Many companies are successfully introducing social media marketing into their overall campaign strategies. And why wouldn’t they? There is a ton of research and statistics out there that continually reinforce the same findings: online marketing helps drive offline campaigns. Finally, even within industries that you would not necessarily expect to find championing the way of social media, companies are discovering the merits (and profits) of initiating a strong online presence.
Although there are many companies within a diverse range of industries integrating online and social marketing into their traditional strategies, it is still not very common to find (please keep in mind that I did not say impossible to find, so no hate mail, please) many companies that are skipping the traditional marketing methods altogether.
Burger King is an obvious exception to the above statement. Burger King has presented a few completely user driven social media campaigns; that is, campaigns that do not utilize offline promotions. Subservient Chicken being most famous among these campaigns. There is also Pet Moustache , which is pretty cute, and CoqRoq (I think their site is no longer but check out their myspace page). Most recently, they have also launched Meat Haiku.
Burger King has received a lot of flak for these completely user driven campaigns, for both trying too hard (to fit in) and not trying hard enough (to capitalize on the success of some of their campaigns). Regardless of these criticisms, it is obvious that Burger King is embracing social media as a viable marketing tool. They are rushing headfirst into this relatively new marketing avenue and, as can only be expected, are making a few mistakes along the way. After all, it is not like they have a plethora of predecessors that they may utilize as models. It is my opinion that, while most of the criticisms towards the campaigns are warranted, Burger King is quickly becoming perceived as a leading company to watch in the world of social media marketing, and for good reason.
Next week, my post will be Subservient Chicken vs. Meat Haiku.