I cover content marketing, entrepreneurship and startups. I am the founder of iScribblers, helping businesses with their content marketing. I love connecting with entrepreneurs and business owners to demystify their success and failure stories.
In the marketing circles, you’ll often hear: Social media doesn’t care about your marketing budget.
There are brands with millions of dollars in their annual budget for social media marketing. They have separate teams consisting of the most talented people to monitor their social media channels.
Then there are fledging companies with either limited or no budget to pour into their social outreach. They will have a group of hustlers trying to make an impact and are often ruthless in taking social media by storm.
The easy point of entry makes social media a fertile marketing channel for an average Joe like you and me. Further, unlike search engine optimization (SEO), social networks move at an insane speed and you don’t have to wait for a long time to see the results. Even a single viral success on social media could become a growth trigger for your brand.
In this post, I will take you through five case studies of brands nailing social media for viral growth
#1. Home Canvas Home Canvas is a curation platform for home décor and furniture. Their curators evaluate thousands of furniture and décor products from every nook and corner of India. Once you choose a product, the platform directs you to the original seller for the purchase.
In less than two years, they have grown their Instagram audience to more than 36,000 followers, making them one of India’s largest home décor curation platforms on Instagram.
For their website, Instagram is the greatest source of referral traffic, according to the company. The Instagram user base is wary of advertisements. This audience is creative and affluent and doesn’t respond to marketing speak.
A quick look at their Instagram page will tell you they use high-quality images, user-generated content that lends to the personality of the brand. It has helped them gain the attention of Instagrammers. Their use of the most relevant hashtags for every post, posting twice a day, especially at the times when their audience is the most active, ensures that every post receives maximum traction.
#2. Baby Destination
Baby Destination is a parenting community for expecting and new moms. Mothers are the best experts when it comes to parenting. On this platform, mothers and child experts answer queries related to baby care and pregnancy on their Facebook and Messenger groups.
They reach three million moms every month on their Facebook group, according to the company. And they did all this without spending a dime on advertising. How?
After engaging with hundreds of users from their target segment and lending a keen ear to their needs, the founders realized early on that trust comes from providing value to the user.
Each of their group (for example, the Home remedies for babies and kids on Facebook) solves real problems faced by real moms. These moms then become their evangelists. This resulted in exponential growth on social media in a span of a few months.
Their home remedies group grew from 0-12,000 members in eight weeks, the company said. Today, it is one of the fastest growing parenting groups on Facebook. A Facebook Messenger bot was launched in June which has 800 daily active users.
#3. Let’s Barter India
Let’s Barter India is a platform for people to barter anything, from books, services, electronics to gaming consoles. What was started as a Facebook group by one of the co-founders Sahil Dhingra, who was looking to barter his tablet, is today a community of 1,11,325 engaged members.
How did they grow to become Facebook's largest community for barter?
The most important hack that has worked for them is to incentivize people to post and barter. They started giveaways and contests for members to engage with the group, add their friends, and encourage users to share their barter stories.
TapChief is a community of experts who provide professional career and business advice over a simple phone call. With the launch of their “Career Advice” vertical, their team was looking for a way to connect students with the right mentor.
Most Career Advice platforms use a chat interface for this. They realized that the process to understand user requirements will be operations intensive (lots of agents required) and inefficient at scale (what works for the first 100 chats won’t scale to 10,000).
The key objectives their strategy had to fulfill were:
● Matching users to the right career coach (in a minute)
● To do it on a platform they trust
● Involve as minimal operational effort as possible (TapChief has a lean team)
Enter Facebook Comment Engine & Chat Bot.
TapChief published a “User Experience Story” on their blog and promoted it on Facebook, encouraging viewers to mention their “dream company” in the comments in exchange for getting connected to a Career Coach. Once a user commented on a post, they would be walked through an automated chat bot flow on Facebook Messenger, starting with capturing User Preference and ending with the right Career Coach for them.
Within a week, TapChief acquired 1,000 targeted users at a very low user acquisition cost!
The bot matched students to a coach in a minute 90 percent of the time. It was done on a platform the users trusted (Facebook) and were comfortable using.
#5. Sleepy Owl
Sleepy Owl Coffee produces a convenient and easy-to-consume beverage using coffee sourced from Indian farmers in Chikmagalur, Karnataka. Unlike the traditional iced coffee, which is hot brewed coffee poured over ice, the folks at Sleepy Owl brew their coffee in cold water for 20 hours. The end result is a smooth, bold and naturally sweet beverage. Their brew is less acidic and less bitter than our regular cuppa. They don’t add preservatives, sugar or added flavors.
What helped them grow a community of loyal followers on Instagram. Sleepy Owl was started as a purely online retail brand. The founders had to find a way to make the brand enticing and exciting for consumers to order their beverages online over easy-to-walk-in coffee shops scattered around the city. They used high-quality visual media (pictures, videos, and GIFs) to showcase their product to the target audience. This built the desire for customers to give it a shot. Consumers loved the packing of the Sleepy Owl product and the convenience of having coffee like this ensured the excitement translated from social media into real life.
The biggest growth hack for them was stellar customer experience. Right from checking the product to ordering and delivering it, they ensure the experience is as smooth as their cold brew coffee. This keeps users coming back for more. Initially, word of mouth did the trick and soon everyone was recommending to their friends and family.
Understand your audience. Give your brand a personality. Share engaging content and high-quality images. Today, social media is king. Incentivise sharing. Build relations with influencers. Implement, analyze and repeat. Customer experience, customer experience, customer experience!