Chris Gilchrist

Five Clever Uses Of Social Media To Inspire You

13th Feb 2013 Social Media 5 minutes to read

Social Media inspirationWith Social Media strategy it’s becoming harder to stand out by just ticking boxes and keeping up with the competition. That’s why Chris Gilchrist has found five great ways to use Social Media that should have give you some inspiration to have an amazing campaign. 

If you are already involved in online marketing you’ll have experienced the blurring and overlap between disciplines and strategies first hand. Over the last 2 years especially.

If you’ve been doing it long enough you can probably remember when Web Design, SEO and Social Media were generally considered different disciplines altogether. An ‘us and them’ sentiment and that was often just between the departments in the same company.

Yet try and find an SEO nowadays without a Twitter account and who doesn’t take an interest in presentation or load speed.

To newcomers to the industry all of these elements (and their component parts) will just form a part of the online marketing handbook from the outset. Which is great, as in reality it’s always been the case that you should take an interest in them all if you were focused on long term benefits.

It’s an interesting time to be involved in the industry. The rate at which things change is incredible. The depth and breadth of the topic compared to even 2 years ago can be overwhelming. It’s difficult for people just starting in the industry to know where to begin. And where once upon a time you were just simply an SEO you can now elect to have a very specific skillset within a much broader profession such as just being a link builder or a technical auditor.

If you’re a regular reader of the Koozai blog you’ll have noticed this blurring and broadening being addressed regularly.

Last week Ade Lewis talked about web design being the first stop in your SEO campaign, Laura recently spoke about the importance of diversifying our digital marketing strategy, in December Ned discussed the lines between UX and SEO becoming increasingly blurred and last October I really enjoyed Mike’s post about where the boundaries of one discipline stop and another start.

Andy recently talked about encouraging clients to get involved in social media, despite the nature of their product and service, and I thought I would follow on from this and highlight some ways companies are using their social media channels to reach huge potential audiences.

If done right, this will lead to brand awareness, links, follows, subscriptions, leads and hopefully sales. Is this Social Media? Or SEO? To me it doesn’t matter, it’s just online marketing and the end goal for us and our clients is the same.

If you are considering a socially fuelled project for the first time, Stephen wrote a nice piece on Why Viral Campaigns Succeed and Fail with some great tips on what to watch out for and how to get started with this type of venture.

On with the examples!

Johanna Basford – Twitter Picture

Twitter Picture

Johanna harnessed the power of tweets to crowd source suggestions of what Twitter users would like her to draw which were then included in a large scale illustration. The Twitter Picture event ran over a 48 hour period. Each suggestion was noted, while Johanna updated a TwitPic with updates of the illustration every 15 minutes. The whole process was also available to view via webcam.

The completed illustrations were made available for purchase as silk screen prints in a limited run of 100, and later made available as free to download desktop wallpaper.

The experiment was so successful it was repeated in 2010.

Whitespace – Tweet Train


Edinburgh based digital agency Whitespace, used a real train set as the main component of their Tweet Train which was controlled by digital commands using a wifi receiver. The train track was suspended over the Whitespace office and had an on-board camera to capture its journey. The journey could then be viewed by going to Whitespace’s website.

For one week, their train was powered by tweets that included #tweettrain, and the general Twitter public could also control the speed and direction of the train by giving it instructions such as “fast” or “reverse”.

Face Of NYFW – Digital Curating

Faces of New York Fashion Week

Curating the behind the scenes and after party moments of New York Fashion Week, Face of NYFW combines posts from chosen fashion photographers with anyone else who tags their photos or videos with #FONFW, #NYFW or #MBWF.

Users can choose their preferred platform (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram or Viddy.) Posts are then collected, approved and appear on the site.

REI – REI 1440 Project

REI 1440

REI 1440 Project creates a digital timeline of outdoor activities that are arranged so that each minute of this virtual has at least one image. Photos are added to the site by logging in with Facebook and selecting images from your albums. The time is inputted and the image is added to the timeline.

When you are logged into the site you can also favourite other people’s photos and create your own personal timeline.

Hello Giggles – Illustrated Tweet of the Day

Hello Giggles

Since 2011 HelloGiggles has included an Illustrated Tweet of the day on their site. The illustrations are provided by HG contributor Maritza Lugo, a freelance artist from New York.

Tweets are chosen at random and usually have a tongue in cheek feel to them and generally include pop culture references. The post is also accompanied with a link to the user’s twitter feed.


I hope these examples give you some ideas or inspiration on how to use your social media channels to drive traffic to your site and attract links.

Have you seen any other great examples of this being doing well? Please share in the comments!

Image Credits

Twitter Picture from Johanna Basford
Tweet Train by White Spacer
Faces of NYFW by Socius
REI 1440 Project by REI
Hello Giggles Tweet Of The Day by Maritza Lugo
Social Media Communication by BigStock

The views expressed in this post are those of the author so may not represent those of the Koozai team.

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