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7 Social Media Case Studies That We Loved in 2019

The Many Ways of Using a Social Wall

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A meeting with five people in a neutrally decorated room. Three are sitting around a table, with laptops and paper notebooks open. Two are standing in front of a cork board on the wall with post-its on it. Their body language is friendly and they smile as they’re discussing something.

I know, I know. You really don’t want to read another one of those pointless year-end lists. I hear ya. However, this isn’t just an empty list of the most impressive campaigns we’ve showcased on our blog in 2019.

This is a list of social media case studies that will also give you the opportunity to learn the basics of running great hashtag campaigns — straight from the people who ran some outstanding ones this year. 

So brace yourself for one more year-end list and find out more about the seven social walls and campaigns we really enjoyed learning more about this year.

beyerdynamic: Social wall meets eCommerce

Adding an eCommerce feature to Walls.io was one of our biggest milestones this year, and it might not have happened so soon if it wasn’t for beyerdynamic

The German audio equipment manufacturer approached our team and specifically asked whether we could implement a social commerce button so they could directly link from posts on their social wall to the products mentioned in said posts.

Social commerce, the combination of social media and eCommerce, is definitely a surging trend. It allows businesses to convert user-generated content into sales, which makes it an incredibly powerful tool for marketers.

Screenshot of the beyerdynamic social wall as it is embedded on the beyerdynamic website. The copy at the top of the page introduces the #beyerdynamic hashtag and explains how people can share using the hashtag for a chance to be featured on the social wall.
On the beyerdynamic social wall, a “learn more” button is added to each post from a fan. The buttons lead directly to the product mentioned in the post.

For now, technology cannot magically do everything, so users still have to go into their Walls.io Dashboard, go through the posts and manually add links to the corresponding product. But done regularly, this doesn’t take too long.

Marco Pace, Social Media Specialist at beyerdynamic, described the process as follows: “Every morning, I check for new pics on our social wall. I then try to identify the product and tag it accordingly, with a link leading from the button directly to the product page. […] It takes me about 15 to 30 minutes to do this every day.”

Check out the whole interview in our beyerdynamic social media case study. And remember, we’re always open to customers’ suggestions for our product, so if there’s something specific you’re looking for, just send us a message.

Life is Good: A hashtag for doing good

Hashtag campaigns are an excellent tool when it comes to raising donations for a good cause. They boost awareness for an issue and offer an easy way to donate money. The method works well for businesses setting up a donations-for-posts type of campaign, where they donate X amount of money for each post published with a specific hashtag.

Campaigns like that are usually win-win. Not only do they raise valuable funds for a good cause. They also boost the brand’s reach. As a bonus, a charitable campaign is also a great CSR tool, allowing a company to show its fans what it’s doing to make the world a better place.

One such campaign was the #SomethingGood campaign by clothing brand Life is Good. For every Tweet with the hashtag #SomethingGood, the company donated $1 to the Life is Good Kids Foundation (to which the brand already donates 10% of its profits). The Foundation works to help disadvantaged kids heal from trauma.

The hashtag campaign raised $1 million over the summer. Posts from the campaign were displayed on a Walls.io social wall, which was embedded on the campaign website.

One of the reasons why the campaign was such a success is that the idea behind it was a perfect fit for Life is Good as a brand.

The two founders of Life is Good, standing next to each other, smiling. The one on the left has a beard and is making a peace sign with his right hand, the one on the right has a beanie on his head. Both have red hair and are wearing Life is Good t-shirts with positive messages printed on them. In the background there's a green truck with a “Life is Good Company” decal on it.
The founders of Life is Good.

Senior Brand Manager Lauren Sorenson explained: “With this campaign, we are hoping to help shift online conversations toward the good that’s going on in the world. We know that life is not easy, life is not perfect, but life is good. We believe that focusing on opportunities vs focusing on what’s wrong, can lead to more progress and growth.”

This goes hand in hand with the brand’s general philosophy and clearly resonated with their audience.

Read the #SomethingGood showcase post and find out about how Life is Good implemented certain Walls.io features to make the campaign accessible to anyone, even to people who don’t have any social media accounts.

DMEXCO: Big trade show, big on social walls

Bigger is not always better, of course. But when you have the opportunity to set up a very big social wall to really benefit your event, then you should probably just go for it.

Our customer DMEXCO, an annual trade fair for the digital marketing and advertising industry, displayed their social wall on various points throughout the sprawling event location. Among them were two social walls incorporated into big digital signage screens along the DMEXCO Boulevard.

The large displays hung from the ceiling on this thoroughfare of the trade show were clearly visible to visitors and introduced the social wall and hashtags.

