Dell Ideastorm Social Media ExampleRecently, I was invited to speak on the benefits of Social Media at a municipal water district. It was lots of fun and I wanted to share some big brands that have used social media successfully, which I did not have a chance to discuss. I will be posting a slide show from the actual event shortly so please check back soon.

There have been several successful Facebook campaigns by businesses. What made each one successful was their ability to tap into the various demographics and create a “buzz” with consumers. Social media isn’t going away. “Facebook is huge, Twitter is mainstream, and social media is everywhere.” In order to stay current for the future, it is important for companies to recognize the value that social media marketing can bring for both their brand and their product.

Skittles decided to utilize social media marketing in a big way. They recently redesigned their homepage to be their Twitter stream. A box in the upper-left corner directs you to their Wikipedia entry, You Tube, and other social media sites. According to one marketing expert, “Skittles is basically saying: “We get it. Whatever we can do cannot be as awesome as what you guys and girls can do, so we’ll just link to it and let you do your thing.”

Dunkin’ Donuts recently ran a “Keep It Coolatta sweepstakes” to kick off their new beverage. Facebook fans who posted a picture of themselves enjoying a Coolatta were entered into a sweepstakes for prizes such as an iPhone, TV, or free JetBlue flight.

Burger King went even further with their Facebook page, offering the “Whopper Sacrifice” application. Basically the way it worked was you had to disinvite ten friends off your Facebook in order to receive a free Whopper. “Each time a friend is excommunicated, the application sends a notification to the banished party via Facebook’s news feed explaining that the user’s love for the unlucky soul is less than his or her zeal for the Whopper.” Brian Gies, vice president of marketing for the fast-food chain, said that his company wanted to use a tongue-in-cheek way of marketing on Facebook. By being unique, these companies have cemented their marketing success with Facebook.