Social media fame is the holy grail of the marketing world - we work our butts off for those likes, retweets, and follows. But sometimes it just doesn't happen.
Part of the problem with the social media landscape in this regard is that it's just so huge - you're literally competing with brands from all over the globe in one intense, fast-moving stream. To truly master social media, you need to think outside of the box in order to make yourself stand out and be noticed among the growing crowd.
In this post, we're going to take a look at some brands that have been able to do just that - and also what we can learn from their success.
Airbnb is a community-driven hospitality company that enables people to list and find vacation homes online. As such, they're already in a great position for posting visual content. Check out some of their gorgeous Instagram posts:
Visuals plays a huge factor when choosing a vacation home, and these awesome images help Airbnb to stand out as a unique provider in their industry.
In fact, Airbnb's Instagram mastery was even officially acknowledged this year when they won the 2016 Shorty Award for 'Best Overall Instagram Presence'.
But even on less visual forms of social media, Airbnb work hard at creating a community with their hosts and guests. They tweet about current topics:
They respond to their Facebook comments:
Charmin is a toilet paper manufacturer. And while that may not be the most exciting product to market, Charmin's marketing team have truly excelled in the social space.
Charmin raise awareness of their brand on Twitter by creating hashtag marketing campaigns - such as #TweetfromtheSeat and #EnjoytheGo. People love their tongue in cheek humor and this has resulted in the company's Twitter following skyrocketing.
Here are a few examples of customers getting involved:
The brand will also often 'hijack' trending topics, which, done right, can be a great way to gain extra exposure.
Zendesk is a customer service software company. Yep, that's right. They're B2B.
It can be a real struggle for B2B companies to make a lasting impression on social media, but Zendesk nail it with their perfect balance of humor and professionalism.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, they post about business-y topics, but in a humorous way. Check it out:
They are also pretty open with their followers on social media, often asking them questions and giving insights into their business:
This kind of openness captures what social media is all about, and can really help a brand stand out (poetry not intended).
Skincare brand Nivea are very hands on when it comes to social media marketing.
On Twitter, for example, they actively reach out to people who are tweeting about skin problems:
You may have noticed that no hashtags were used in the above tweets. So, what sorcery did Nivea use to find and take advantage of these marketing opportunities?
Easy. They used the Twitter search bar -- no magic necessary. The search bar at the top of Twitter isn't just for #hashtags and @handles, you can actually search for any term and see real-time tweets that include it.
So if, for example, you're a skincare brand, you could simply search for 'bad skin' and click on the 'Live' tab to find people tweeting about their bad skin.
Then all you have to do is reply to them to show what an awesome brand you are.
Nivea also use their 'think outside the box' marketing style on Instagram, by collaborating with other brands such as Superdrug. Just a few weeks ago, Nivea took over Superdrug's Instagram channel for the day.
They posted all about their products and gained themselves added exposure, thousands of likes, and plenty of new followers.
5. NASA [Mars Curiosity]
Space travel, science - it isn't for everyone. But cute, personified robotic rovers, everyone loves those, right?
Well, it certainly seems that way, judging from the social media success of NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover.
NASA has set up social media accounts for Curiosity, and posts first-person updates from the rovers big adventure:
This is a really great technique from NASA to gain more brand exposure, and therefore more public interest in their missions.
Seeing as it worked so well for Curiosity, NASA's space probe, Juno, now also has its own social accounts where you can view updates from its mission to Jupiter:
Five very different brands with very different social media marketing tactics, I'm sure you'll agree?
The great thing about taking a look at brands that have truly mastered social media (once you get past the insane envy) is that they all use techniques that can be adopted and mastered by any brand.
Yes, you can try the Nivea "search and help" and you can master the Charmin hashtag marketing campaign. All you have to do is test, analyze and refine.
The more time and effort you put into social media, the more you will get out of it.