Aldi have never been afraid of bold and out-of-the-box marketing. You just have to revisit their early TV ads that blatantly, and somewhat controversially, compared mainstream brands’ products to their cheaper and almost identical alternatives.

This month Aldi were at it again, giving us all a lesson in how reactive social media, mixed with the right dose of controversy, can generate some electrifying noise around your brand. We also saw how, as a competitor, with the right attitude and approach, you can claw back some ‘share of social voice’ .

The saga began with a simple tweet, inviting their rivals (Tescos, Lidl, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Iceland Foods, Marks and Spencer and Morrisons) to their 30th Birthday party. As a result, Aldi were re-tweeted and liked by thousands of us across twitter.

Co-op were next to join the conversation with a simple yet clever reply of disappointment, whilst Waitrose requested to bring John Lewis as a plus one. The tweets were enjoyed by followers of each brand and the wider social space. Everybody gets involved – everybody wins.

Social media can be your biggest ally when it comes to marketing, especially in a time where people are increasingly using digital channels to communicate. What made Aldi’s part here more magical is how it came at a time where, frankly, we all need a laugh.

We’ve pulled together 5 key takeaways from the campaign that businesses can look to incorporate into their own social media strategy.

It pays to be reactive

The value of planning your social media content for the upcoming months into a calendar shouldn’t be underplayed. It enables you to cover key themes, to ensure content is not repetitive and it allows you to comment on key discussions that are relevant to your business or industry.

However, always be on the lookout for the opportunity to be reactive with your posts.

While Aldi’s initial post was undoubtedly well-thought through, the stream of tweets that followed – interacting with and ‘mocking’ their competitors – were reactive genius. 

Social media is a relatively new marketing channel for some and some marketers are still getting to grips with its instant-nature today. To stay relevant as a brand, it really helps to be willing to move quickly and not be hampered by traditional sign-off cycles.

Even in the B2B space, there can be a tendency for brands to stick to fairly formal language and posting formats, but your clients are still people, so being reactive, witty and fun will pay off here too. This is an important line to be wary of, whilst also remembering that B2B brands are staffed by real humans.

Hashtags are still helpful 

In today’s world of hyper-stimulation and information overload, brands are finding it increasingly difficult for their campaigns to be heard and to make any meaningful impact on their audience. This is especially true when a campaign revolves around a single or small number of social media posts.

Aldi’s hashtag #Aldi30thBirthday allowed the conversation to carry on all evening. The genius here was: to be involved in the conversation, their competitors were forced to use a hashtag – pushing Aldi’s name up the trending list on twitter.

Hashtags are often considered cringey or outdated but, the reality is, they connect and group the millions of conversations across social media that happen every second. If you use them correctly, they can elevate your presence on social media significantly. Not only this, but hashtags can extend the relevance and impact of your campaign – allowing it to cement in the minds of your customers and maximise the conversations around your brand.

Be fun and take risks

If you ask people to recall their favourite TV Advert, the most memorable are often those with a strong stand of humour. They push the boundaries and capture people’s attention by being unexpected – social media is the perfect platform to do this. 

With Aldi’s 423k followers watching, as well as their competitors, the potential for the campaign to fall flat or for one tweet to cause a stir was high. However, it’s this risky marketing behaviour that people connect with. 

On top of this, Aldi were giving back to their followers by providing fun and engaging content. No one wants to engage with boring or mundane content. Individuals’s feeds are filled with fun and interesting content – perfectly moulded to their interests and humour – which is making it increasingly harder for brands to cut through. To stand out, brands must top this and also make their followers laugh and engage.

Connect with consumers 

Another reason Aldi’s twitter campaign worked so effectively is that consumers could connect with the brand. The tweets mirrored how people interact with their friends, family and wider communities on social media, enabling the brand to bring themselves down to the level of the customer. 

In today’s world of uncertainty and anxiousness, the brands that will be remembered are the ones that offer a human and authentic approach to their marketing. In exchange, you’ll get a better understanding of your customer base, ultimately, helping you build a better product or service.

Engage 

Finally,  Aldi not only engaged their competitors, but they also took the time to tag their followers who were also appreciating the bantering between the brands. 

The most essential component of social media is your willingness to engage. Social media is an investment in long-term relationships and it’s the only marketing channel that reflects all the many conversations we have on a daily basis.

With this in mind, your business’ social media posts need to engage with your followers and monitor the conversations relevant to your industry. Be a good listener, be authentic, and focus on humanising your brand – no one wants to talk to a robot or receive an automated message. 

Aldi has certainly given us all a lesson in how to maximise your social media to raise awareness of your brand. A lesson in being memorable and how the most simple ideas can continue to forge relationships with your audiences. With people communicating across digital channels more than ever before, now may be the perfect time to re-evaluate your social strategy.

If you need a hand, do get in touch or drop us a line.