This semester in my Social Media for Public Relations class, I’ve learned all of the tools and skills needed to create a successful social media presences and social media campaign. I’ve discovered how setting goals and objectives can keep the campaign on track and how determining a target audience can get the message across to the right people. I’ve learned how each social media platform is unique and used to reach different audiences, how monitoring messages can help determine whether or not goals are being accomplished and how evaluating and tuning the campaign can help make it the most successful.
Bur after learning all of this, how can I tell if these tools will actually work in a real life campaign? Well, continue reading my first post of a three part series that will discuss and evaluate successful and some not-so-successful social media campaigns!
Part One: WestJet Airlines’ “Christmas Miracle” Campaign
During the Christmas season of 2013, Canada’s WestJet Airlines created their “Christmas Miracle” social media campaign.
The campaign was targeted at people flying to Calgary from two different airports, Hamilton and Toronto. Video booths were set up in boarding pass counters where 250 passengers recorded their Christmas wishes on a live chat with Santa before heading on their four-hour flight to Calgary. Unbeknownst to them, while in the air, 150 WestJet employees rushed to buy the exact items the passengers had asked for.
During this time, WestJets’ social media marketers sent out Facebook posts and Twitter tweets using the hashtag #WestJetChristmas to get others involved in the campaign.
According to this Simpliflying article, WestJet chose YouTube as their primary platform for this campaign. Before the video launched on Dec. 9, 2013, their channel had 3,700 subscribers, but three days after the launch, the channel had skyrocketed to 12,000 subscribers, a growth of 320%. On Facebook, each WestJet post had an average engagement score of 120, but the posts regarding the “Christmas Miracle” campaign received an outstanding 1,700 engagement score. They also received over 900 fan posts on their page during those three days, a huge jump from the mere 15 they usually get each week. And on Twitter, each of their tweets regarding the campaign received an engagement score over 850 out of 1,000.
This campaign helped WestJet airlines become the most talked about North American airline on all three social media platforms they utilized. In total, during the first 3 days of this campaign, WestJet’s “Christmas Miracle” received more than 13 million media impressions in more than 200 different countries.
The company created a brief overview of what they wanted the campaign to do, knew the brand health of their social media presence and conducted a competitive analysis to see how they compared to other North American airlines on social media. WestJet set the main goal of their campaign to receive better engagement on their social media networks and determined that creating a YouTube video to share across multiple social media platforms would be the best strategy to use. They identified their primary target audience as the passengers heading to Calgary on the two flights and their secondary target audience as anyone who wanted to fly throughout Canada. They implemented their campaign on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and created content relative to their video, to continue the conversation weeks after the video launch. They measured their campaign by comparing their audience engagement from the month before the campaign to their audience engagement the month following the campaign.
Although this was a rather short-lived campaign, it successfully did what WestJet needed it to do. It put them back on the market as a trusted and dependable airline in Canada.