What You Can Learn From Big Brands About Social Media Marketing

What You Can Learn From Big Brands About Social Media Marketing

Social media has given brands a way to truly connect and engage with their consumers. But when it comes to marketing your business online, there isn't one specific secret formula that is going to get you noticed, a big following, tons of engagement, and what every business wants at the end of the day - ROI. It's not that easy or else every brand would be flying high online. You have to find what works for your business.

So how exactly does a brand succeed on social media? Ah…the million-dollar question.

When you begin working on building your brand's social media presence, it can be beneficial to get some inspiration from other successful brands on social media. Go ahead, take a moment to look up some of your favorite brands on whatever platform you choose (I'd recommend looking at the top platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) and see what they are doing. After researching, you'll soon notice that not every successful brand on social markets their brand in the same way. Although big brands may have a bigger marketing budget than many small businesses, there is still a lot you can learn from them on social that you can take and implement into your own strategy.

Here's our pick of the top 4 big brands that are killing it on social media and what you can learn from each of them.

Starbucks - User Generated Content

One major thing the popular coffee shop, Starbucks, is doing on social that is contributing to their social media success is using user-generated content in their marketing. They're taking content that their consumers have taken with their product on their social platforms and showcasing them on their own channel while also tagging them. This particular marketing strategy is focused on highlighting the user experience.

What would you trust more - an ad put out by a brand or a consumer sharing a positive experience with the brand's product or service? According to a recent study done by Olapic and Cite Research, 51% of respondents said they trust user images more because they are more authentic and trustworthy than brand-owned creative. This isn't to say Starbucks doesn't promote their own content - they do - but they also use user-generated content to further build on their trust with their audience.


Like Starbucks, your brand can begin using user-generated content in your social media marketing strategy. If your focus is to gain trust among your audience and build brand awareness, this is a good route to take. You can do this whether you offer a service or product in many different ways:

Sharing Customer Feedback/Testimonials/Reviews

Have a few positive reviews your consumers have left you? Share them!

Start a Hashtag Campaign

Start a hashtag campaign asking your audience to use a special hashtag when they post about a product or service. You can even turn it into a contest to encourage more people to participate.

Blog Posts

If your brand is mentioned in an article or blog post, share it. Content published in an article or blog post can help build brand awareness.

Allstate - Communication

While social media is mostly used to share content, brands also see it as a great opportunity to better communicate and engage with their audience. According to data from SmartInsights, social media has become one of the preferred channels for customer service.

The insurance company, Allstate, is a great example of a company that excels at communicating with its audience on social. They have even gone as far as creating a specific Twitter account, @AllStateCares, designated for customer service. As soon as their audience reaches out to them whether it be a question or concern, they have representatives on standby ready to quickly jump in and respond. They even take it a step further and have the representatives leave their initials at the end of their response. Their method for doing this is to let the user know they are receiving a response from a real person and not an automated system.


When people reach out to your brand, it's important to respond. It's a great way to show your audience that you care for their question, comment, or even concern. It's best not to leave them hanging. This can ultimately grow and nurture your relationship with your consumers.

Google - Share Your Culture

Google loves to showcase its unique and fun work culture on Instagram. Just as AllState created a Twitter account specifically for customer service, Google has also made an Instagram account, @lifeatgoogle, specifically to show their culture. Now, you don't need a separate account to focus on either of these marketing tactics, but you can include it within your overall marketing strategy.

Google shares its work culture by spotlighting its employees in posts, showcasing their pet-friendly office, and giving an overall behind-the-scenes look. This has performed well for Google as it opens the door to give their consumers a peek behind the curtain and give them a sense of who they are beyond just being the number 1 search engine in the world.


Sharing your company's culture on social media is a great way to personalize your brand and create transparency. Implementing your work culture into your social media marketing strategy can give your audience another reason to do business with you. It's a great way to show that the success of your business is driven by valuable employees and upholding a positive work environment. Here are some ways you can showcase your culture:

  • Highlight Employees
  • Give a Behind-The-Scenes Look
  • Post Team Building Events
  • Post About Organizations You Support
  • Post About Events You're Hosting or Attending

Another benefit that comes from showcasing your work culture is retention. A company showing value and care for their employees is sending a positive message to their current employees and potential job candidates. People will feel more inclined to work for your business if they feel appreciated and valued.

Chic-Fil-A - Values

The fast-food chain, Chic-Fil-A, has excelled in displaying its core values and beliefs to the public. From their website to all their social media channels, you can clearly see the company values people at the source. They are constantly sharing appreciation for their employees and consumers all over their social feeds as well as showing care for their community by giving back.

By consistently posting content that ties back to their core values, they are able to carry on a strong and authentic brand voice across all their channels. As a result, consumers who share the same values will connect with their brand beyond the service and product they provide.


Including your core values in your social media marketing strategy effectively will help you develop strong relationships with your audience. Don't just post what your values are specifically but focus on finding unique ways to showcase them across your platform. It all goes back to people not wanting to see a brand only for what they offer. They want to see personality.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that only posting content that revolves around your product or services won't be enough to fully hold your audience's loyalty and attention. These big brands have and are still dominating within the social media marketing realm. As a small business owner, you may not have all the resources these brands have, but these are some valuable lessons you can take from them and implement into your own marketing strategy.

If you need help with improving your social media marketing, we'd be happy to help. Schedule a consultation with us to learn how we can help you turn Social into Sales.


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