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At one time, social media was pretty much uncharted territory for big consumer brands. Getting “the voice” of the brand just right for Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram took an adjustment period. However, now it’s hard to deny that some of America’s favorite brands have absolutely nailed social media – they are creating fresh, relevant content and they have figured out how to adapt content for a wide range of different social media platforms. It seems so easy anyone can do it, right?
Examples of big brands doing social media right
There is a real art to creating fun social media content that doesn’t sound canned and rehearsed, which is why a brand like Taco Bell has had so much success with young millennials. You’d have to put this company at the top of the list of consumer-facing brands that have figured out how to use new social media platforms as they are emerging.
And, if you were putting together a list of the big brands doing social media right, you’d have to include the following:
- Oreo Cookies
Each one of these major brands has figured out a way to carve out a place for itself in the social media world. For example, Oreo Cookies continually comes up with fresh, creative content – like the special Halloween series of #OreoHorrorStories, in which they re-enacted scenes from classic horror films using Oreo cookies. Netflix is known for its GIFs and for keeping its finger on the pulse of mainstream pop culture. Dove is known for its inspirational campaigns aimed at women, and GoPro is known for its amazing user-generated content.
Can smaller brands expect similar results?
These brands seem to have such an intuitive grasp of social media that they tend to make things look easy. But let’s put things into perspective – these huge brands also have huge budgets, a team of digital designers on call, and plenty of resources. All of these play an important role in being able to deliver a world-class social media experience.
For example, let’s take the example of Oreo Cookies. What they did might not seem extraordinary on the surface – create a series of cute videos using cookies just in time for Halloween. But think of how much work goes into making a video that people actually want to watch. And Oreo went one step further – they created a whole series of these “movies.” And there’s one more wrinkle – they used Vine, which at the time, was the “cool kids” platform for sharing social media. So they just absolutely nailed every aspect of this promotion.
In contrast, if you’re a small business, you might not even have a full marketing staff – just a few people who post things to social media when they have time. And these people may or may not have a design or video background! Moreover, let’s face facts – while creating social media content is essentially free, there is an opportunity cost involved – the time you spend crafting the perfect Instagram post is time you probably should have spent on adding the finishing touches to an important client presentation!
The role of your customers in creating great social media content
The lesson here is that launching an informed, relevant and engaging social media presence takes time. It’s not something that you just delegate to the summer intern, and it’s not something that you can skimp on when it comes to cost.
For that reason, it’s so important to be able to leverage an often-overlooked resource: your fans. They can be incredibly creative, and given the right incentives, can probably come up with social media content that’s just as good as that created by the professionals. Thus, if you’re looking for a boost to your social media to keep up with the big brands, think about ways to leverage this powerful, untapped resource.