It has become almost a necessity for any modern brand to have a strong social media presence. From reaching a larger audience to bolstering customer consideration, social media helps marketers keep track of competitors and learn more about the customer’s buying patterns.
According to Facebook, 83% of users now utilize Instagram to discover new products and services. 87% become more likely to make a purchase after checking out a brand’s social account. A couple of simple yet interesting stats are that 90.4% of millennials and 77.5% of Generation X have become social media users.
Seasoned marketers know they must reach customers through a variety of social channels (not just one or two). In the context of creative, to get your juices flowing, we’ve compiled a list of clever social media marketing examples by top brands, and unpacked a bit about what marketers can learn from them.
Nike – Emotional and inspiring content
It should come as no surprise that Nike is one of the most-followed Instagram accounts today. With 146 million followers at its disposal, the brand cleverly uses an emotional approach to soft-selling.
For example, in a recent post, Nike highlighted a roller skater who champions body positivity. The post received 194,000 likes and resonated with its community who wants to read uplifting and inclusive stories.
According to social media manager Wes Warfield, the sports apparel brand gives employees guidelines for handling customers and empowering them to “represent the brand” in their own way.
Warfield said, “We make sure that our team is briefed on the stories that are going to be told among the various Instagram accounts. Doing so helps us to stay consistent in terms of voice, messaging, hashtags, captions, etc.”
Sephora – Tips and tricks
Makeup enthusiasts tend to appreciate tips and tricks. Retail giant Sephora uses this to its advantage. Taking a glance at its Instagram page (clocking in at 20.7 million followers), we can already see several beauty hacks posted by influencers and business owners whose brands are available at Sephora.
For example, in this post, Sephora invited beauty entrepreneur Bee Shapiro to do a live chat about the company’s products on Mother’s Day. Garnering 90,000 views, the post is fun to watch and gives followers valuable information that may inform their purchases.
Sephora also likes to give shoutouts to various social causes, like this one, where it highlights brands owned by Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. Another one focuses on Patrick Ta and his life story.
Wendy’s – Unconventional methods
It was 2017 when Wendy's caught everyone's attention for its hilarious tweets that ‘roasted’ competitors (namely McDonald's). Not only did the fast food chain increase its Twitter following by hundreds of thousands in a short period (currently it has 3.8 million Twitter followers), but the stunt also impacted income.
Not stopping there, Wendy's took it a step further by releasing a five-track mixtape called "We Beefin'?" in 2018. If you're wondering whether the brand’s social team asked for approval before posting a tweet, you’re in for a surprise.
According to Wendy's chief concept and marketing officer Kurt Kane, his team follows a standard set of rules, but they have total freedom to experiment, even if they make mistakes at times. Kane said, "We want to be likable and sassy. We don't want to be seen as sarcastic and rude. But we walk a fine line."
It’s important to note that Wendy's roasting method is not for anyone. However, several notable brands like Slim Jim, for example, have since followed Wendy’s lead and incorporated memes and humor into their social media marketing approach.
Starbucks - Customer interactions
With millions of followers, the famous coffee brand uses Twitter mainly to interact with customers. A glance at the Starbucks Twitter page shows how the company harnesses the power of user-generated-content. The feed is filled with customers’ retweets. The company also makes sure to cheerfully reply to anyone who mentions Starbucks-related terms online (e.g. venti latte, grande frappuccino, etc).
In fact, according to Unmetric, 99% of Starbucks tweets are replies and retweets. This is how the coffee giant successfully encourages customers to share their love of the brand online as a form of free advertising.
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