to look at social platforms like Twitter and Nextdoor as powerful tools in fighting crime. “A 2013 social media survey from the International Association of Chiefs of Police found that 96% of police departments use social media in some capacity, and more than 80% say it has helped them solve crimes.” (Mashable).

1. Instagram Photos with Faces Get 38% More Likes. A recent report conducted at Georgia Tech reveals people are more drawn to photos that feature faces (re: selfies). The report also found that the amount of faces in the photo, age or gender didn’t influence engagement levels. Image via Shutterstock

What social media news is on your mind? Tweet us a link to what you and your co-workers are talking about. Check back next week for a brand new Social 5!

How to Protect Your Brand on the Greenest Day of the Year

This blog post is part of a series on how to manage your digital marketing community on various national holidays. Today we present 5 quick tips on navigating the social media waters on Saint Patrick’s Day!

1. Spelling. Not only is this important for brand legitimacy but also the hashtags, people. Hashtags! A correctly spelled hashtag will allow you to track brand conversations more efficiently.

2. Origin. “Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.” – [source]

Consider your audience and keep in mind those who may celebrate this day for their spiritual/religious beliefs. Acknowledge that this day is rooted far beyond drinking, Guinness and Jameson.

3. Liquor. Although St. Patrick’s Day has become the unofficial national drinking day of the year, especially here in Chicago, be keen on not excluding your audience. You may need to remove the beer goggles for clever digital content that speaks to your unique set of fans. Or if you know your audience enjoys a good Irish whiskey, come up with a clever way to incorporate the day with the drink.

4. Celebrate. Go with the theme! Take green pictures of decor related to your brand and give it a makeover for the day. You might inspire your followers to take note, or create brand loyalty by offering them suggestions for their own day-of celebrations.

5. Discounts. If you’re an e-commerce site, this is easy. You can create a custom “lucky” experience for all users and consumers, without compromising your brand image and still participating in the theme.

What other advice would you add to the list? Share with us here in the comments or on social media!

Social 5: Oscars 2014 Edition

We present our favorite social media moments from the 2014 Oscars! Agree, disagree? Tell us what got you talking on the biggest night in movies! Then check back each week as we bring you our top 5 favorite moments, news, and happenings to come out of social media.

5. Ellen Breaks Twitter. In a story we’ll tell our grandchildren, Oscars host, Ellen Degeneres, crashed the social network by posting a photo of her and her Hollywood friends (Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie’s eyes.) The star-studded selfie quickly became the most shared photo EVER on Twitter.

4. Ellen Breaks Twitter Pt. 2. The selfie story doesn’t end there. Like any good social media happening, industrious fans have already adapted the event to fit their needs. Using the “My Best Celebrity Selfie Ever” site, you can upload your face into the center of the A-list photo.

3. Jimmy Kimmel Enters Your Living Room. As part of the pre-Oscars programming, Jimmy Kimmel took a stand on internet trolls and the anonymity of the internet. In the sketch, he “climbs” into the living room of America and calls out couch-watchers (me and you) for tweeting insults at celebrities. “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” Kimmel says to a slovenly couple eating Cheetos and wearing board shorts. We’re still trying to figure out if we should be offended by this but at least we’re still thinking about it!

2. Jennifer Lawrence Trips, Again. Jennifer Lawrence a.k.a. J. Law a.k.a. J. Flaw, reprised her role from the 2013 Oscars when she stumbled out of her limo entering the red carpet at this years Oscars. In what is now an infamous GIF, Jennifer Lawrence trips and grabs a gowned woman in front of her. Social media networks go wild!

1. Cosmo’s Astute Observation Tweet of Channing Tatum. The magazine’s insightful tweet calls out what we’ve known all along, Channing Tatum is made of magic.