Social media is everywhere and with so much to look at, it’s important to have campaigns and events that make an impression on social media consumers. Through social media campaigns, companies can hone in on a specific message that they want to spread to the public and encourage engagement and participation that could lead to obtaining a bigger consumer base and more awareness about their products.
One recent social media campaign from the past year that has really grabbed my attention is the #RefreshinglyHonest campaign by Honest Tea. The #RefreshinglyHonest campaign combines social media with a social experiment done nation-wide and has really created a lot of buzz about their product and the mission as a company.
Honest Tea is a beverage company that works to create drinks made from organic and healthy products from all over the world. Their drinks are Fair Trade Certified, which means the company pays money back to the communities that they obtain their ingredients from. That money goes to help establish better farming, healthcare, and education programs within each community. As a company that prides itself in using sustainably farmed, organic ingredients, their mission statement says that they strive to create direct connections with both their ingredients and suppliers.
The Honest Tea company began their #RefreshinglyHonest social media campaign in 2015. The main question: how honest are we as a country? They created a social experiment through social media to find out if people would steal a beverage if no one appeared to be watching. The company created 27 pop-up stores in cities around the country to find out which city was the most honest and encouraged social media while conducting their research.
The idea of the campaign was to find out which city in the United States is the most honest when it comes to stealing. After they got so much interaction on their social media accounts, they started the #RefreshinglyHonest hashtag, which people can use to post about the imperfect, unfiltered moments that happen during their daily lives. Honest Tea posts the tweets, Instagram posts, and Facebook mentions on their website, creating a lot of interaction with their consumers.
@eyewonit Were you surprised by the results?
— Honest Tea (@HonestTea) August 28, 2015
One of the most interesting things about this campaign is that it is a hybrid between a social experiment and a social media campaign. It infused the physical pop-up locations with social media interaction, which lead to a lot of engagement on their platforms for a lot of reasons. This lead to a great deal of interaction, both physically and virtually.
Because of the on-site engagement that they created through the pop-up stores, there was real-time reaction to the experiment, its results, and their product on part of their consumers. This got people talking (and tweeting) about their city’s “honesty index” and created a lot of uproar about how honest their hometown was or wasn’t. Then, people took to social media to talk about the results and begin to tweet their #RefreshinglyHonest moments.
— BiggestLoser'sColeen (@ColeenSkeabeck) August 28, 2015
I think using the local sites was a great move on part of Honest Tea. Of course we are talking about social media campaigns and online platforms, but having the mix of physical interaction with the company reactions to how honest they were, they were able to achieve a lot of engagement with consumers all around the country.
I also think that this was a great way to harp on their mission statement as a company and really show off their brand. Their mission is to create real, first-person connections with their ingredients and suppliers. With this campaign, they were making first-person connections with consumers both through being in the cities physically and through interacting with them on social media and continuing to interact with them by posting their hashtags on their website. This makes the campaign really unique and especially effective because of the continued engagement on part of the company.
— Honest Tea (@HonestTea) August 28, 2015
The campaign also acts as an expansion of their mission statement in that they strive to make their drinks with honesty and integrity, meaning ingredients you can pronounce that come from sustainable farming sites. They have also tried to keep it completely honest on social media, through telling the country who is honest and who is not and promoting honest posts. Personally, I think this is great branding because of the campaigns close relation to the objectives of the company itself.
It’s also important to point out that this campaign had many real life takeaways. First, they promoted their beverages and products and consumers could learn about their strategies for getting the best products from the best places. Also, the social experiment created real statistics about which cities are the most honest. This is extremely thought-provoking, as if I were told that my city was the least honest, I would definitely be thinking about if for a long time thereafter. They created a bond between their product and something that we experience everyday- being honest with the people around us.
@HudsonAndEmily We're looking forward to the long weekend too! 🙂 Glad you like the tea!
— Honest Tea (@HonestTea) September 5, 2015
Another really effective part of this campaign was the fact that Honest Tea actually replied to its followers tweets. They continued to engage with their consumers after the results of the experiments came out and continued to get feedback about the experiment, their products, and the hashtag that they encouraged people to use after the experiment was completed.
The mix of this campaign’s uniqueness with its real-life results is what made it especially successful. I think that people liked being able to interact with the company both in person and on social media platforms and it kept their consumers, both new and old, thinking about their product and the experiment that they conducted. It also created a lot of buzz once they named which cities were the most honest (Atlanta won the title of most honest city in America in case you’re wondering). In the end, I think this campaign was a success for the company and their mission to be #RefreshinglyHonest.