Brands increasingly are turning to social media apps as an effective way to interact with their target audience.
What can seem on the surface like a simple app often hides a far more complex and reasoned significance. The following are examples of brands that have used social media apps to their full advantage.
Mitsubishi: The Unpretentious app
To highlight the lack of pretense of its new Outlander, Mitsubishi has come up with an app that helps remove annoying content posted on Facebook. Do you hate having your news feed clogged up by others' pretentious spiels about their lives? Most of us do, so this clever app emphasizes the brand message of the new Outlander, with its new Mitsubishi 4x4 smashing through irritating posts in a video that you can share with friends.
This app shows an ingenious understanding of the frustrations of social media, tapping into the humor shared by many Facebook users regarding their news feeds. As delightful as experiencing another's Instagrammed breakfast can be, with the Unpretentious app you can make the point that some things in life should be kept to yourself.
McDonald's UK: Handy Lunchtime Training
The fast-food giant has found a way of getting consumers involved with its products outside of a restaurant—in this case, the McDonald's wrap. The concept is simple: You play through a series of wrap-related challenges, and at the end you get a score that you can compare against those of other online players.
The innovation lies in its simplicity. The app follows all of the social media rules: You can share it, "like" it, and compete with your friends, while subtly reminding you of opening hours and current McDonald's deals. It encourages users to share across social media platforms while offering coupons to be used at its locations.
Coca-Cola: Let's Eat Together app
Coca-Cola's Let's Eat Together app gets your family to share a meal together. With a variety of humorous video messages to choose from, this is a great example of Coca-Cola's attempting to use "good times" and positive human emotion as a vehicle to link these same feelings to the brand. Coca-Cola is renowned for pursuing this approach across all its marketing platforms; you need only look at its 40 Days of Summer campaign of last year to appreciate that it wants its consumers to associate the brand with happy memories.
The Amazon app
The multi-platform app is innovative on many levels. On its most basic level, it gives the user all of Amazon's catalogue requirements on Facebook, while enabling you to share your basket and wish list with other devices. It also taps into the social media side, championing the idea of sharing your purchases and desired items with your friends while keeping on top of birthdays and other special occasions. The most innovative aspect is that the app uses your social data to determine which items you are most likely to buy.
Nike : Nike + Running app
Building upon the Nike + Running campaign, Facebook's Nike + Running app is a multi-platform app that connects with your smartphone whenever you go running. This is an example of another app that uses Facebook's social aspects to give the user an interactive experience, as you can share the distances you run and receive comments and "likes."
There is even a "cheer" function through which your Facebook friends can comment on your "running status" and by doing so will cheer you on in your run. Nike + Running prides itself on "delivering inspiration and innovation to help you run your best," and this is a great example of Nike's sticking to its brand message and encouraging brand engagement. What better way to get more people running and using Nike products than by making sure your online friends all know your outdoor activities.
Harry Schaffer is a blogger and lover of all things digital. Tweet him @harryschaffer25 or check out his new blog www.lifeexperiences.co.uk.