How Marvel Studios and Robert Downey Jr. Went Viral
An Example of How to Generate Organic Engagement
One of the biggest players in cinematic history made a bold (and brilliant) marketing move when they decided to announce an early release for the next installment of their franchise. That’s right, we’re talking about Marvel and their announcement that Avengers: Infinity War will arrive in theaters a week earlier than the originally advertised date. The movie is highly anticipated and while the marketing team could have put out a simple press release or given an exclusive to an entertainment outlet that would have garnered excitement, they did something better.
Marvel Studios teamed up with one of the actors from the franchise to announce the new release date on Twitter. We all know that social media has captivated more than just the younger generation. Athletes, brands and even politicians are tweeting about what’s happening on a daily basis. As Robert Downey, Jr. plays Iron Man and has been in seven Marvel movies thus far with Infinity War making eight, he was a phenomenal choice to help let the cat out of the bag. With over 10 million followers on Twitter and his character’s general persona, the marketing team had a stroke of genius in using that platform to make a splash.
It started with Marvel Studios tweeting, “On a scale of one to infinity, how excited are you to see #InfinityWar on May 4th?” and then a conversation via Twitter feeds sparked.
Anything Marvel Studios did would have had a large impact because the fan base is so dedicated to the brand, but announcing the way they did went viral. This playful back and forth gave followers content in which they became invested… and the result was incredible. Instead of paying for an ad or reaching out to a publication to drop the story, Marvel Studios created a conversation that entertained followers and had a more engaging result than if they had simply posted a new movie poster on their account.
This led to a discussion about the power of engaging, organic content. We know our example is talking about movies and famous movie stars, but their actions and intention are what we’re focusing on: organically engaging followers in a fun (and personable) way.
Any time there is an opportunity to generate engagement by creating a fun dialogue with your followers, it should be utilized. Organic content that is genuine, humorous and conversational can increase followers’ engagement as well as their interest in following a particular page/brand. Most people are on social media for entertainment (and to connect/converse with others), so what better way to capture followers than by being a source of enjoyable and entertaining content?
Take a page out of the Marvel Studios’ book the next time you have an announcement or product launch. Create fun, conversational posts in which followers can partake. Be funny and charismatic; people are more likely to follow and engage with a business/brand that has a personable voice on social media. Social media is the place to give your business and/or brand a personality. Content that comes across a feed that is humorous, relatable or seems genuine is a gold mine for people who spend their time on social media.
Capture their attention! Find an angle that works for you on social media and is still true to your company’s values. People crave entertainment and reward genuine authenticity, so quality organic content can be more valuable than spending hundreds of advertising dollars on the same platforms.
Take it a step further.
You’re aiming to post quality, engaging content on your page. Good job! Now, take your business/brand to the next level on social media by engaging with your followers. Respond to their comments, tag them in a response, double tap when they tag you in a photo or like/retweet them when you can! Spending time engaging with your followers is time well spent. Being responded to by a business or a brand makes followers feel heard (and somewhat important). We’re not talking about writing a book-long response to every comment that pops up in your notifications, but a simple “Thanks for the love, @____!” or “We’re glad you liked it!” response can go a long way and keep your followers wanting more.
Keeping with our Marvel theme, the directors of Avengers: Infinity War were kind enough to have provided a perfect example. The Russo brothers (directors at the helm of Avengers: Infinity War and the movie to come after it) responded to a fan that tweeted concern about the mysterious title for the next Avengers film that won’t be announced until after Infinity War has hit theaters. The Russo brothers promptly responded and the result went viral. Again. Nothing flashy, no long dialogue; just a short (yet impactful) response that has been liked and retweeted thousands of times.
People want to be a part of the brands they’re following and feel like their voice is heard; so when you have the opportunity to respond, retweet/regram or like their comment or post, take advantage of it! The result could start trending.
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