What Is Social Media Experience and Experiential Marketing?


Social Media Experience Marketing

Social media is playing an increasingly important role in the marketing world ⁠— a world where brands are almost always looking for new ways to connect with their audience.  As a marketing agency, we help such brands with social media strategies that not only attract new potential buyers but also engage current customers.

One of the many jobs we tackle is creating an effective social media experience campaign. And this article is all about it- why it’s important, what it is, and how to go about it.

What is Social Media Experience?

Social Media Experience (or SMX) is about creating a brand experience on social media. The goal is to design personalized interactions & elicit emotion that’ll result in stronger and deeper relationships with clients/customers.

There are two ways to create compelling social media brand experiences:

  1. Create social media content (like Instagram videos, educational blog posts, regular emails, etc.) that people enjoy, connect with, or find helpful. That’s what would come under the “social media marketing” umbrella.
  2. Combining social media with events/conferences you host. With this, the aim is to boost engagement and strengthen relations by sharing your brand’s story authentically (both with the people in the event and people who follow your company on social networks). 

The Importance of Experience Marketing

While new buyers imply growth, repeat buyers enable you to sustain that growth. Customer experiences determine the chances of a customer interacting with your company again & them talking among each other (read communities). Positive or personalized experiences often lead to better customer satisfaction, which, in turn, results in improved brand loyalty and more repeat customers.

Benefits of Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing can help you…

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Creating positive marketing experiences on social platforms that already facilitate an exchange of engaging conversations among followers is a convenient way of raising awareness, increasing your organic reach, and introducing your products and services to a new audience.

2. Increase Website Traffic

Depending on the engagement and brand exposure you create through your social media strategies and/or events, potential customers could end up becoming curious about your offerings. A curiosity that could, eventually, drive them to your website.

3. Increase Conversion Rates

The more people you drive to your site, the better the chance of the individual submitting his/her email address or of them directly converting into a lasting customer. Moreover, the experience you create on social media & elsewhere boosts their trust in your brand, eventually bettering conversions.

4. Improve Brand Loyalty

Consumers who are satisfied with the products or services you offer will keep coming back to your website. The positive impression you make, say on Facebook, allows you to develop and strengthen the bond you have with your customers, making them more likely to choose your business over others.

5. Gives You Better Market Insights

The response you get from your event marketing allows you to understand your buyers’ thoughts and opinions better, allowing you to realign future marketing strategies more efficiently.

Implementing an Effective Social Media Experiential Marketing Campaign

Your social media experiential marketing has one goal: connecting your brand with your customer and amplifying that story with social media.

Here are the fundamental strategies (that’s not just keeping photo booths in your event) we recommend to run an effective social media experience marketing campaign:

1. Make Your Event and Content Relevant to Your Target Audience

Though it is essential to create memorable events, relevance is also crucial. When Vans promoted the launch of its new line, it hosted pop-up events at skate parks in major cities. Being aware that their shoe line is a favorite one for many skateboarders, the company created an event that allowed their key demographic to interact with the product in a relevant way.

social media marketing experience

2. Pay Attention to The Message You Want the Content to Convey

Build the experience around the message you want to share in your event. Lean Cuisine is a perfect example of experiential marketing. They wanted the #WeighThis campaign to encourage women to remember to celebrate their accomplishments and came up with an innovative and more impactful activation to showcase what the hashtag was all about.

experience in social media marketing

The company set up “scales,” small boards that allowed women to write how they wanted to be weighed, not by their actual weight in pounds, but by their life accomplishments. The activation was a complete success and, thanks to the hashtag and influencers, received more than 204 million impressions across social media channels.

3. Make the Event Fun

As you focus on the message you want to convey, don’t forget to make the event fun and enjoyable for your followers. A fun event makes it easier for you to influence people’s behavior. 

In 2009, Volkswagen turned a subway staircase into a giant piano, with each step producing a different piano key sound. As a result, 66% more people chose to use the stairs instead of the escalator.

4. Create Anticipation and Excitement Around the Event

Use excitement, anticipation, and a little bit of suspense to make your event and content more memorable. Embracing exciting and innovative approaches can make your content and event intriguing even to the people your event or content was not initially targeting.

In 2012, Red Bull partnered with Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver aiming to set the highest skydive record. The event was live-streamed and achieved the most viewing of any live stream event at more than eight million viewers.

social media marketing work experience

5. Partner with Others When Possible

Create one collaborative customer event that will exchange each brands’ service or product awareness. Such an event would give the audience a chance to interact with both of your companies.

Google placed a cupcake truck in the streets of Austin, TX, to promote its new photo app. During the event, people would take photos with the app and receive one cupcake. In response, Zappos positioned a box-on-feet next to Google’s cupcake truck that, when fed a cupcake, would give a person either a pair of shoes or a watch.

Zappos and Google Social Media Experiential Marketing Event

Because Zappos is in a different field altogether, they both came away from the event with huge wins ⁠— both brands got to interact with new audiences.

You can also collaborate with social media influencers to host such events. It will be perhaps the best combo of social media marketing, influencer marketing, and event marketing.

6. Use the Event as an Opportunity to Honor Loyal Customers

Your event can also be an excellent opportunity for you to reward those who have previously interacted with your services or products. For instance, when Build-a-Bear promoted its new Doc McStuffins line in the UK, it hosted pop-up clinics. This also presented an opportunity to improve the customer experience behind the brand and convey that messaging online.

The event allowed children to get their old bears repaired by staff members dressed like doctors. Furthermore, while children waited for a doctor to attend to their bears, there was a place where they could watch children’s TV, color, or play with Build-a-Bear toys.

Final words

Social media experiential marketing can connect your brand to potential buyers in more lasting ways, driving consumer action, fortifying brand loyalty, and increasing sales. 

The Milia Marketing Team can help you achieve your digital marketing goals with experiential marketing, despite the ongoing COVID-19. Book a meeting to learn more about creating social media experiences within your brand’s marketing campaigns.

Picture of Anthony Milia

Anthony Milia

Anthony Milia is an author of Marketing Magnifier, marketing consultant, and owner of Milia Marketing, an award-winning Marketing firm located in Cleveland, OH. Anthony helps Small and Medium-sized businesses get the best ROI for their marketing dollars by shedding light on their sales and marketing challenges.