Case Study: The Local Stories Project

blog-thumbnail-img

 

Last week we discussed the importance of Local Social Management. Today we are going to dig deeper into the topic, by taking a look at a successful case from the National Public Radio in Boston that elaborates on what kind of local stories drive the highest engagement.

The Case 

In 2011 NPR commenced a project called “The Local Stories Project” , an experiment aiming to localize content on their Facebook page. To briefly outline it, a certain Facebook feature enabes NPR (and everyone else with a Facebook page) to customize its posts by location. This allows for the sender to post different stories to specifically targeted local audiences – from the same Facebook Page.

In order to localize, NPR has partnered up with media stations (e.g. KPLU in Seattle, KUT in Austin) set in different cities of North America. Here, journalists with expertise in finding material for the local community are selecting and creating the local stories in collaboration with NPR’s editorial coaching and development team. Eventually, NPR is spreading the localized story, geo-targeting it to the right users.

Today the localized stories have proven successful by creating a high amount of engagement, and NPR has expanded the number of stations involved and are continuing the project.

 

So what exactly is it that causes a local story to be share-worthy?

What does it take to make the local users clap their hands, like and comment? Two News Specialists at the NPR Digital Services asked themselves this question and conducted a study to define what types of local content cause the most sharing and engagement. They tested and identified the local stories that worked the best, and the results were combined and categorized in this Infographic. The results include 9 types of content, that rock:

  • Place Explainers
  • Crowd Pleasers
  • Curiosity Stimulators
  • News Explainers
  • Major Breaking News
  • Feel-Good Smilers
  • Topical Buzzers
  • Provocative Controversies
  • Awe-Inspiring Visuals

At Mindjumpers we have been focusing on local activation since our early days. In order to build and engage communities in valuable ways, we have Social Media Managers located in more than 25 countries around the world.

 

 

Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.