It's estimated that there are 2.22 billion social media users worldwide and nearly two-thirds of Americans use social media. What's more, is 35% of consumers have made a purchase based on social media ads. So for brands, succeeding on social media is of the utmost importance.
And while it may seem easy to get things right on social media, it's a lot harder than it looks. Brands have to walk the fine line of promoting their products while also creating a genuine connection with their followers - and those who they would like to be followed by. It's a game that is not easily mastered (as evidenced by these faux pas), but here are 10 companies who are getting it right.
WeWork is a business that provides shared office spaces in cities around the world, and they do a great job of showcasing their unique work spaces. If you can believe it, some of their photos will actually make you want to work. But the brand doesn't just stop at sharing their space, they encourage their followers to take part in the sharing too, using their slogan "Do What You Love." The company also uses fun hashtags such as #DogsOfWeWork to encourage users to post to their account. They take it a step further by choosing the best #DogsOfWeWork submissions each year and creating a calendar. Other unique hashtags that get users engaged included #TGIM (Thank-God-It's-Monday) and #WeWorkViews.
ASOS does a great job of diversifying their social media by using their stylists to expand their reach. Each of ASOS' stylists has their own Instagram account where they post their daily fashionable lives. In effect, they become everyday brand ambassadors, not just employees. This helps create a genuine connection between ASOS and their followers who enjoy seeing men and women "just like them," rocking the lifestyle brand.
The brand also does a great job with the 80/20 rule of social media - posting brand content 80% of the time and more generic content 20% of the time. For example, while they post images of their clothing, they also share memes and other images that they feel would resonate with their target audience.
Many people would look at a toilet paper company and think, "who would possibly want to follow them on social media?" 1,033,186 people to be exact, and that's on Facebook alone! Charmin has achieved success on social media by not taking themselves too seriously. Their series of #TweetsFromTheSeat gained popularity not only among social media followers but among other brands seeking to understand how to achieve social media gold, even for life's most mundane products.
Charmin has also achieved success by taking their social media tactics offline. For example, in celebration of National Toilet Paper Day, they had "The Naked Cowboy" hand out rolls of toilet paper in Times Square, and documented the event on their social channels.
T-Mobile has also gained notoriety for being social media savvy, earning points for their great customer service via social channels. In fact, T-Mobile answered nearly 86% of consumer questions on social media. This is not only great for one-on-one service, but it's a solid way to provide answers to questions that many customers may have, from how to get the best data package for their new Samsung Galaxy S7, or what accessories come with their iPad Pro. In addition, their public responsiveness to customer concerns isn't just good for their social following, but also helps to create a positive public perception for the brand.
5. Taco Bell
In a world where memes are taking over, Taco Bell has mastered the quick-wit tone that so many users in their target audience enjoy. While it can be difficult to quantify how this translates into Taco sales, one thing that is does translate into is likes, followers and social media shares, ultimately increasing their overall brand exposure.
Taco Bell has also achieved success as they dive head first into some of the newest social media tools. For example, they were one of the first brands to enter the Snapchat arena. In addition, when the taco emoji came out in November 2015, they launched a campaign called the #TacoEmojiEngine. Users who tweet a taco emoji to the company receive a gif, photo, video or meme back immediately. The company has more than 600 pieces of original content for the engine. With this, and their other campaigns, Taco Bell has found a way to make social media interactive and fun for their users.
6. Narragansett Brewing Company
For Narragansett Brewing Company, social media success is all about contests. The brand frequently hosts contests where they ask followers to vote on things like their next can design or their calendar of 'Gansett Girls. Although the company isn't as quite a household name as Coors, they've amassed an impressive following of more than 20,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 50,000 on Facebook.
7. Red Bull
Red Bull uses social media channels, particularly Instagram, to post engaging photos that aren't just eye-catching but that portray the very activities that their target audience finds exciting. While they post much less frequently than other brands, each of their posts achieves significantly higher engagement numbers. Their social media success is proof of the importance of quality over quantity.
There may seem to be no rhyme or reason to Denny's posts on social media, but whoever controls their account is doing something right. Perhaps the trick to their social media success is that most of their posts look natural, rather than polished. For example, one of their most successful tweets was a birthday shout out to Dave Grohl, which included no hashtags, no proper capitalization and no visible "ploy" to earn followers to attention. It's clear that some followers appreciate the genuine tone, as Denny's Facebook page has more than 1,000,000 followers.
While many brands have built their following and social engagement base on humor and light-hearted posts, Dove has gained notoriety for their willingness to speak up on important issues including women's body image. Last year, the brand partnered with Twitter to launch a #SpeakBeautiful campaign which encouraged users to speak more positively about beauty and body image on social media - and off. Doing so has made their social channels a positive environment, one in which women - and men - are happy to be a part of.
GrubHub takes #FoodPorn to a whole new level. The company's social media channels, particularly Instagram are a food lover's masterpiece. In addition, this past Father's Day they engaged users by asking them to share their favorite food memory with dad for a chance to win an exclusive NYC dining experience. While GrubHub does a great job of sharing the food it makes available to its customers, they don't neglect the experiences that go along with it.