20 February 2014

Smashing Pumpkins Social Media: A Successful Visual Campaign

Smashing Pumpkins Social Media

Smashing Pumpkins social media hashtag SPoceania

Recently the world famous band, The Smashing Pumpkins decided to connect with their cyber fans through a visually based social media marketing campaign.

The Smashing Pumpkins social media campaign aimed to draw fans in by directly asking them questions about the songs the band was set to release on their latest album.

As part of these questions, the fans were asked to create visual or textually based interpretations of the song titles.

The Smashing Pumpkins social media campaign was titled “Imagine Oceania” and formed part of the bands online advertising and marketing for the upcoming album which was entitled “Oceania.” Initially, the band launched the online challenge through the photography blog, Selected artists who were successful would have their artwork transformed into limited edition posters which would in turn be signed by frontman Billy Corgan and the other band members. Additional artwork which was produced during the contest was presented on a number of social media platforms. These platforms included, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. They used the hashtag #SPoceania.

The campaign was specifically designed to be a crowd sourced marketing campaign. It worked by asking the bands online fans to participate, engage and then share on various social media platforms. In return, the band would publically reward the artists, who were also fans, by sharing their artwork via the bands Facebook page which has a following of over 2.5 million individual users.

But how can businesses and companies learn from this campaign and apply it to their own efforts?

Target digitally savvy members of your following:

Smashing Pumpkins deliberately targeted the more digitally savvy members of their online following during this campaign. Due to this the contest was initially announced through a photography based blog, therefore users who were interested in digital design and photography were enticed into entering the competition. In addition, the competition had an emotional pull, artists and graphic designers who liked the band were enticed to enter in order to gain recognition from a band they like.

The Smashing Pumpkins social media campaign’s success was due to its ability to successfully target its audience. The Smashing Pumpkins team were obviously aware that much of the bands online following were young, intelligent and digitally savvy. Therefore they created a contest which would create direct dialogue with this section of their online following.

Businesses wishing to replicate this campaign should determine who their customers are. Then they should try to establish a specific way of engaging them which utilises their particular skills and preferences.

Provide contest winners with low cost prizes which are highly desirable:

The prizes awarded during the Smashing Pumpkins social media campaign were emotionally desirable whilst being financially inexpensive. The prize was fans having their artwork printed and signed by the band. This process would cost Smashing Pumpkins next to nothing relatively speaking. However fans would greatly appreciate the prize on an emotional level. In addition, the recognition which some of the artists received may have helped their careers and result in paid work further down the line.

Tips which businesses should employ to take advantage of this strategy:

  • Ask fans and followers to sign up with an email address.
  • Ask them to provide some basic demographic details.
  • Provide a survey and ask for it to be completed.
  • Use these details to shape the prize of the marketing campaign.

Ensure to drive engagement and sharing:

The primary purpose of the Smashing Pumpkins social media campaign was to drive user engagement and sharing. In this aspect it was extremely successful. Fans engaged by entering artwork into the competition and news of the competition was spread across the internet through various blogs and sites. The best bit was that all of this was cost free, meaning that throughout the campaign Smashing Pumpkins gained free publicity for their upcoming album. Simply put, this is the best kind of exposure that a brand can gain and they cannot pay for it.

In order to replicate the Smashing Pumpkins social media campaign, brands need to make their campaign exciting. Companies need to look for ways in which they can make their contests differ from the ones conducted by their competitors. They need to look for ways in which they can make their contest appeal to fans so that these fans share the contest with their social base.

The Smashing Pumpkins social media campaign appealed to an existing fan base:

During this campaign, Smashing Pumpkins made use of an existing fan base. Instead of attempting to engage with new fans the band consolidated its position with its existing fans by creating a new point of interest. The ability which a brand has to adopt this strategy depends largely on the level of trust they have been able to build with their existing fan base. Once this has been established a brand does not have to sell themselves to this audience as they already know and trust the brand.