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How to break the rules and win in social media marketing.

In the dynamic world of social media marketing, breaking the set ‘rules’ can lead to huge results. Brands like Duolingo, Innocent and Aldi are experts at playing the social game – finding the perfect balance between having a cheeky online presence and being taken seriously as a brand.

Here’s Scoop’s favourite examples of the best rule-breakers – and how you can learn from these big hitters to elevate your brands’ presence in the digital sphere.

  1. Aldi

Aldi’s #FreeCuthbert campaign on social media skyrocketed the brand into social media stardom – with M&S looking to win in the High Court, Aldi set their sights on winning on social media.

Aldi leaned into their disruptive reputation, reacting to the court case with a single tweet – mimicking the famous M&S tagline, posting: ‘This is not just any court case, this is #FreeCuthbert’. Within two hours, Aldi was trending as No.1 on Twitter and so began their super entertaining social media campaign.

The takeaway? Don’t be afraid to go up against your competitors – as long as it’s tasteful and appeals to your audience. Aldi’s relatability is gold dust, and it’s what makes them so successful in their online content, which is so heavily centred around self-deprecating humour around their copycat products and their unserious approach to social.

  1. Duolingo

Duolingo’s TikTok took off when they introduced their mascot, Duo, a character that is now widely known for its slightly threatening aura (especially when it comes to keeping up your Duolingo streak). The brand’s main goal is to entertain the audience, never being overly pushy or salesy.

This unpolished, imperfect approach to social works perfectly for Duolingo – embracing a more casual and almost chaotic approach to social media marketing. This ‘unhinged’ content almost makes you forget that a brand is running the account, save for the big green bird on your screen. 

This marketing strategy is particularly effective at winning over Gen Z customers. Remember, what may have been deemed unprofessional in the past is now considered more authentic and relatable – have fun on your social!

  1. Innocent

Innocent Smoothies is well-known for its off-the-cuff and reactionary social media presence, especially on Twitter – ironically, their rule-breaking is done through their team following a super tight rule-book.

Innocent actually employ a group of “people champions” who are responsible for engaging with their social media audience. This team are highly skilled in maintaining the brand’s tone of voice and responding to various topics and conversations and are, ultimately, the driving force behind the brand’s authentic and spontaneous online presence. Their structured playbook and thorough training strikes a delicate balance, to create an engaging and memorable online presence that resonates with their audience.

Your social media presence can be planned and carefully shaped – even if your strategy relies heavily on being reactive with your audience. Make sure your brand voice is solid and can carry through in all aspects of social.

In conclusion, strategic rule-breaking can bring unparalleled results in your social media marketing strategy. By embracing innovation, authenticity, and calculated risk-taking, your brand can be propelled to new heights of visibility and engagement.

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