Large hall at DMEXCO 2019, white and airy, huge windows, an info stall from koelnmesse in the background. People are moving through the space. High above their heads, a large electronic display board shows the way to hall 8 as well as displaying a post on the DMEXCO social media wall, which is embedded on the screen.
The Boulevard at DMEXCO 2019.

When we asked Milko Malev, DMEXCO’s Director of Communications and Media, about the idea behind the big social walls on the boulevard, he said: “This year, we wanted to make the social media buzz around the DMEXCO a bit more tangible and visible to visitors. […] The Boulevard is basically the main access point between the different halls, and it’s where you get most of the traffic and the highest possible attention from visitors.”

Walls.io excellently lends itself to being displayed on big screens. We even have some themes created especially for big displays, like our Bricks theme, for example. Read more about the social wall implementations at DMEXCO in our social media case study.

Parallax: Agencies love social walls

Our interview with Parallax Agency didn’t introduce just one use case for social walls but, rather, shows how varied the ways are that agencies can use Walls.io for campaigns of all sorts.

We asked Liam Bush, Head of Marketing at Parallax, why Walls.io works so well for them. Here’s what he had to say: “To us, the benefits of Walls.io are obvious — it’s an instantly recognisable plug-in that’s easy to implement and brings a website to life. It’s also really easy for us and our clients to monitor and moderate.”

Photo from the Parallax office. Person in the foreground is looking at their computer screen. In the background, others are visible working behind computers as well.
The Parallax office in Leeds.

A social wall is easy to embed on websites or to display on screens at events, points of sale, offices, museums, etc. You can set your wall up to pull content via hashtags, social media profiles, keywords and even RSS feeds. That makes it an incredibly versatile tool for agencies and their client base, which is often fairly diverse with each project having different needs and requirements.

There’s so much more you can find out about agency work by reading our Parallax Agency showcase, which features an in-depth interview with Liam and plenty of examples from Parallax’ client projects. 

Case Western Reserve University: Social wall strengthens campus community

There’s another big-display social wall we’d like to celebrate this year. This one can be found at the Case Western Reserve University campus in Ohio. CWRU has set up a large-scale social wall in the campus’ main social hub. At this point, the wall has been up for almost three years, bridging the gap between online and offline for the university’s students, staff, alumni and university sponsors.

The multi-storey, two-part LED media wall is the first thing you see when walking into the building, and it prominently shows the two CWRU social walls. The media wall serves as a point of information and connection for the campus community. With content supplied from various departments around the university, there’s always something new to see on the wall.

A closer shot of the Tink media wall at Case Western University, showing the social walls on the top part of the wall, called the Beacon.
The two-storey media wall at the Tinkham Veale University Center at Case Western Reserve University.

We interviewed Jason Hawk, Director of Sales at the Tinkham Veale University Center, the building where the media wall is set up. He relayed how much the media wall has changed the university’s marketing: “This is the first time the ‘Tink’ has used any sort of social media wall. It has been a success and has affected the way we market, and the way other departments market. We quickly got a lot of requests from all over campus, asking to display certain department accounts or hashtags.”

Among other things, CWRU now uses the social walls as a selling point when renting out the space to third parties for conferences, workshops, etc.

There’s so much more interesting information about how CWRU uses the social walls and what they’ve learned and improved over the years of using them. You can read all about it in our CWRU showcase post.

Kids in the Kitchen: Our best practice for hashtag campaigns

I’ve not been shy about saying how much I love the #KidsInTheKitchen campaign from NatureFresh™ Farms that we featured on the blog this year. The great thing about it is just how much it did right, which makes it an excellent best practice example for those who want to learn more about hashtag campaigns.

Among many other things, I love how clear the campaign was about what kind of user-generated content they were looking for. The #KidsInTheKitchen campaign used the campaign microsite as well as various posts on Instagram to very clearly lay out how to take part in the hashtag campaign. This is something that makes it a lot easier for people to submit user-generated content because they know what the brand would like to see from them.

Screenshot of the dedicated landing page for #KidsInTheKitchen under the headline “Follow These Steps To Enter”: STEP ONE Help your child make a healthy snack or meal that involves veggies. The more creative, the better! STEP TWO Post a photo of your creation on Instagram with the hashtag: #KidsInTheKitchen & tag @Nature_Fresh. STEP THREE In your caption, let us know how you get your child involved in the kitchen and how you make eating vegetables fun for everyone in the family. At the bottom of the screen, two buttons allow people to enter the challenge on Instagram or view the gallery of previous posts.
Instructions for submitting content to #KidsInTheKitchen as published on the campaign’s microsite.

