Social Media Trendsetters: 5 Companies to Watch

As 73 percent of online adults actively engage with social media, advertisers see these platforms as rife with the opportunity to reach a mass amount of their buyers. And, since the most popular social media websites are free to use, savvy businesses are wise to create a strategic plan around producing content for each one. Since the payoff can be so great, spending time and manpower managing such strategies can be a solid investment.

As a budding entrepreneur or a lifelong business owner who wants to capitalize upon the medium of social channels, where do you start? Who do you look to for examples of companies doing it right? Let’s start with a look at five brands that are meeting their ideal audiences how they want to be met – which is the ultimate goal of all.


If you’re looking to expand your social efforts into the land of Instagram, look no further than GoPro to be your guide. The makers of the famous camera that can be mounted or worn in a variety of ways are clearly handling the social site with finesse. By posting pictures and videos that real GoPro users have taken, the company uses their Instagram page to showcase the wide range of shots even amateurs can get by using the camera. If you want to replicate their success, accept submissions from your customers that feature your product or service if it makes sense to do so. Make sure your posts are highly visual, vibrant, and approachable, and you’re over halfway there.


Social Media Amnesty International is a non-profit that works to protect human rights around the world. Its New Zealand branch hit the nail on the head with its “Trial by Timeline” campaign that was run using Facebook. The campaign works by asking interested individuals to agree to having their Facebook page analyzed by the human rights group. By looking at the users timeline, Amnesty International then reveals what crimes (and corresponding punishments) the user would face of he or she were in a country less free than New Zealand. This was a powerful way to make people personally feel the plight of the victims that Amnesty International seeks to help. The lesson here is to get inside the head of your buyer by creating relatable experiences.


When maneuvering through the landscape of 140 characters or less, it can seem tough to deliver content that is both concise and worthwhile. LifeLock, leader in identity theft protection, does a masterful job of achieving this goal on Twitter. The company frequently ties in topical, timely news stories to its core purpose – protecting identities. For example, a recent tweet connected the dots between Ebola scammers and identity vulnerability. People who look to Twitter as a way to become informed are looking for news they can scan and takeaways they can quickly apply to their own lives. LifeLock manages to give both to its followers, and you’d be well served to do the same.


It’s not hard to see why an iconic brand touting gorgeousness would thrive on a platform like Pinterest. But Victoria’s Secret’s success on the image-centered channel is surprisingly more than skin deep. In addition to creating boards that feature its best selling lingerie and apparel collections, the company also has boards that give an insider’s look at the faces that made it so popular – its angels. One of the boards on its Pinterest page is called “Angels off Duty” and gives a glimpse into its famous models doing normal, everyday activities. The (predominantly) female audience on Pinterest would eat up the chance to see the beautiful women seeming a bit more relatable and real. Determine what appeals to your buyers, especially the female ones, and cater to their wants on Pinterest.


Finally, it would be remiss to not include LinkedIn among the powerhouse social media sites. For a great example of using LinkedIn to maximum effect, turn to The Wall Street Journal. The publishing giant regularly offers teaser headlines of its most enticing and relevant stories, and LinkedIn users clamor over it. The company recently posted a link to an article about technology and work/life balance, which is an especially hot topic among business leaders today. By offering timely, informative content, The Wall Street Journal is hard to beat on LinkedIn. If you want to be effective within the sea of professionals who skim LinkedIn’s feeds daily, do yourself a favor and focus on generating interesting – and frequent – content.

While you may have heard never to copy someone else’s work, it wouldn’t hurt to take a page out of each of these company’s books when it comes to your social strategies. Remember to devise a plan for each social media site separately, and manage it through to execution. If you extract the reasons these five businesses pull ahead of the rest on these social channels and apply them to your business, be prepared to start seeing the rewards.

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