Social ROI is tricky to track and the results aren’t always clear because shares don’t translate directly into sales. But there’s something to be said for the value of killing it in brand awareness when studies have shown we literally like brands as much as we like some people. Those positive feelings can be pretty powerful in a world where we spend our days choosing between options in everything we do. Emotions are an inherent part of the decision-making process and that’s why social marketing cannot be ignored.
People across demographics now spend a seventh of their waking hours engaging with social media. You can capture your share of those hearts and minds by following the lead of these social-savvy big brands:
Red Bull – pitchless wonders
Good luck spotting pitches or product on this brand’s social channels. Instead the logo appears, albeit briefly, on their highly-viewed YouTube videos and custom Spotify channel, but the promos you see are for the Sheckler Sessions, not flavor variations. Red Bull keeps engagement and awareness high while promoting positive associations by putting its name on the kind of extreme sports its fans are obsessive about. The core of its strategy is positioning itself as the promoter rather than the product being promoted.
T-Mobile – the everyman
When T-Mobile creates conversations, they’re usually in the voice of someone you’d want to grab a beer with. While that’s not the only factor driving the fact that the company has enjoyed nine consecutive quarters of adding a million customers or more, it’s a big part of it. Reps answer customer service queries quickly across channels. And hashtag campaigns like #breakupletter, #unleash, #nocontract and #UncarrierAmped invite fans to join a conversation that is definitely a two-way street. Because of its promotions, offers, and high-customer engagement with interactive content online, T-Mobile is a force to be reckoned with.
Taco Bell – unexpected artists
The brand has taken a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ approach to its social marketing, dishing up artsy photos of hipsters enjoying epically stacked burritos. Scroll by quickly and it’s easy enough to mistake Taco Bell’s trendy content for that of the stars of Instagram. Ditto for the brand’s quirky approach to the comments section, where Taco Bell’s team takes an irreverent, playful tone and is more than willing to get in on the joke.
Nordstrom – Pinterest giants
This retailer is all over Pinterest, the social site that boasts an intriguing link between higher income and increased likelihood of use. Nordstrom’s in-store Pinterest app represents a perfect partnership when you consider that the brand’s customer base is definitely flush with cash. The pin gets more powerful under Nordstrom’s watchful eye – the app monitors the most popular pins from its site and alerts salespeople when products are in inventory. Customers are treated to store displays and suggested buys that line up with recent trending pins, making them feel like fashion insiders. Everyone wins!
Your company may not have the time to invest in social marketing at the level of global beverage labels and nationwide retail chains but that doesn’t mean social can be ignored. Take whatever inspiration you can from these brands and remember that customers are looking for you on social media. If they don’t find you? They’re going to look elsewhere.