They also set up incentives to motivate users and intensively promoted the campaign on various channels.

The campaign was well-planned and well-executed, but it also used Walls.io’s feature set to catch those posts that were wrongly tagged despite the clear instructions. This way, no user submissions were lost, and everything that needed to be visible on the social wall was there.

“We used the Moderation feature to ensure the submissions were relevant to the contest and the Native Posts feature to include posts that may have missed a step in the entry process,” said Brittany MacAulay, Marketing Coordinator at NatureFresh™ Farms.

NatureFresh™ Farms also came up with a great way to re-use the content by publishing it in a small booklet full of tips and recipes gained from the campaign.

There’s a lot more to be said about this awesome campaign, and you can read all about it in the #KidsInTheKitchen showcase post.

And Now We Have Kids: You don’t have to be a brand to use a social wall

This is an entirely different showcase from all our other showcases. Almost always, we talk to companies of various sizes to hear how they use social walls. Once or twice, we’ve featured private use cases like weddings. But this year, we showed you how a small family is using their social wall to document their travels and their kid growing up, and to stay in touch with their relatives.

Ray and Charlyn are avid travellers, and they are parents as well. Their toddler Quinn has already travelled extensively with them, with their adventures all over the world being collected in a live photo album.

The photo album is actually a social media wall featuring posts from the family’s Instagram account called And Now We Have Kids. The social wall is also embedded on the couple’s blog where they write up their trips.

We talked to Ray, and he said, “In the beginning, we just wanted to have a nicer way to display our Instagram pictures. But soon, it turned into a shareable photo album of Quinn and all our adventures with her.”

Quinn in her parents’ living room. She is facing away from the camera and looking at the TV screen on the wall where the And Now We Have Kids social wall is displayed above a media cabinet. The social wall shows various photos taken on the family’s travels. A kid-size Spalding basketball rests on the media cabinet.
Quinn is looking at photos from her own adventures on the social wall on her parents’ living room TV.

Friends and family are happy they can easily follow along and watch Quinn grow up. And Quinn gets to recognise herself in the photos when her parents pull up the social wall on their TV at home.

Check out Ray’s and Charlyn’s And Now We Have Kids live photo album social wall in the showcase post.

What makes a great social media case study

Ultimately, a great campaign happens because you put everything you’ve got into it. You plan properly, you execute well, and you stay on your toes to manage whatever comes your way during the run of the campaign. However, our showcases this year have shown us that there are a few things that can help campaigns stand out.

Draw attention to your social wall and hashtags

For one, drawing attention to your social wall helps boost people’s awareness of the hashtag. And one way to do that is to display your social wall on big screens at the location where they’re most likely to draw attention.

Both DMEXCO and CWRU have implemented big walls, albeit in completely different ways. For a short-term event, you will likely have to use what’s available at your location — from digital signage to whatever displays are feasible.

Meanwhile, if you’re setting up a social wall long-term as CWRU has done, it can absolutely make sense to create a specific solution that works for the space you have. The media wall in the Tink building is impressive, but it is also absolutely clear that a lot of work and planning has gone into its creation and maintenance.

Embrace social commerce; it’s here to stay

beyerdynamic was our first customer to combine user-generated content and eCommerce into social commerce, but they will definitely not be the last to do so. Social commerce was a big trend in 2019, and we believe it will continue to be just that.

We already know that user-generated content is effective at convincing potential customers to buy, so it makes sense to use UGC to actually fuel purchases. Make it easy for your fans to get straight from another user’s recommendation to the product they’re praising. Shorten the journey and start converting better.

Think outside the box to find the perfect social wall implementation

The Parallax Agency showcase really illustrated just how diversely social walls can be used. From brand walls to campaign walls, from displays at events to embeds on websites or in apps — there are so many variations and combinations that it’s easy to find the right fit for each use case. This is what makes Walls.io perfect for agencies who handle projects for multiple clients, all with different needs and requests.

And as we’ve seen, social walls even have a place in non-business use cases — whether it’s a live family photo album like And Now We Have Kids’ Instagram wall of Quinn’s adventures or a private party like a wedding. Walls.io is easy to implement and doesn’t require any coding knowledge, which makes it accessible for users with any level of tech know-how.

Social walls can inform, be a collection point for user-generated content, and they can even create or strengthen communities. There’s more than one way to use a social wall; you just have to find the implementation that fits you and your project best. So start thinking outside the box and dreaming up new use cases.

Hopefully, you will let our showcases inspire you to make your own campaigns even better. And, who knows, maybe next year, it’ll be your own project being praised on our year-end list.

So here’s to a great 2020. We’ll see you on the other side.