**This article was originally written in 2015. Due to the changing social media landscape , this blog was updated on July 1st, 2020. We left our original list of top ten brands on social media from 2015 at the bottom of the article so readers could compare and contrast.
At The Media Captain, we understand that social media offers a unique marketing opportunity unlike any other. It allows brands to interact with consumers directly, developing their own voices independent of other advertising channels. And while this opportunity is afforded to any company that has a social media presence, some take better advantage of it than others. The platform is a chance to gain new consumers, catch the eye of other big names, and grow your brand. In 2015, we came up with our definitive list of the top ten brands on social media. But that was five years ago! Social media marketing has changed. So we’ve updated our list. From heartwarming content to cheeky responses, these ten companies are making the most out of their social media presence in 2020.
Wendy’s Twitter is truly a masterclass in social media marketing. Witty and responsive, they never miss an opportunity to cast shade at a competing fast-food chain or roast a fan. In fact, it can be argued that Wendy’s started the trend of sassy corporate social media. In January of 2017, their response to a tweet went viral, sparking a new way to approach social media marketing.
Wendy’s social media team hit it out of the park, gaining hundreds of thousands of retweets, comments, followers, and engagement. And it was just getting started. Not soon after, a teen’s tweet exchange with Wendy’s got the most retweets ever, winning him a year worth of free Wendy’s chicken nuggets.
This just shows the power of a good social media account. Not only did Wendy’s get invaluable exposure, but they also gained millions of followers, name recognition, and innumerable sales. From getting in rap battles with consumers, to burning Hardee’s so badly that they blocked Wendy’s on Twitter, their tweets illustrate how valuable social media can be to a company.
GoPro shows that you don’t need to be flippant to run a good social media account. Filled with stunning pictures, jaw-dropping videos, and informative tweets, GoPro illustrates that exceptional content is enough to drive user interaction. GoPro uses the platform to its fullest potential, though tagging athletes, other companies, and using popular hashtags. The name GoPro is synonymous with sports video, and the company uses that association to its advantage.
They also take advantage of multiple different platforms. Their YouTube account is full of heart-pounding videos, while their Instagram just shows how great their quality is. Not bad for a camera company.
Related Article: How Social Media Works For Brands [Explained By a Marketing Agency]/
While nearly every major company has some form of social media presence, most people don’t think of Charmin when they scroll through Twitter or Instagram. But they should! Charmin perfectly walks the line of witty, self-aware marketing that is happy to poke fun of itself, its market, and its product.
There are plenty of companies that don’t take full advantage of social media, but Charmin is not one of them. With nearly 12 thousand followers on Instagram and 85.2 thousand on Twitter, Charmin does social media right.
Nike’s marketing has been iconic ever since they first said, “Just Do It.” However, in recent years, they’ve transcended simply selling sports clothing to something much much more. From talking about social inequality to racial injustice, they have gone above and beyond to support malaligned communities and athletes, such as Colin Kaepernick.
While these posts are an incredible way to make a statement, they also are a fantastic way to increase your brand’s visibility. Colin Kaepernick’s post of the Nike ad got over 879 thousand likes and 372 thousand retweets. That type of virality is invaluable.
But that’s not all. Nike has cultivated its very own marketing language that’s uniquely suited to social media. The stoic portraits of famous athletes humanize these superstars and are perfect for a visually focused social media platform such as Instagram. And it works– Nike has over 115 million followers on Instagram, 8.2 million followers on Twitter, and over 34 million likes on Facebook.
Wayfair, the home decor company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, has become known in recent years by the creative way that they use their social media presence. They use each platform differently and play to each one’s strengths and weaknesses to great effect.
Wayfair’s Instagram is full of interior design tips, tricks, and inspiration. It uses the highly visual platform to show consumers how furniture would look in their homes. They upload images of beautifully designed rooms, videos highlighting specific products, and ways to update your interior design. The quality of the images and content is such that people will like and follow Wayfair’s page before realizing that they are selling something.
This strategy works particularly well because Wayfair makes all the pieces shown available for purchase with a link included in the posts. Many of the posts include a section called “In This Photo” where consumers can see a list of the items used and asking prices. This extremely easy and innovative feature drives business to their site and converts more views to sales.
Seamless, a subsidiary of GrubHub, is the de facto food delivery app of New York– and makes great use of that fact. Available exclusively in the City, their advertisements touch on key New York tropes, stereotypes, and jokes to aggressively target their market. This is the perfect example of understanding your consumer, and advertising specifically to them. Seamless’ social media has its own voice, which often echoes the consumer’s own. It sounds so conversational, hitting on topics that every New Yorker can relate to. This leads users to share their content more frequently with friends, making it even more effective.
Furthermore, Seamless has capitalized on the trend of taking pictures of food in a fantastic fashion. Their fantastic images and content advertise the wide selection of food they deliver, and users can easily find the restaurant that is featured.
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball has long been considered too slow for younger generations, and is generally portrayed as being outdated. However, their social media presence is anything but. Each of the major social media platforms has its own strengths and weaknesses, and MLB understands that. For Twitter, they are constantly tweeting and retweeting great plays, news about teams, and fun statistics. The key to Twitter is being concise, and MLB does it very well. Featuring great images, graphic design, and emojis, their posts pop off the screen, generating a huge amount of interaction.
But that’s not all! MLB uses their Instagram and Facebook presence to post stunning photos, infographics, and incredible plays. These posts get massive engagement for a variety of reasons. They often feature and tag famous players, who in turn expose the post to their own extensive fan base. They also get thousands of comments and responses from fans of baseball, happy to see their favorite team highlighted. Finally, MLB is great at responding to comments, reposting images and videos of fans playing the sport.
