Social Media Marketing Ideas: The Best Brands to Follow for Inspiration


When it comes to social media marketing ideas, you have an entire pool of brands to draw from. No one can pretend anymore than social media is some kind of unproven wild west where no one knows what really works or how to connect with and engage users. 


Now that we know, we can take a closer look at what top brands from a wide range of industries are doing in order to break the mold and get noticed (and talked about) across a variety of today’s most popular social networks. 


Keep in mind that these social media marketing ideas work for these particular companies because they’ve built up a following with authenticity over time. They test and learn what works with their audience and they stay involved with the kinds of things that social media users crave: quick and witty retorts, clever comebacks, intriguing discussions, beautiful photographs and other share-worthy pieces that continue to fuel the fires of engagement. 


With that being said, consider these marketing initiatives a treasure trove of ideas that you can shape and build upon for your own social media campaigns. 


Give Your Users a Behind the Scenes Look

What is life really like at these large corporate brands? Many brands have taken to social media to show a glimpse of life behind the scenes, including Google and Oracle. L’Oreal’s #lifeatloreal hashtag not only demonstrates the work that happens to make some of social media’s most-loved products come to life but also puts a face behind what would ordinarily be a large, unwieldy corporate cloud. 


#lifeatloreal showing employees having a great time

#lifeatloreal showing employees having a great time


What You Can Learn from This Marketing Idea:

Not only does this help boost employee morale, but it also helps L’Oreal attract and recruit better talent with a transparent, open and welcoming look inside the people that make the company possible. It’s using social media to present the faces of the company in a way that makes everyone feel like they’re part of a bigger family. 


Creativity is Sweet! 

 Oreo hits the sweet spot for maximizing Instagram interactions

Oreo hits the sweet spot for maximizing Instagram interactions


Oreo, a brand with decades of love behind it, is no different online. Through its Instagram account, Oreo features everything from user creations (Oreo-inspired emojis, anyone?) as well as recipes, new products, and flavor announcements and much more. For people who love these simple chocolate sandwich cookies, it’s a great place to get ideas, inspiration and creative ways to turn a simple cookie into something more memorable. 


What You Can Learn from This Marketing Idea:

What are some ways that you could use your own Instagram account to do more than just share photos? Encourage your audience to submit their own creations, unique uses or placements of your product, and much more. You’d be amazed at the artistic ideas that people come up with!


"When it comes to social media marketing ideas, you have an entire pool of  brands to draw from."  -Click to Tweet-


Become the Source of Information for Your Industry (Or Else Your Competitors will Do it For You)

So far, we’ve shared some creative, outside-the-box social media marketing ideas, but what if your brand caters more toward the B2B crowd rather than B2C, are you out of luck? 


Not at all. In fact, one of the biggest brands on LinkedIn, computer networking behemoth Cisco, leverages the platform to provide relevant, timely and detailed information within their given technological area to help key decision-makers learn and make smarter decisions with the kind of content that C-suite executives need to run their companies effectively. 


Cisco FB Post

It may not be as exciting as the B2C crowd, but Cisco’s LinkedIn account shares timely, relevant information that executives and businesses need to know in order to thrive


What You Can Learn from This Marketing Idea: 

The important thing here is not to throw a bunch of information at the LinkedIn wall and hope some of it sticks. You need clear, comprehensive and actionable reports that are easily skimmable and visually digestible, much like the ones that Cisco shares on their LinkedIn account. 


Failing to be the first out of the gate with relevant, timely details that your target audience can use gives your competitors a prime opportunity to pounce on that opening first, leaving your company scrambling to catch up. 


And LinkedIn isn’t the only social network where you can beat your competitors to the punch. Facebook and YouTube are brimming with hungry content consumers, so be sure to showcase your latest posts, products or videos for greater outreach. 


Make it Easy to Make a Purchase

Ring Concierge, in New York City, has taken Instagram posts to a new level. By diligently tagging all of the items in their photos, they make it push-button simple for users to go directly to that item on their website and make a purchase directly. 


ringconcierge Instagram post

Ring Concierge tags all of their products in Instagram photos to make it easy for consumers to buy


What You Can Learn from This Marketing Idea 

What Ring Concierge can teach you in terms of inspiration, is that it’s a smart idea to remove any and all possible stumbling blocks that could cause friction between your users viewing a product or anything else, and taking action related to it. The more flaming hoops (or perceived hoops) you make them jump through, the less effort they’ll put through to actually take the action you want them to take. 


The Secret Sauce of Social Media Marketing

While every industry and every product is different, the brands that tend to attract the most followers do so by staying true to their vision and the tone of voice they’ve elected for their brand to take. Fast food brands on Twitter often have thousands and thousands of followers because they’re always trading barbs with each other and the embroiling controversy attracts attention.


Of course, if a B2B or more corporate brand, like Cisco, were to take on this persona, they’d likely lose all of the built-up trust and recognition they have cultivated with their target audience because they’re not in the business of posting memes or trading jabs with other networking companies. Likewise, if Oreo went into detail dissecting the minutiae of their cookie ingredients, chances are their Instagram users would nod off to sleep. And although this is an extreme example, the importance of knowing your audience cannot go understated. 


By taking the time to find out what your audience responds well to, and then nurturing and expanding upon that with even more ideas, suggestions, user-generated content and discussions, you’re sure to create your own “secret sauce” and quickly become an inspirational brand that others look to for brilliant and magnetic social media ideas. New call-to-action



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