Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Social Media Strategies Your Store Can Learn From Big Businesses

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 3/21/16 11:00 PM
Topics: social media, Marketing to Students

Have you ever come across a social media post from a big conglomerate and thought to yourself, "Wow, that's cool - but my store couldn't ever do something like that"? If you have, it might be time to reevaluate your thinking. Sure, maybe you couldn't get a celebrity endorsement, but there are a lot of ways that big brands behave on social media that your store can learn from, no matter the discrepancy in size. In her article on Buffer's blog, Dara Fontein lists "7 Big Brand Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses". Check out a portion of Dara's list below, or read through all seven steps here.

Case 5: The New Yorker

Core Strategy: User-generated content

Platforms Used: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn

One of the toughest challenges faced by social media marketers is the constant pressure to come up with new and unique content that your audience is going to love. The New Yorker, with their 13.3 million followers, recognized that nobody knows what their audience wants more than their audience themselves. With a goal to extend beyond their brand’s organic reach, The New Yorker is constantly looking to engage with their audience as much as possible. To do this, they realized that finding ways to include their readers’ voices on their social channels solves at least two problems.

Brands are able to increase the amount of unique content (as it’s being provided by their readers), and are able to engage at a higher level with their audience. Speaking to this, The New Yorker explains, “On Instagram, we regularly Regram followers who use #newyorkerinthewild, a popular hashtag that highlights the settings in which our fans read the magazine. On Twitter, we introduced a dedicated hashtag campaign—#myTNY—to foster discussion about readers and staff writers’ favorite New Yorker stories.”

How to apply this strategy

Running a user-generated campaign is one of the most cost-effective ways of creating content for your social channels, which means it’s perfect for your small business. Our guide, “Content Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses,” offers the following tips for user-generated campaigns:

  1. Encourage media-rich, informative reviews.
  2. Let your customers display the product in the best light with photo reviews.
  3. Repost your customers’ Instagram photos.
  4. If your product is edible, show off use cases for your products with user-generated recipes.
  5. Organize writing contests.
  6. Let your customers show off the best use cases for your product.

Case 6: Starbucks

Core strategy: Using influencers

Platforms used: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Vine

When Kim Kardashian credited the LuMee LED-light infused mobile phone case as the secret behind her glowing skin and flawless Instagram selfies, fans flocked to the product, purchasing it in droves. An influencer is a powerful thing for content marketers, and Starbucks recognized and implemented this in their recent Frappuccino Summer of Fun campaign. With Nielsen confirming that “77 percent of people are more likely to buy a product that’s recommended by someone they trust,” Starbucks used this information to drive their campaign.

How to apply this strategy

There are influencers in all industries, so your small business can find these individuals with some simple tips. Our guide, “How to Find and Engage with Social Media Influencers,” recommends the following four steps for creating long-lasting, valuable influencer relationships.

Step 1: Define your social media influencers (through relevance, reach, and resonance)

Step 2: Find your social media influencers (with tools like, through individual social networks, search engines, etc.)

Step 3: Engage with social media influencers (through interacting with their content, participating in conversations with them, etc.)

Step 4: Maintain relationships with social media influencers (through keeping track of them via Twitter lists, keeping track of their blogs through Hootsuite Syndicator, etc.)

Article comments

Subscribe for updates

Share your experience

Contact our editorial team to set up an interview or to contribute a guest post.

Most popular posts