Social media marketing lessons from 5 notable brands

From toilet paper to technology, your product or service can get a positive jolt from a distinctive online voice. Examine these approaches to see what might work for your web presence.

Part of the problem with pursuing social media fame is that the internet is so huge—you’re competing with brands worldwide in one intense, fast-moving stream.

To master social media marketing, you must make your brand distinctive.

Let’s look at a handful of outstanding brand strategies, drawing lessons from their successes:

1. Airbnb

Airbnb is a community-driven hospitality company that enables people to list and find vacation homes online, putting it in a great position for posting visual content.

Check out some of its gorgeous Instagram posts:

Visuals play a huge role in guiding people to choose a vacation home, and these striking images help Airbnb stand out in the travel industry.

Even for less visual forms of social media, Airbnb’s team works hard at creating a community with its hosts and guests, tweeting about current topics:

It also responds to Facebook comments:

It has even coined hashtags: #LiveThere and #BelongAnywhere.

The stats:

2. Charmin

Charmin makes toilet paper, and though that might not be the most exciting product to peddle, Charmin’s marketing team has excelled on social media.

Charmin creates hashtag marketing campaigns such as #TweetfromtheSeat and #EnjoytheGo. People love its wry humor, which has sent the company’s Twitter following skyrocketing.

Here are a few examples of customer involvement:

The brand will also often hijack trending topics—which, done right, can gain significant exposure.

The stats:

3. Zendesk

Zendesk is a customer service software company. Yep, that’s right: It’s B2B.

It can be a real struggle for B2B companies to make a lasting impression on social media, but Zendesk nails it with its perfect balance of humor and professionalism.

What does that mean exactly?

Well, it posts about business-y topics, but in an amusing way. Check it out:

Its social media managers are also quite 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 it can help a brand stand out.

The stats:

4. Nivea

Skin-care brand Nivea is hands on when it comes to social media marketing.

On Twitter, for example, its social media managers 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’s social media managers use to 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 search for any term and see tweets that include it.

So if, for example, you’re representing a skin-care brand, you could simply search for “bad skin” and click on the Live tab to find people tweeting about their dermatological issues.

Then just reply to show them how awesome your brand is.

Nivea’s social media managers also get creative on Instagram, collaborating with teams at brands such as Superdrug. Just a few weeks ago, the Nivea folks 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.

The stats:

5. NASA [Mars Curiosity]

Space travel and science aren’t for everyone, but cute, personified, robotic rovers-everyone loves those, right?

Well, it certainly seems that way, judging from the online success of NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover.

NASA has set up social media accounts for Curiosity, posting first-person updates from Rover’s big adventure:

This is a great technique from NASA for gaining brand exposure and, therefore, public interest in its missions.

Because it worked so well for Curiosity, the NASA probe Juno now has its own social accounts so you can view updates from its mission to Jupiter:

The stats:

How might you emulate these approaches—or gain inspiration from them—to promote your organization on social media platforms?

A version of this article first appeared on Publ.ish.

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