Foreword Online

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Social Media Strategies from Successful Brands

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 5/4/15 11:00 PM
Topics: social media

Everybody is doing some form of social media these days, but some are doing it better than others. Re-posted below are a few examples of companies with incredibly successful social media strategies, as well as tips to help your use some of their ideas to improve your brand. A complete list of these companies and their strategies can be found here at Buffer's blog, so be sure to click that link and read through the full selection.

Lesson #2: Inspire like Red Bull

The thrill-seeking energy drink brand Red Bull gets huge per-post engagement from Instagram. Yet according to an analysis by SimplyMeasured, the company made fewer posts to Instagram than any of its other social networks, averaging just 0.6 posts per day.

red bull content mix

Red Bull’s Instagram story is proof that it doesn’t matter how much content you publish. It matters what that content is.

5_Red Bull_Instagram

What makes Red Bull’s Instagram posts (and content in general) so engaging is its focus on two core values: action and inspiration.

Red Bull highlights people doing extraordinary things in extraordinary places. This content appeals to risk takers, recreational athletes, and all viewers who are stirred by the Red Bull vision of life.

The picture below, for example, has 66K likes. It drives engagement not because viewers can relate to it, but because it makes viewers stop in their tracks and say, “wow.”(Or, more likely to Red Bull’s audience, “sick.”)

6_Red Bull_Wow

Red Bull also does a marvelous job unifying the subsections of its brand into a cohesive experience on Instagram.

Follow the main @redbull account and you see what you’d expect from the brand—epic, visual content of people doing “extreme” things. However, a closer look reveals a melding of the brand’s various areas of focus into one. Red Bull is active in sports, but also in music and art. Interspersed with people jumping off cliffs, are colorful and creative images that embody the same sentiment of living life in a big, inspiring way.


How you can inspire:

  • Get to know your audience in-depth.
    • Find out their likes and dislikes using Facebook’s business tools.
    • Understand what they’re searching for using Google AdWords.
    • Create marketing personas to help you understand what interests and excites each type of audience member that you can align with.
  • Create content around not just your product but also the greater idea and values of your product. In an interview with Mashable, the freelance journalist Nicke Amies spoke about his experience writing for the Red Bull-financed magazine Red Bulletin:

    “I’ve never been asked to crowbar Red Bull into any story I’ve done with them,” he said. “The promotion of the brand comes through the activities I cover.”

  • Remember: People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves.marioSell the experience of your product, not just its features.

Lesson #3: Provide value like MailChimp

Pictures of people jumping out of the sky is definitely engaging. But that kind of content doesn’t make sense for many brands.

Even if you don’t think your industry is sexy, it is providing value. If it weren’t, you’d go out of business. Figure out the needs and wants of your audience, and deliver the content that meets those needs.

MailChimp does a great job of this. Their posts are data-heavy and value driven. They feature great go-to email guides, and spotlight trends that provide immediate value to their marketing audience.


MailChimp is focused on not just providing customers with value through content, but also value through customer service. A quick look at the “Tweets & Replies” thread on their Twitter account reveals a regular cadence of warm replies, in a friendly rather than formal tone.


Notice how all the URLs in the above picture begin with “” The company is so dedicated to making customers feel valued that they actually built a product that allows customers to get in-depth answers quickly via social media, without having to send dozens of tweets back and forth.

How you can provide value:

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