As we welcome in a new decade, now is the time to reflect on your social media marketing tactics and how they can be revamped in the new year. But breaking through the clutter in such an active space can be challenging. According to We Are Social’s 2019 Global Digital Report, more than 45 percent of the world’s population — about 3.5 billion people — uses social media, and Forbes notes that most Americans are exposed to anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day.

To help reinvigorate your 2020 marketing program so that your company stands out from the pack, we’ll take a look at three successful social media campaigns from 2019 to see why they worked, the tactics they used to create buzz and how you can scale them and use as inspiration in your own marketing programs.

CONOCO’S “CHOOSE GO.” After conducting a consumer segmentation survey, oil company Conoco found Denver, Colo., to be its largest consumer market, most of which were millennials. In an effort to reach this generation, Conoco refreshed its social media with new imagery, brand names and a new brand voice. The company began using the hashtag #ChooseGo to evoke the sense of freedom that comes with a full tank of gas and posted clever and engaging content to redirect attention to an industry that’s usually discussed very little on social media.

Remember that every large social media campaign is made up of many small ideas — ideas that you can implement in your own marketing programs.
©Urupong | stock.adobe.com

In celebration of the first day of summer, the company posted a fun image encouraging followers to comment on the post to receive a quirky “summer nickname” in return. This is a great example of a successful social media marketing campaign that pest control companies can emulate to attract younger audiences. Inspiring users to interact directly with your brand through commenting and tagging friends is a great way to make your company feel more personal. A creative social media campaign like this is not only clever, but also extremely cost-effective and can be implemented year-round.

Every April, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) celebrates National Pest Management Month (NPMM), which highlights the important role pest control professionals play in our everyday lives. To participate, encourage followers to share their craziest pest story using the official hashtag #NPMM to help spread awareness. For added incentive, you also may consider granting those that use the #NPMM hashtag with an entry to win a complimentary item from you — just be sure your contest includes official rules that adhere to best practice guidelines for each platform. By capitalizing on NPMM, you’ll get consumers talking about pests and engaging with your brand, expanding your network to encompass theirs as well.

#GLOWINGGONE. In partnership with the Ocean Agency, Pantone Color Institute and Adobe launched a campaign to bring awareness to coral reef devastation. After the Ocean Agency found that dying coral reefs reflect vivid, bright colors in an effort to protect themselves from rising ocean temperatures, Adobe and Pantone partnered to release three colors — Glowing Yellow, Glowing Blue and Glowing Purple — to spark discussion around climate change.

The companies launched a social challenge using the hashtag #GLOWINGGONE, encouraging the creative community to use the new colors in artwork, designs and products to help raise awareness for the cause. This is a great example of companies taking a “brand stand” — using marketing campaigns to take a stand on issues people care about. By tapping into this global cause, Pantone and Adobe connected with their customer base through a creative and socially conscious campaign, spurring action.

In the pest control industry, tapping into causes that people care about is a wonderful and authentic way to connect with your audience. Consider getting involved with your local community and rallying around a core issue that aligns with your company’s values. Partnering with a nonprofit, funding essential community programs, helping local families in need, getting involved with local schools — there are many ways you can raise awareness and make a difference while also attracting customers that connect with your causes. Sharing your commitment and driving discussion and support around these issues can be done using social media in addition to other marketing channels.

“WILL THEY EAT IT?” To underscore the destructive nature of termites, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), the consumer marketing arm of NPMA, launched a six-part video series called “Will They Eat It?” to show just how voracious termites are. The group dumped 100,000 termites on everyday items and documented the destruction through time-lapse video using a fun, gameshow-inspired theme to share the results.

PPMA released one episode weekly for six weeks using its @PestWorld social media properties for widespread promotion. Leading up to the release of the first episode, PPMA conducted polls across its social media platforms asking followers to vote on items they thought the termites would devour. This helped generate buzz well before the campaign’s launch, contributing to the large amount of engagement each video received.

Ahead of termite season, consider leveraging your own knowledge of termite biology and behavior by polling followers, asking questions and offering insights through posts and live videos, as these are key for higher engagement. You can use your own photography and video or if you subscribe to PPMA’s digital marketing hub, Mainframe, you have access to footage and photos from “Will They Eat It?” and more to use as your own content.

While large-scale social media campaigns may seem too lofty for small businesses to carry out, remember that every large campaign is made up of small ideas — ideas that you can implement in your own marketing programs. From driving engagement and conversation around important issues to leveraging relevant hashtags and video content, your marketing efforts can reach a wider, more engaged audience, no matter the size of the campaign — or budget.

Cindy Mannes is executive director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance and vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association. She can be reached at cmannes@pestworld.org. For more about PPMA, visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.