It’s pretty safe to say that social media marketing isn’t just a trend anymore. It’s become an integral part of any company’s overall marketing plan and is responsible for increasing brand awareness, website traffic and, ultimately, sales. Some companies do it just to complete a checklist; others do it well and are reaping the benefits.

We took a closer look at those brands doing a great job at social media and focused specifically on the number of followers, overall social media activity, social media strategy across all social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn) and customer engagement. Based on what we found, we’ve compiled a list of the top five brands that excel at social media.

target cartwheel1) Target

One of America’s fastest-growing brands on social media, Target does several things very well. They engage customers in the following ways: content sharing that results in some kind of benefit (savings, free shipping, etc.) for the consumer, compelling and original photo-based content, social awareness campaigns and location-based posts and tweets. Cartwheel is a new savings platform for Target. Customers connect with friends via Facebook to share deals and save money.

2) Starbucks

Besides having an enormous number of fans and followers, Starbucks has also leveraged social media to further brand awareness for all their brands, like Frappuccino, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Tazo Tea. They run successful promotions across all social media outlets and their regular posts range from the scheduled and well-planned to spontaneous and timely.

3) Disney

To build their massive social media following, Disney focused on building a community rather than just selling their products. Through their flagship blog, Facebook and Twitter, consumers get the inside scoop on movie releases, new products, events and Disney news. They are also completely committed to content that tells stories and experiences. Every piece is scheduled, planned and analyzed, resulting in content that the reader anticipates and enjoys.

disney blog

The Disney Blog.

4) Huggies

This brand made waves when they offered a simple coupon to increase site visitors, click-throughs and sales. Customers could then double the coupon – from $1.50 to $3 – when they shared it with three friends or over Facebook or Twitter. This old-fashioned concept (offer a coupon) with a twist (share, share, share!) resulted in 67% of customers taking the offer and about $2.5 million in sales. Huggies also partnered with Punchbowl to create a Baby Shower Planner on Pinterest – and that board now has about 6K followers.

baby shower planner

The Huggies Baby Shower Planner on Pinterest.

5) Zappos

It’s been said that Zappos does two things well – shoes and social media. They spend a lot of time and effort on micro blogging, especially on Twitter. They also view social media as a way to ensure customer satisfaction and as a way to augment regular customer service streams.

zappos social

While all of the brands above have varying social media strategies and approaches, their social media goals have three things in common:

  • The customer comes first when promoting anything on social media. The goal can’t just be about selling a product – it has to be about engaging the customer and then educating them on a product or service.
  • Consistency is key. Because there are so many social media channels, the brand message has to be the same across all of them.
  • To get people’s attention, content has to be timely and on target. Every brand on the list knows exactly who their customer is and what they want to see and hear about at all times.

Being an active and successful brand on social media takes commitment and tenacity, with a good sense of humor and wit. To learn more about how you can use social media to further your brand or how to develop a content marketing strategy that works for your customers, read our white paper, 10 Content Marketing Strategies to Help Brands Reach Moms.

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