July 19, 2018 · 8:08 pm

3 Brands Doing Social Media Right and What Your Business Can Learn From Them

Need some social media strategy inspiration? Check out what these brands are doing.

By Kelly Johnson

You know your brand needs a strong social media plan to thrive. However, not all strategies are created equal. You need marketing that cuts through the noise and connects with your audience on a deeper level.

Some of today’s top brands have solid social media marketing strategies that can inspire your business. In fact, we identified three companies that use social media in cool, engaging, and innovative ways to create loyal fan bases, nurture their followers and attract new customers.  

The following companies have large teams and budgets. Nevertheless, you can use these effective, low-fidelity strategies today.


Patagonia — an upscale outdoor clothing and gear company — is at the top of our list of brands to learn from. The company consistently uses social channels to highlight their commitment to social responsibility.

Whether they’re sharing a post from their environmentally focused blog The Cleanest Line or a link to Patagonia Action Works where followers can digitally connect with local grassroots environmental groups, they’re pros at using their core values — social and environmental responsibility — to connect with their environmentally conscious audience.

They also frequently share real Instagram followers’ photos of their latest outdoor adventures to build community. The result: A solid voice and a clear message that resonates with their audience.

The Takeaway: When it comes to social media marketing, an authentic and passionate voice is everything. Make your social media presence matter by aligning your voice with your vision and including your strongest values in your social media mission.

What’s more, you can use Patagonia’s idea for sharing your community’s content by holding a photo contest. Have your followers submit content to an email address or through direct messages and then post the winning photo.

The contest can be run as frequently as you see fit. What’s more, followers will love seeing their content shared with a broader audience and you’ve got a cache of great content to use.

Taco Bell

To create a strong bond with your audience, you have to speak their language and Taco Bell excels at this.

They’re experts at using humorous videos, sharp-witted memes, and (of course) taco emojis to entertain their young audience and create a loyal following.

Taco Bell is a master when it comes to creating user engagement. Not only did they start a Change.org petition that led to an iOS taco emoji, but they followed it up with their hilarious Taco Emoji Engine, where users could tweet a taco emoji plus any other emoji at the brand and receive a mashup of the two.

The Takeaway: Humorous content can be great for your business. But, you must know what your audience will respond to before posting.

Taco Bell caters to a younger demographic and they’ve tested several campaigns and content types to find the right voice and tone that works to connect with their followers.

You can do the same if you want to use humor on your channels. Test relevant, on-brand, funny photos or videos to see if your audience engages with the content.

Monitor their performance and adjust your strategy as needed. If it’s not working, then maybe the humorous route is not for you. If your funny content is driving engagement, then you’ve found a great way to further your business’s reach.


Spotify has found several creative ways to provide value to its followers including sharing videos of performances by the hottest new bands on Twitter and Instagram and providing award-winning social media customer service.

Spotify is also adept at sharing user-generated content. They’re known for sharing links to their followers’ playlists to get the community engaged. They also regularly feature videos of artists commenting on playlists that include their songs.  

The Takeaway: User-generated content is an incredible way to build community among your followers.

Depending on what type of content you’d like to collect from your audience (photos, GIFs, videos), a contest is an excellent way to reward your community for sending you content that you can showcase on your channels.

As we mentioned above, ask your community to send you their content through a contest. When you share the submissions to your channels, tag the user and use a branded hashtag such as #YourCompanyNameHerePhotoContest to help your brand become more discoverable.

To get actionable, A.I.-driven recommendations to improve your engagement, then sign up for Sensai’s professional service.