4 hacks

Some of my favourite social media campaigns are the ones which use the in-built functionality of social media networks in unique ways.

Whether it’s playing with tagging, filters, or coloured layers in a photo; some very swish campaigns have launched in the last couple of years, creatively playing with the social media platforms they are on. Here are some of my favourites.

Twitter’s click-to-reveal images

On Twitter, brands have created a ‘click to reveal’ approach with images on Twitter. In the timeline, the image has a hook “click here to see something special” and, when they click on the image to see the full view, the image looks different. It is still the same image – but different colours are now visible. You can see it in action here.

It’s a clever little hack, which makes use of a transparent .png image. When it’s in the default Twitter feed, the background is white, so the black content is revealed. When the image is expanded, the background is black, so the white content is revealed.
Want to make your own? There’s a breakdown here.

Choose your own adventure on Instagram

This campaign by Old Spice was one which surprised everyone with how simple, yet effective it was. It was a comic strip which was posted on Instagram, where users could click on different spots on the image and be taken to a new image which was the next panel of the story – like the classic choose-your-own-adventure books.
It was created with tagging. When a user on Instagram tags a friend in a photo, it links to that person’s account. This execution simply created a several dummy Instagram accounts to host one single picture, and by tagging the specific Instagram account, created a hyperlink through to the next part of the story.
This concept was extended again with Instagram Stories more recently by the Stranger Things team.

Choose your own adventure YouTube style

This video is from 2010, but, I confess, but any excuse to hear Kiwi accents AND see zombies in the same place,  and I’m sold. Hell’s Pizza in New Zealand created a series of youtube videos which all linked together in a survival story of choose-your-own-adventure.
At the end of each video segment, it presents two clickable choices to progress the story and reveal the next video. I’ll bet the videos which were hidden as unlisted so that users couldn’t jump ahead in the story.
It’s great fun – a must watch if you love a little zombie carnage:

Plenty of fun, and all default part of YouTube.

Instagram filters to reveal a message

The Ted Baker campaign in 2015 played with Instagram filters in a unique way. The campaign was a competition for users to find hidden messages in Instagram photos if they regrammed the shots. These messages were only revealed when someone regrammed the photo and played with the filters, to reveal the hidden code.
Simply Measured has a rundown of the campaign and shared this pic of the filter in action:
Ted Baker Filter via SImply Measured
It seems like this was created simply by writing text a few pixels in a colour different to the background. It’s not visible to the eye, but the filter creates such contrast that the letters are visible when viewed through the filter. Very cool!
What have been your favourite campaigns using simple social network hacks? Let me know in the comments!

Want to work with Rachel?

Rachel Beaney is a writer and social media content specialist, helping businesses connect with their audiences.

She’s worked with local, national and global companies, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping businesses tell their stories with creative and data-driven solutions.

She is based in Sydney, Australia.

Want to work together? Rachel would love to hear from you. Get in touch today.