Four social media lessons from the Red Bull Stratos

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    Guest Author: Helen Butterworth

    Last month Felix Baumgartner became the first skydiver to go faster than the speed of sound. Not only was it a triumph of human endeavour, of interest to marketers was the way Red Bull, the sponsors of the event, broke through the traditional barriers of marketing. Social media, Facebook and Twitter in particular, played a huge part in what many are calling the most successful marketing campaign of all time.

    Over 7.1 million people tuned in on Youtube and half of the worldwide trending topics on twitter were related to Red Bull Stratos.

    Facebook also played a major part with the most engaged of Red Bulls Facebook posts generating 500,000 likes, 70, 000 shares and 15,000 comments within 40 minutes of being posted.

    Here are some lessons we can take away from their social media activity:

      · Use more pictures on Facebook

    The visual marketing benefits are even stronger on Facebook and pictures can be very powerful and more appealing than the average post. The new Facebook ‘timeline’; interface is particularly welcoming to pictures as they take up more space in the news feed.

    Red Bull Stratos

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    By posting this picture capturing Felix on his knees just after landing, they were able to generate huge engagement levels. Today the picture has creates 50, 811 shares, 291, 173 likes and over 21, 000 comments. Note also the picture includes a link to help drive traffic where they want. The focus is still on the brilliant picture, but there is also a way for the audience to get more information.

    It doesn’t have to be a ground breaking event. Perhaps you are announcing a new product or even if you have reached 100 followers, all worthy of posting a photo or creating a fun engaging video. Consider using Instagram to make your pictures more attractive or even to push them out across more channels. Think what you would like to share online, utilise trends and consider customising photos so they are more personal to you and your fans.

    2. Use Quotes to encourage sharing

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    Inspirational quotes consistently get one of the highest rates of likes and shares on facebook. A trend Red Bull did not ignore. Regular quotes from Felix and the team added a personal element to the brand.

    3.Create engagement through Facebook questions and competitions

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    The red bull team encouraged viewers to ask questions via their Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the event.

    Questions placed at the end of posts increase engagement by 18%. Studies show that keywords of ‘when’ ‘where’ and ‘can’ drive the most comments whereas ‘why’ questions generate the lowest amount of engagement. Red Bull have mastered the art of when to use keywords, calls to action and questions to get their fans engaged. The built in questions application by Facebook is useful to find out more about customers and involving them in big decisions helps them gain a feeling of ownership.

    They also show that rewards motivate engagement behaviour. The prize here was an exclusive watch and if you want fans to engage and share your content offering a prize can get people to click.

    ·Build up anticipation for big launches

    Red Bull built the anticipation for the jump for a whole year. If you scroll through the Facebook page alone, quality content has been added consistently from way back in February. Anticipation was also built by not giving everything away. A lot of effort was made to keep the audience intrigued and keep certain aspects quiet until the appropriate time. If your business has a big announcement of product a launch planned consider taking a similar approach and keep some things back.

    Red Bull succeeded in using social media for engagement and amplifying their message, but the principles they used are not restrained to an event of this magnitude. Every brand has an attribute that can be larger than life and a launch that could use the techniques red bull put in place.

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    For more resources, see our Library topics Marketing and Social Networking.

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    About the Author:

    Helen Butterworth is a social media blogger and marketing assistant at https://www.polo-shirts.co.uk/ and https://www.clothes2order.com/, e-commerce websites that rely on social media channels to increase engagement and traffic to the sites.