Social Media Study: The Muppets’ Comeback

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After more than a decade away from the big screen, the Muppets have come back in a big way, opening second in the box office only to the mammoth Twilight movie with rave critical reviews and the top soundtrack on iTunes. No surprise, then, that there is already talk of a doing another movie. And while certainly the quality of the film and traditional advertising are a big part of the movie’s success, it also owes a lot of credit to its social media campaign, and many of the strategies they used can also be applied to other companies and endeavors.

Give your “characters” a voice.
The movie itself had a Facebook page, but so did Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie, Animal, Gonzo, and Walter. And each of these characters used their special talents to woo us into seeing the movie. Miss Piggy used her charm. Fozzie used his humor. And Kermit used his leadership abilities. Consider how your employees can showcase their talents online to show all the different facets of your company.

Have your own “Fan-A-Thon.” The Muppets encourage people to sign up for the various character feeds by promising access to special advanced free screenings if they reached a “bazillion” likes. This gave people an incentive to hit the “like” button and helped them to build an audience for their social media campaign. Something companies have done on Facebook to encourage people to become fans is to promise a donation to a charitable donation for every “like” or once a certain number has been reached.

Ask followers for their “Manha-Manha.” The Muppets encouraged their fans to participate in an endless “Manha-Manha” by sending in their own videos. They then added these videos to the stream along with the original Muppets and various celebrities singing the songs. This kind of audience participation is what makes social media marketing so great. Look for ways that you can ask for your followers to contribute to your company.

Share badges. The Facebook page offered countless ways that you could show your Muppet pride on your home page. You could encourage people to join up by sharing one that said “Fan the Muppets.” You could let people know that you planned to see the movie on opening weekend. And you could proclaim your awesomeness if you had seen the movie more than once. This is a great (and inexpensive) way of rewarding people for participation and also allowing them to become a part of your organization. Make it easy for fans to share their appreciation for your brand by giving them clear and easy access to graphics that they can post on their Facebook, Twitter, website, or blog.

Above all, what the social media campaign for The Muppets did well was it kept its followers entertained. The page was frequently updated with new posts from the characters, trailers, spoof posters, artwork, photos, interviews, and other special events. They kept their followers engaged, and their followers repaid them by seeing the movie.