Finally, MLB has a variety of other pages and presences for particular things. For example, their page MLB Stats constantly posts fun statistics, great old photos, and other things that get great traction. All these combine to millions of follows, posts, and invaluable exposure.
Netflix has become such a household name, it’s easy to forget that they’re still a company that needs marketing. However, they’re a great example of social media marketing done properly. As a company who’s only product is content streaming, they use their accounts to highlight new shows and movies with colorful trailers and posters. This works incredibly well for a similar reason as MLB’s strategy. By tagging stars and musicians in these posts, they get their marketing material in front of countless more people. Furthermore, the actors featured also post and tweet about their newest projects, and tag Netflix.
Netflix also uses different accounts to promote different content. For example, their page, Netflix Is A Joke, promotes their comedy content, with clips from comedy specials and classic movies.
Pop-Tarts is a great example of a brand knowing its place in the market. They were one of the first companies to start leaning towards more absurdist marketing, and it really worked. Their self-referential humor and tweets engage their fanbase, and encourage users to comment and retweet. They often retweet their tags from other users, extending their exposure even further.
Pop-Tarts has also developed its own voice, skirting the line between snarky and witty. These exchanges get Pop-Tarts thousands of views, likes, and retweets, and each has the potential to go viral. Social Media, and Twitter, in particular, is an ocean of content for companies like Buzzfeed, and corporate tweets can easily be highlighted in a listicle that reaches millions of people. Pop-Tarts understands this, and does their best to stick out.
LinkedIn is, unsurprisingly, fantastic at social media. As a professional social media company themselves, they’re often forgotten in the Twitter-sphere and similar places. However, they use Twitter in a different way than most. They use it to quickly and effectively deal with user questions and issues. While this may not be a traditional usage, it has an ingenious result– their feed is full of happy users, praising LinkedIn’s quick response time. People constantly tweet their thanks to @LinkedInHelp, which in turn LinkedIn Retweets, further compounding exposure, and good reviews.
Social media is such an integral part of modern marketing, and it’s constantly evolving. User engagement, tweets, retweets, reposts, and more all influence how effective a brand is. Check out our original 2015 list of social media brands below!
Below was our original list of Top 10 Brands on Social Media in 2015. Wow, a lot has changed over the past 5-years!
Top 10 Brands on Social Media, 2015
The iconic carbonated soft drink that was established in 1886 has adapted very well to social media. They have over 94 million fans on Facebook and gained an impressive 27,865,291 new views to its Youtube channel in 2014.
Their social posts correlate well with the primary marketing message that they produce. They also have a nice diversification of new and old content, such as showing Elvis endorsing the brand from many decades ago, which is great nostalgic content for Coke.
When Jim Cramer of the famous television show, “Mad Money,” interviewed Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle, he proclaimed that Dominos has been “dominating the digital space.”
Domino’s says that 45 percent of its U.S. sales now come from customers ordering online and that they are running up a higher tab than people who call in their orders. Social is definitely a driver of digital sales for Dominos. With over 10 million “Likes” on Facebook, Domino’s has properly utilized social to generate a 137.5% increase in volume on social media since 2013.
Red Bull is a great example of a brand built almost entirely on social media.
In 2012, Red Bull launched a marketing campaign that invited users to engage with the Red Bull team on all major social media sites. For the launch, Red Bull filled their website with thrill-seekers and daredevils performing their craft. It projected the image of a cool and daring brand which is a fitting persona for a high energy beverage. In that year they sold 5.2 billion cans of Red Bull!
Red Bull’s former global head of social media had the following tips which Red Bull implements for its social strategy:
– Understanding how people actually use the various social channels so you can effectively use them too.
– Having a good social media strategy.
– Being authentic.
Pretty straightforward, right? Red Bull follows its guidelines to continue to increase brand awareness for the energy drink.
The California based company proves why it occupies the number one spot in social media by adding the most fans in 2014. With an astounding 30.9 million new fans, Facebook is definitely winning the popularity stakes with over 170 million “likes” on Facebook.
The question I have always wondered is does Facebook have unlimited advertising dollars on Facebook? Think of it, wouldn’t the money go back into their own pocket if they were to purchase advertisements?
If you are looking for an inspirational account to follow, add Nike to your list. Nike leverages sponsorships in an extremely clever manner through its Instagram and other various social accounts.
Combining inspiration with sponsorships works very well for Nike.
In 2013, Nike started getting serious about its marketing on social media by releasing videos of some of the world’s biggest sports stars that ended up going viral. Nike has been rewarded for their efforts with 12,573,089 new followers on Facebook in 2014.
The family movie specialist had another stellar year on social media. Disney released 12 films in 2014 of which “Big Hero 6” and “Into The Woods” were first and second fan favorites respectively. Walt Disney World was also the section leader in the hospitality field on Facebook.
Famous for its captivating documentaries and incredible footage, National Geographic is also doing well in marketing itself online. Building off its success as the most popular brand on Youtube in 2013 (160 million watches!), it added 853,705 new Facebook fans in 2014.
Mentos aren’t just keeping their customers breath fresh with their scotch mints, they’re also keeping their social marketing campaign fresh with the addition of 9,419,825 new followers to their Facebook page.
Being part of the Google brand, you would expect Youtube to have its social media campaigns in top order. Youtube doesn’t disappoint, as it took the top spot for new Twitter followers with 929,395 joining up to receive its tweets this year.
Editing and sharing photos is big business nowadays. If you want proof, just look to the 488,907 new followers Instagram acquired on Titter this year. Not bad, especially after gaining 16 million new followers for its own profile on Instagram in 2013.