Before you get too far reading this article, it’s probably best you understand that this post is not about little green bugs, cocoons, or butterflies… it’s about a tractor company and Facebook.
What? A tractor company?
Most people would think that tractors and excavation equipment would be a non-social product, within a non-social industry. And, at face-value it probably is; but, the social media team at Carolina CAT took a typically non-social product and put a BIG-TIME social spin on it.
Over the past 4 years I have been helping business owners and companies leverage the power of social media and online marketing as a marketing consultant. I’ve been able to see under the hood of many different types of businesses, from brand names to family owned businesses. Most companies are so behind the curve when it comes to doing social media well, so, it’s not too often that a company impresses me with their social media marketing. (Let alone a tractor company)
Earlier today, a friend of mine shared one of Carolina CAT’s Facebook posts, which showed up in my newsfeed. It was one of those posts that when you saw it, you couldn’t help but to just laugh out loud, literally.
I mean, come on. A little red Elf, with his feet up in the air, touching the positive and negative terminals of a CAT vehicle battery with the caption, “I’VE GOT THE POWER”… Game over.
Needless to say, they got my attention, and I couldn’t help but to click on the post to visit their page.
When I came to their Facebook page I saw post-after-post of this cute little red Elf doing hilarious things. I quickly realized that they were using this Elf, fittingly named Elfie, to tell a small story.
It all started with a hand-written letter to Santa. (Elfie has really good handwriting)
The note below reads:
I arrived safely in North Carolina today. The people here have been very nice. I won’t get into too much mischief. At least, I will try not too. 🙂
See you after Christmas. Wave when you fly over Carolina Cat! Oh, and check Facebook each day to see all the fun I am having.
Elfie then experienced some mild office bullying.
Oh no! The Grinch tied up Elfie! …Comeback tomorrow to see what happens
Phew! That was a close one! …Sorry, Mr. Grinch!
A quick (or long) game of Where’s
A snapshot of Elfie’s rigorous Olympics training routine.
One of the more tasteful (and PG) Miley Cyrus impersonations I’ve seen.
Elfie, playing with electricity.
Then, getting a nice face-full of CAT 420F exhaust.
Trying on some new CAT boots! (That were a little TOO big for Elfie)
Elfie likes big trucks… what can we say…
And, Elfie realizes that Santa’s sleigh has got nothin’ on this CAT excavator!
And that’s not even ALL of the posts! Check out the Carolina CAT Facebook Page to see all the other fun posts!
(If you go to their page, you’ll also see that just a few days after starting this campaign, their Facebook page passed 2,000 likes. Not too shabby.)
Needless to say, Carolina CAT did an amazing job of telling a fun and engaging, contextually-relevant story while also showcasing a variety of their products.
They did such a great job of enrolling me into their story that, at first, I didn’t really even notice that their logo is strategically located in every picture.
The contextual relevance is what makes this campaign so brilliant. Obviously they are going with a Christmas theme, but they are also weaving in the Olympics which are fast approaching and pop culture with the Miley Cyrus reference. Each post has multiple layers of meaning and humor which makes it easier for a wider demographic of people to resonate and engage with their brand.
The best part about this campaign is that it’s an 100% organic social media marketing campaign. I reached out to Carolina CAT and they confirmed that they haven’t spent any money promoting these posts. While I personally believe putting some money behind this campaign could make it 3x more effective, it’s really awesome to see an organic, creative social campaign drive some really awesome engagement.
On average, across the entire campaign, they are getting 35+ likes for each post as well as multiple comments and shares. I reached out to Carolina CAT and asked them to share some of their analytics from their organic social media marketing campaign and they sent me this screenshot.
Elfie & this creatively orchestrated, organic social media marketing campaign increased the reach of their posts on Facebook by nearly 900% in less than one month!
This example alone should silence the “social media gurus” saying, “You HAVE to pay to show up in the news feed”. In my opinion, having to pay to have your posts seen isn’t a Facebook issue, it’s a creativity issue.
This clearly proves that producing great, native social content, with a little creative spin, can produce results within any industry; regardless of how “naturally social” the product is.
One simple way to create social content that’s relevant to your business, is to create memes with well known phrases or celebrities. I’ve seen many people successfully put their own spin on Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man campaign. For more information on creating memes, read this post: Memes In Online marketing.
The moral of the story
Your organic social media marketing campaign needs to connect with people on a personal level, humanize your brand, be playful, and be fun. Stop treating your social media like “serious media”. B2B companies tend to commonly have an issue with being too serious. In the social world, serious is boring. Get more information about being less serious with B2B social media, read this post: Facebook for B2B: Why So Serious?.
That being said, there were a few days of mischief that we weren’t able to squeeze into this post, so be sure to check out the Carolina CAT Facebook Page to see all the trouble Elfie caused.
Also, I would love to hear from you! Drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts on this organic social media marketing campaign. How can you take your business or product and put together a creative story line?