25 brands every social media manager should follow on social

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Shruti Ramanujam
May 28, 2019 7 min read

Social media is a whole new ball game for brands. You put so much effort into crafting a caption and all you end up getting is three measly likes. And one of them is almost always Linda from Marketing.

And yet, there are some brands out there that are impressively strong at social. What secret social sauce do they use? And how can your brand get in on it?

That’s why we’ve created this list for you. Find out which famous brands you should follow and what their social strategies are.

1. Wendy’s

Everyone knows how great this fast-food chain is on Twitter. Burgers and fries are not all they serve—they roast their competitors, mainly McDonald’s, on a regular basis. Snark and sass are a big part of their social strategy and have contributed to their social success too!


2. MoonPie

MoonPie’s dry humor-laced tweets are eaten up by the Twitterverse. For a brand that’s been around for more than 100 years, MoonPie’s social strategy sure is “woke”, as the kids call it these days.


3. Denny’s

Denny’s is yet another fast food chain that’s great at social. Its voice on social works mainly because it’s unconventional and laced with a lot of humor and pop culture references.

4. Airbnb

Airbnb is millennial cool—it has its finger on the pulse of millennials. No other brand owns user-generated content and influencer marketing as much as Airbnb, and for that, its Instagram truly deserves every follower it gets.

5. Innocent Drinks

Innocent is yet another millennial cool brand. Its social team is hip, funny, and delightfully weird across all its social platforms, making Innocent an essential across “brands to follow” lists everywhere.

6. Glossier

Direct-to-consumer brand Glossier’s customer-first approach and social-based marketing have helped them build a cult following on Instagram. The fact that their products are extremely grammable also helps, especially in relation to user-generated content.

7. Arby’s

What is it with fast food chains and being good at social? Arby’s is yet another fast food chain that seems to win on social. Its social team extensively uses pop culture references and also target their posts to get high engagement levels.

8. Merriam-Webster

Did we expect a dictionary to have a Twitter handle? No.

Did we expect said dictionary to have a strong Twitter game? Also no.

But Merriam-Webster has been breaking everyone’s expectations with their funny and topical tweets. Every brand can learn about newsjacking from Merriam-Webster and that’s why you should follow them.


9. IHOP

2018 was a big year for IHOP, or should I say IHOB? It was its year of rebranding to remind customers that the chain has more than just a breakfast menu. Its team went as far as to delete the IHOP account and create a new IHOB account. Fast forward to the present, the brand is IHOP again, but their burgers are selling real fast.

10. Fashion Nova

This fashion brand is Instagram-famous and relies heavily on influencer marketing. It has an entire army of influencers—#NovaBabes, as they’re fondly called—and accounts a large part of its success to them. Fashion Nova not only has inclusive clothing ranges, but also uses influencers of different sizes, races, and ethnicities, making it all the more diverse.

 

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The Possibilities Are ENDLESS! Shop Your Fit: https://www.fashionnova.com/pages/womens-jeans-fit-guide

A post shared by FashionNova.com (@fashionnova) on

11. Steak-umm

Steak-umm is a fastly growing brand on Twitter and their stream-of-consciousness tweets will remind you of MoonPie. Almost all their tweets are about beef—talk about branding!—and they end some of their tweets with “Steak-Umm bless”, making them all the more delightfully weird.


12. Pop-Tarts

Toaster pastries? More like roaster pastries, amirite?

Whoever is behind the Pop-Tarts handle loves to roast people, especially when users try to combine the pastry with something unusual like ranch or seafood seasoning. The Twitterverse loves a good roast session and that’s definitely a contributor to Pop-Tarts’ success on social.

13. Target

Target is great at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but it’s also popular on Pinterest. It uses creative boards to categorize the wide variety of products it sells. Target also uses Pinterest to get visitors to its site—most of its pins contain linkbacks to the Target site.

14. Fenty Beauty

Rihanna’s line of cruelty-free, vegan makeup products has been dominating the cosmetic industry social circles ever since it was launched. One of the key selling points is the fact that Fenty’s products cater to several races and ethnicities, unlike traditional brands in the beauty industry. Its social posts include testimonials from women of color, influencers of all races and ethnicities, and more. It is this emotional connection that makes Fenty Beauty win on social.

15. Greggs

Greggs is a very genuine brand on social and it shows in the tone of voice of their posts. They craft creative campaigns and their most recent one even caught the eye of one Mr. Piers Morgan!

16. Burger King

Being an established fast food chain, it’s no wonder that Burger King has the number of followers it does on social. But its posts and tweets always engage well. Two key takeaways from their social strategy are to have regional social handles by country and also participate in trending topics and memes.

17. Domino’s

Domino’s is an example of how underdogs can win too. In recent years, the company has improved vastly from what it was several years ago. One of the main contributors to its success is all the new digital marketing initiatives—you can order pizza through both Twitter and Facebook Messenger and any customer service question you have fetches an immediate response too.

18. UPS

Who would have thought a logistics company would be great at social? UPS is here to prove our notions wrong with its highly engaging behind-the-scenes looks at logistics and well-crafted campaigns. UPS repeatedly delivers—pun completely intended—on social and its performance vouches for it.

19. Buffer

Buffer is one of the best examples for how you can learn by experimenting on Instagram. Its posts include user-generated content, contests, giveaways, and at the time of writing this blog post, an Instagram Marketing Strategy series, wherein users discuss their approach to Instagram.

20. Etihad Airways

This airline company follows a customer-centric approach to social media and tries to respond to customer queries quickly. Additionally, Etihad also uses influencers and its own cabin crew members on social to pique interest about the airlines.

21. Buffalo Wild Wings

B-Dubs owns its “wings, beer, and sports” branding both in the restaurants and on social. Its social team leverages every major sporting event for campaigns. They also come up with offers centered around a big game, driving engagement online and visitors offline.

22. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Who do you think is the hottest social media celeb at this point? No, it’s not a Kardashian, it’s actually Fiona.

This hippo had a life-threatening premature birth which she miraculously survived and is now an Internet celebrity! Cincinnati Zoo shows how you can turn around from an internet crisis by powering through and posting the right kind of content.

23. Smirnoff

This flavored-vodka brand makes the best use of the news and posts topical recipes on social. Its posts always include a bottle of Smirnoff in them and involve some kind of newsjacking. Its Instagram is where the motherload of cocktail recipes are, teaching its target demographic of youngsters easy ways to create cocktails.

24. BarkBox

Doggos and puppers. Need I say more?

BarkBox’s influencers are all the dogs you see in their posts. This subscription box follows different strategies across its social networks, but the core of it all is dogs. Even if all their fans aren’t customers, their interaction with and sharing of posts helps bring BarkBox closer to prospective buyers.

 

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*breathes heavily in my face for 2 hours*

A post shared by BarkBox (@barkbox) on

25. Tesla

As a social media manager, you definitely must know of Tesla’s $0 marketing program. Then how is it that Tesla is so good at social? It has an amazing influencer—Elon Musk. Musk has a personal brand and he engages regularly with customers on Twitter. Tesla is the best example a brand can have for the effect of humanized content and quick customer service.

There you go! These are 25 brands that any social media manager can draw inspiration from.


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