The Best Brand Social Media Reactions of 2015

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review’s print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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Digital marketing agency Liberty Marketing takes a look at the moments in 2015 when brands truly connected with their audiences through social media

The last 12 months have been eventful. There‘s been a UK general election, NASA sent a spacecraft to Pluto and Star Wars Episode 7 debuted; all of which created a lot of buzz on social media.

With real-time social media marketing more popular than ever, many brands utilised these trending major events in order to reach their target demographics and raise awareness of their own products or services.

Here are our picks of the best brand social media reactions from 2015:

March – Solar Eclipse

Back at the beginning of the year, people all over the world were staring up at the sky through pinhole cameras or kitchen colanders as the moon obscured the sun for the first time since 1999, a sight that won’t be seen again until 2090.

So, with such a rare phenomenon in the calendar it was almost certain to trend on social media. That’s where the major brands stepped in.

Bookmaker Paddy Power used sun related humour to grab attention, whereas Innocent smoothies (which is known for industry-leading social media) claimed it had the ‘marketing opportunity of the decade’.



May – A Royal Birth

Two months later, the world said “hello” to the new baby, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the fourth in line to the UK crown. And like with her big brother, George, major brands had organised huge social media marketing campaigns around the birth of the new royal.

After Princess Charlotte’s birth was announced on May 2, online mentions peaked at more than 4,500 tweets per minute and Kensington Palace’s announcing tweet was retweeted over 46,000 times. Plus, once her name was revealed, there were in excess of 300,000 tweets containing ‘Charlotte’ in the hours following.

British Airways shared congratulations using a witty play on the word ‘arrival’ and an airport information board, whereas baker Warburton shared ‘toast’ related puns.




September – Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

In September, it was revealed that one of the world’s largest car manufacturers had deceived drivers regarding the polluting emissions of their vehicles. This provided cheeky, bargain airline, Ryanair, with an opportunity to boast about its green qualities alongside a play on VW’s well-known German tagline.

Think New. Fly Ryanair for a Winter Getaway from €9.99. Das Flugzeug #Winterkorn #VW

Posted by Ryanair on Wednesday, 23 September 2015

October – Back to the Future Day

Remember the 1985 cinematic classic Back to the Future? Well, on October 21st 2015 the film’s future became the present; something that prompted many a tweet regarding cutting-edge, future-proof products or services.

Both Nissan and Kit Kat adopted humour as a social media marketing strategy. The former reflecting on the mechanical developments seen over the past 30 years, and the later sharing its iconic ‘take a break’ slogan alongside the flux capacitor dashboard.

Pro-Reactive Social Media Marketing in 2016

So, how can brands optimise their social media marketing efforts to make the most of reactive opportunities in the year ahead? Well, the very first step is to look at your events calendars and highlight any major happenings that provide marketing opportunities; Euro 2016 in June and the Ryder Cup in September are ideal.

Other top tips include: being concise, using humour, and creating basic visuals ahead of use to save time and make your responses truly ‘reactive’.