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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Digging Out of the Social Media Hole: How 3 Brands Did it

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Guest Blog: Real-Life Social Role Models

    At some point in history, a business expanding to social media to raise brand awareness and reach out to customers seemed like an innovative and groundbreaking idea. Nowadays, if your business isn’t on social media, you might as well be dead in the water.

    Of course, that also means that it’s going to take more than a Facebook page and some memes to get people to notice your business over the millions of others trying to do the same thing. So what companies should you be modeling your social media strategy on?

    Zappos: The Full Twitter Experience

    In a more personal way than liking a brand on Facebook, following a brand on Twitter requires a certain level of commitment from a consumer. By following you, they can expect to see any and all of your marketing tweets mixed right in, without any distinction between those of celebrities or friends.

    The common tactic for businesses is to use Twitter as a public rapid-response to address customer complaints, thus illustrating how willing to work with problems your company is, but the secret to a strong Twitter presence takes something else.

    Zappos owns its Twitter presence by posting entertaining, disarming, interesting, and friendly tweets. To top it all off, these posts are often relevant to their business, relating to new products, unusual orders, or customer testimonials. There’s nothing to differentiate following Zappos as a brand and following Zappos as a person of interest, and that’s what makes its tweets so compelling.

    Taco Bell: Unafraid to Try New Things

    Mexican-style fast food restaurant Taco Bell decided during the 90’s that it would focus on the younger demographic with edgy commercials and a fearless approach to advertisement and it virtually reinvented the brand overnight.

    From a talking chihuahua who soon showed up in the back windshield of cars everywhere before the idea of a meme entered the public consciousness to adopting online trends as quickly and effortlessly as its trendy patrons, Taco Bell is always on the cutting edge when it comes to marketing.

    Their social media strategy reflects this modernity, as it is quite arguably not Facebook or Twitter where the franchise shines, but Instagram. The photo-sharing site is mostly frequented by pictophiles who love taking and sharing photos of nearly anything, and it is in this medium that Taco Bell effortlessly advertises promotions and new items with simple but evocative images that are mostly playful in nature.

    Taco Bell continues to innovate and look for new avenues to grow, recently running a campaign in which anybody who added the company on messaging service SnapChat was sent a picture of an upcoming menu item directly.

    Old Spice: Content Too Unique Not to Share

    Old Spice made a similarly radical shift from your grandfather’s mysterious deodorant to viral video darlings. The campaign began with a series of bizarre yet masterfully shot and edited commercials featuring the “Old Spice Guy” extolling the virtues of smelling clean.

    The humorous spots in themselves were too funny not to spread like wildfire across social media, and the brand took things a step further by introducing extended web-only content in the same vein and even some interactive marketing.

    The full experience gave customers something to talk about and share without feeling like they were parroting advertisement. Old Spice elected not to take itself so seriously and just used creative fun as a way to give their brand notoriety.

    Over the years, the campaign has evolved to include celebrities and other similar concepts, but the creativity, humor, and general weirdness remains. Their marketing remains something that is boisterous in being entertaining and subtle in advertising, and that helps to draw people to share it without fear of criticism or backlash from friends.

    While your brand may not have access to a big-budget marketing firm or around the clock social media management, any business can follow in the entertaining, fearless, and human examples of these brands to create a social media presence that speaks up and gets noticed in the crowd. It just takes a little creativity and the willingness to make the content you yourself would get excited about.

    How does your business best utilize social media? Share your comments below!

    Author Bio: Mark Kirkpatrick, an enthusiastic writer who enjoys sharing his research with other businesses so that they can better their brand. His writing, which can also be found on VirtualPhone-Number.com’s blog, covers innovations in business tech, office communications and virtual offices.

    Social Media Tuneup


    Topics: Social Media