Social Media Campaigns

From Hashtag Challenges to Viral Videos: The Top Social Media Campaigns of the 21st Century

“The Most Innovative and Memorable Social Media Campaigns of the Past two Decades”

We spend hours scrolling through reams of content and advertisements on social media. Every now and then, a clever social media campaign captures our interest vividly. These campaigns are quirky, engaging, wicked, or even moving as they pique our interest and widen our thinking horizon. They connect us and spark the internet. Numerous social media campaigns have taken place over the years that have effectively used social media platforms to reach a large audience and achieve their marketing goals. Here are a few examples of popular social media campaigns: 


It involved people filming themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads. Then, nominating others to do the same or make a donation to the ALS Association, a non-profit organization that raises money for research and treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The campaign dates back to 2014 and instantly went viral as it was a fun challenge with high participation. It also had a clear CTA, with participants either taking the challenge or making a donation. The valuation of donations went up to US$115 million! 


A social activist, Tarana Burke, who wanted to create a safe space for survivors of sexual assault and harassment to share their stories initiated this moving campaign. The hashtag went viral and quickly gained traction, with thousands of people sharing their stories on social media platforms. It availed an opportunity to people to share their personal incidents anonymously. It was used millions of time as it helped bring attention to the issue of sexual violence. The hashtag also tapped into a collective sense of outrage about these issues.


This annual marketing campaign was initiated to provide a personalized touch to the user experience. Organized in December, this feature included a list of users’ most listened-to artists, tracks, genres, and a summary of the total amount of time they spent listening to music on the platform. Each Spotify wrap is unique in its own way, making it an engaging way for users to reflect on their music listening habits over the past year. Additionally, the campaign had a solid social media presence, with users sharing their Wrapped results on platforms.

Social Media Campaigns


In 2013, Coca-Cola launched its #shareacoke campaign that involved the production of Coca-Cola bottles with individuals’ names on them. It was curated to appeal to a younger, more social media-savvy audience. People loved the idea of being able to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola with their own name on it, and they were eager to share photos of their personalized bottles on social media. The campaign was successful as it created a sense of personalization for consumers. Also, it commenced when social media was becoming increasingly popular with people connecting online. 

Apple #shotoniphone:

Apple has always been about innovation and imagination. They want you to lead a life empowered by technology, passion, and freedom. iPhone users shared photos they had taken with their phones on social media platforms using the hashtag #shotoniphone. Initiated in 2015, Apple used to feature user-generated visuals in the marketing materials on their website. This campaign was popular amongst photographers as it availed an opportunity to use Instagram in an Apple-centric way. 

Social Media Campaigns

ConclusionSocial Media Campaigns

Although there is no one solution that works for all situations, the examples provided above provide more clarity and insight into the tactics used in successful advertising campaigns. A social media campaign is designed to achieve a variety of business goals like increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. It should be well-planned and well-executed with clear objectives and measurable metrics.

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