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Tuesday, December 11, 2012




No matter what size your business is, you can still utilize social media platforms to boost your marketing efforts. Did you know that Facebook has over 1 billion members, there are more than 140 million users on Twitter and YouTube gets 4 billion views every single day? 

Social media is used by consumers across the world as part of their everyday lives but it is a vital element that businesses should use too. According to a new report by Forbes, social media is more prevalent among customers than ever.

However, only 8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are on Facebook; only 4% are using Twitter and less than 1% has a presence on Google Plus.

So it is clear from the findings that it is important for businesses to engage with their customers through such channels. When used correctly, you can form an online community of dedicated fans that will help your brand maximize its advertising strategies.

Learn from renowned big-named brands for social media success. Here are 3 examples of social media triumph:

Coca-Cola 
Facebook: 36 million fans
Twitter: 616,873 followers
YouTube: 105 million video views

Coca-Cola is a great example when it comes to tweeting, photo sharing, uploading videos, blogging and social media apps. It has achieved massive success online and the secret is that it has an independent fan page rather than an official one. The fans can moderate the posts themselves so it is more like a community rather than an advertising platform. It is about engaging instead of acquiring and about loyalty as opposed to selling.

• Red Bull
Facebook: 32,282,658 fans
Twitter: 746,963 followers
YouTube: Over 340 million video views


Red Bull has built up a very strong fan base online and it has become one of the most flexible media companies in the world. The fun, unique content that it publishes has made it a lifestyle brand and the company produces several engaging videos on a daily basis.

Just take the latest Space Jump as an example. Its mission to the edge of space resulted in Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner successfully completing a jump from 23 miles above the Earth; setting world records for the highest jump, highest balloon flight, and fastest jump.

Red Bull has become a badge that you like extreme things. It appeals to everyone that embraces adrenaline activities such as those who like going fast on motor bikes, and surfing in the desert.

• Oreo
Facebook: 28 million fans
Twitter: 56,000 followers
YouTube: 5,258,025 video views


Oreo’s social media marketing strategies are admired simply because it plays on the fact that it is a highly recognizable brand.

It creates a lot of buzz and has built a strong community to achieve high engagement rates. They have a ‘fan of the week’, a ‘birthday of the day’, and they ask their fans to share their ‘Oreo moments’.

Essentially, they have achieved success because they reach consumers in a personal manner and make it fun.

Conclusion…

Brands that do well on social media tend to be the biggest brands in the world. But SMEs can emulate the likes of the companies mentioned above by employing the right techniques.

Don’t think of it as a marketing channel that you have to get involved with; think of it as what your brand can do for customers online. Social media is a relationship, not an advertising platform. Start genuine conversations with your consumers, engage with them and think of it as a community.

Once you have made the contact, it is an on-going practice. Even the likes of firms such as Red Bull needs to continuously engage with their fans or they will go elsewhere.

This guest blog post was provided by Custard, a creative marketing agency based near Manchester England that specializes in innovative social media strategies.

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