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Helen Walker
Helen Walker 7 August 2015
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3 Invaluable Social Media Lessons From #TheDress Incident

Some key takeaways for marketing on social media that can be learned from this incident, with the potential to see any campaign go viral!

It’s been nearly six months since the infamous ‘DressGate’ incident divided social media over the colour of a dress. The simple dress (now identified as black and blue) had everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Taylor Swift and many big brands jumping onboard the hype and joining in the debate.

 

The fashion brand behind the dress, British brand Roman Originals, managed to capitalise on the product’s 15 minutes of fame, as did numerous other brands.

 

Many got it right, and saw significant marketing wins, whereas some did not. There are some key takeaways for marketing on social media that can be learned from this incident, with the potential to see any campaign go viral.

 







First published on Tumblr, a user asked her followers what colour this dress was. #TheDress received 800,000 tweets and 22.8 million views on Buzzfeed.

What are the magic takeaways that a brand can recreate in its Social Media Strategy? 

1. Irrelevant Topics Can Create Effective Campaigns If Actioned Correctly.

A brand can very effectively market its message through jumping on the back of current trending topics or events, even if they are highly irrelevant.

The Salvation Army South Africa did just this, tweeting images of shock value, perfectly conveying their campaign to remove the hidden nature of domestic abuse. Not only did they jump on the back of the viral topic through the use of the trending hashtag #TheDress, they did so while it was still a very current topic, which demonstrates the importance of timely response. As a result, their campaign ended up having a reach of 15 million.





2. Discussion And Debate Are Invaluable

Roman Originals could have very quickly shut down the social media debate by giving the definitive answer the world was asking - what colour was the dress?

Even though it was ‘just a dress’, people were becoming personally invested in the debate, fuelled by wanting to have their opinion on a debate it seemed like the whole world was involved in. A fun topic can be a starting point for a viral social media campaign which performs at high levels that any marketing manager could only dream of for their own campaigns. Roman Originals capitalized on this not only from a sales perspective, but also in brand engagement – with visits to its website increasing to 1.2 million.

3. Wanting To ‘Cash In’ Won’t Cut It

There were many other brands who jumped on board the wave but just ended up creating a marketing attempt that was sort of, well, awkward. Krispy Kreme’s addition to #TheDress was very obviously promoting their own product, adding little value or humour to the debate.



It’s clear to see that there is an incredible potential for brands to piggy-back popular topics, events, or apparent nonsense and see very real results from little effort or marketing budget spend. The key takeaway is knowing your customer. Who are the people who follow you on social media and who buy your products? What do they laugh about, cry about or share with friends over coffee? With this knowledge and a crystal-clear picture of who you’re connecting to, you can have your brand truly winning during the next #DressGate.

Original Article

Find out more on the future of Content Marketing at our DLUK - Trends briefing on the 24th September 2015


 

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