5 Brands Killing It On Social Media (and what you can learn)

Since maintaining a presence on social media became a branding necessity in the early 2010s, we’ve seen plenty of “growing pains” along the way. Navigating the world of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and whatever new platforms the kids are on these days has become such an undertaking that the social media management industry has seen a massive increase in importance.

Of course, some brands are in an industry that is built for creating social media content (for example, those who are in the ‘outdoors’ industry) and others, like an insurance company, do their best to try to keep you awake when you visit their page. In this article, I’ll go over eight big brands who have mastered the art of social media and have grown significantly because of it.


1. Slack

Do the words “workplace communication and collaboration” sound like the recipe for great social media content? For most of us (hey, no judgement if it does to you) the answer would be a resounding no. Still, Slack has embodied one of the components of a successful social strategy: inform!

Slack’s platform might be easy to use, but there are a number of hidden tips and tricks that go overlooked by its users. With this in mind, Slack has turned their social media channels into a master course in how to use all of Slack’s functions with maximum efficiency.

If your business utilizes this messaging service, I highly recommend giving them a follow. There’s a good chance you’ll gain a new appreciation for their products, and you’ll simplify your work day – something we can all get behind.

2. Nike

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but at some point in the past five years, large corporations began taking a stance on various social justice issues. Nike has embraced this idea, and has developed several social media campaigns that center around inclusiveness, diversity, and other causes of the times. Their ability to stay current has paid off as to the tune of billions of dollars.

It’s important to recognize that treading into “social issues” can be tricky, and Nike has faced plenty of criticism for taking public stances on various debates of our time. But at the end of the day, the numbers don’t lie. If you’re managing social content for a business and want to contribute to the conversation, try focusing on causes that you feel confident most people can get behind. Nike’s recent messaging around athletes with disabilities is a great example of a feel-good campaign that both empowers its customers and displays the company’s empathy toward those who face significant challenges.

Before incorporating this type of messaging into your own strategy, one general rule to keep in mind is that it’s okay to get into “social” waters, but it’s probably best to stay out of anything that is overtly “political.” If you’re thinking that a post might alienate some of your followers, it might be best to rethink it before pressing send.

3. GoPro

If Slack’s products are the antithesis of what makes for great social media content, GoPro is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. The action-camera and video editing company has the advantage of selling a product that captures ready-made social media content that is simply hard to compete with, not to mention anyone can do it.

Perhaps the biggest concern of GoPro’s social media team was that eventually people would get tired of seeing endless surfing, snowboarding, skiing, etc. videos and they’d start to lose their appeal. With that in mind, GoPro has developed creative campaigns such as giving out awards to customers that upload, as they put it, “Anything awesome.” This is the definition of how social media should be used to both engage an audience and build community.

Even if you’ve never mountain biked and can’t understand why anyone would want to go skydiving, GoPro’s social media channels will make you appreciate that someone took the time to get it all on video.

4. Starbucks

The undisputed king of coffee has a social media strategy that might just be as good as their beverage concoctions. Without question, their drinks make for some pretty outstanding visual content that can’t help but make you want to open up the app and find the nearest store to you, but their strategy goes beyond just posting lattes and teas.

Starbucks is a prime example of how a brand should interact with its followers. Their #WhatsYourName campaign has focused on inclusivity, and they’ve even won an award for Diversity in Advertising. They’ve gone all-in on making sure every potential customer has a seat at their table, and that message resonates loud and clear to their tens-of-millions of social media followers across the major platforms.

5. IBM

As a brand, being forward-thinking has many obvious benefits. But does that mean the past is irrelevant? IBM certainly doesn’t think so! One of the true pioneers of modern technology, IBM has embraced storytelling as the cornerstone of its marketing strategy.

If you happen to stumble upon IBM’s social media pages, you don’t have to be a computer or technology-oriented individual to appreciate the content they put out on a regular basis. It’s fascinating to see how far we’ve come in terms of computing power since the early days of IBM, and the way they explain it is such that it’s accessible to everyone.

IMB is a perfect example of how to use the four P’s of storytelling (people, place, plot, and purpose) to create truly inspiring material. The best part? It’s a history lesson that feels more like entertainment!


Wrapping Up

Regardless of the type of business you’re promoting on social media, incorporate some of the key tenets that have made the businesses on this list so successful: be engaging, consider your audience’s preferences, and stay current. Instead of focusing on the hard sell, use your various social platforms as a way to stay top-of-mind and to keep your customers informed as well as entertained.

If your business needs helping putting together an effective social media gameplan, get in touch today for customized solutions that fit your needs, goals, and budget.