‘Veganuary’ (a play on the words ‘Vegan’ and ‘January’, if you were confused) has kicked off 2020 in an exciting way. Starting in 2014, attempting to promote and educate about a vegan lifestyle, Veganuary challenges people to go vegan for the entire month of January. Obviously, this has led to many UK brands using social media to promote their latest vegan products to appeal to those taking part. In this blog, we are going to look at examples of two easy marketing tactics used successfully by brands during veganuary, and, how they can be used to an advantage in your own marketing campaigns.
Whether you love them or hate them, hashtags are an undeniably powerful tool to use in the right context. Acting as a digital ecosystem of sorts, they allow users to find or browse the content they are interested in, as such; they can be extremely useful, both when attempting to target a specific audience, or attempting to carve out your own little niche in the social media scene.
Taking example from the Veganuary campaign itself, the use of more generic hashtags such as #vegan or #plantbased serve to spread the Veganuary campaign to a wider audience. This has helped to contribute to the campaign’s growth from just around 1500 participants in 2014 to over 385,000 in 2020, with every year in-between seeing a doubling in these numbers.
Whilst more generic hashtags can reach a wide range of people, creating your own hashtag can serve to help build your own social media bubble relating to your campaign. For example, the Veganuary campaign uses the hashtag #veganuary to promote themselves and allow social media users to join in with the hype. The use of your own hashtag can lead to a snowball effect of increased activity and awareness, all the while linking back to your original campaign.
Ultimately, hashtags are a way to spread your message to specific communities, or in a sense, to create your own social community, all with the intent of increasing visibility.
Another important aspect to social media marketing is to interact with your audience (simple, really). It is all well and good rolling out your fancy new marketing campaign, but you need to be willing and ready to interact with users. We have all seen company social media accounts with automated responses and low levels of interaction – it comes off as cold and unhuman.
The bakery chain, Greggs, who recently have introduced new vegan items to their menu, coinciding with veganuary, have shown a great example of how this is done. Some people took to social media to voice their less-than-positive opinion regarding this matter – The Greggs social team responding in turn, mostly with a slightly sarcastic, humorous tone. They have also taken the time to respond to any questions users have, such as where to find these new products and what ingredients they contain.
Whilst it is always a good idea to respond to simple questioning and be helpful where possible on social media, it can be a tricky business to deal with negative attention. The tone of the response and the impression you want to give off should match your business – for example, you wouldn’t expect a large international banking firm to use twitter to reply to trolls with gifs. However, with something as trivial as a vegan pasty, Greggs has managed to use both negative and positive interactions to their advantage and increase awareness of their campaign.
The phrase ‘people buy from people’ is used around the Mosaic office from time to time, serving to highlight the need for a business to appear as genuine and people focused. This is exactly what social engagement will achieve for your business and will set your company apart from others, for whom social media marketing is not a priority.
Using hashtags and interacting with users on social media might seem like an obvious part of running social media marketing, which is exactly why careful thought and care needs to applied towards their use. Their simplicity is by no means an indicator of the effect they can have when used properly, as such they should be given adequate resources to be properly implemented, in order to provide your business with maximum results.
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Here at Mosaic, we understand the importance of proper social media marketing to get your brand out there, to the right audience. We follow trends and look at what does, and does not, work in the world of social media marketing, so that we can offer our clients expert advice and services.
If you’re struggling to make a difference with your social media marketing or are looking to start the decade with a brand new marketing campaign, give us a call on 01925 563 960 or use our contact form.