Social media Advertising: be bold & seek the Opportunity


Something I was particularly keen to get involved in at #SMW14 was social advertising.

To a digital marketer and more to the point a social media marketer, social advertising is something that is vital to help drive success in a competitive online environment. It helps to push a brand to the right people socially, it improves your reach and can drive stronger engagement from your audience.

Microsoft were in attendance and shared some insight into some of their most successful social advertising campaigns (as well as some of their worst) but what stuck out to me was their confidence, which allowed them to be bold with their advertising.

Not too long ago, Microsoft used Twitter to promote their Nokia Lumia smartphone, using the hashtag #LoveMyLumia with the goal of encouraging customers to share and engage with the brand. This campaign was supported by a ‘promoted trend’ on Twitter.

What made this campaign so brave was the fact that they chose to promote their hashtag on Twitter and encourage brand interaction the very same day Apple announced it’s latest products at their keynote speech.


While they admit that some people thought it was the worst idea they’d come up with, I thought that it was actually pretty smart. On a day where their product and campaign messaging would have normally gone unnoticed, they pushed it to the forefront and let it tower above the rest. So whether the sentiment was negative or positive on that day, there could be no denial that they pulled in the attention they needed and weren’t going to go unheard.

Microsoft saw an opportunity to challenge a major competitor and fully raised their game using social advertising.

During their talk, they shared some of their top tips and gave an insight into what drives them to make such big choices with their advertising strategy:

  • Trust your intuition - if you think it’s a good idea then stick with it, but keep in mind wider goals and objectives and don’t be disheartened by negative opinions. You can’t win them all.
  • Be reactive and community ready - stay on top of what’s happening within your community and beyond and be ready to act on something if you believe your audience will engage or relate to it.
  • Have an ‘always on’ budget with your agency that will allow you to be reactive and push your brand, product or campaign message out as quickly as possible.

Today, we realised that taking risks and leaps of faith when it comes to social advertising could draw more attention than you might expect and could potentially drive your efforts further.

It’s important to remember that you don’t always have to be the brand who gets the ball rolling. Instead you can be given the opportunity to make the most of the situation and take on your competitors creatively.