brands I #LOVE

I know it’s probably not smart to reveal all my secrets, but I’ve had a lot of close friends, fresh grads and family members asking me when it comes to social media marketing, where do you even start? My number #1 favorite piece of advice to give to people who want to at least attempt to understand what working in social media is like, is this:

1) Step 1Follow your favorite brands or goods. If you don’t have a brand preference, follow a few companies that make something you really love and make sure you subscribe to their updates so you don’t miss their posts.

2) Step 2When you are scrolling through your social feeds and see something you like… PAUSE. Take a second and ask yourself what about this certain post is making you hit the “Like” button. What’s making you hit share? Is it funny? Does it remind you a situation in your life that you want to share with your friend? You are their target audience, so how did they get you? Being able to apply appropriate humor and culture puts the “social” in “social content” and helps drive organic, viral interaction. If you can apply your own observations to the content you development, you’ll have better success creating content that people actually want to engage with.

Here are my absolute FAVORITE brands to watch and what I found makes me engaged with them.

1. Coca-Cola: And actually, I don’t drink soda. I just hope that the person who thought of the “Share A Coke” campaign is sitting on the beach in Mexico right now living the life, because this was genius. I bet that you can find at least 2 friends who don’t drink soda and bought a can or bottle of Coke last summer just because it had their name on it. Or if you are like me, spent 15 minutes sifting through the Coke bin looking for Coke for each of my friends so I can send them epic messages via SnapChat. What I thought was cooler than the names were the messages like “Go-Getter”. Names on a Coke bottle are cool, but when they have compliments? You’ve just made a soft drink a source of empowerment for the person giving and receiving said Coke. Coke essentially took the social action of “sharing” right to the point-of-sale by attaching “social action” to the purchase of its product. How cool would it be if every time someone purchased your product it generated 1 social media post? That one social media post then reaches 100 friends of the person who posted it. And at least 25% of those friends who didn’t know your product existed, not only now know your brand, but also see “social posting” as a recommendation. We’ve just facilitated word-of-mouth marketing in the 21st century. Just an FYI, it all happens over social media networks. (Visit Coke on FacebookTwitterInstagram)


2. Quest Nutrition: I love everything about Quest, including their protein bars. And in my mind, they do several things right with their social media strategy. Their success as a brand shows it. But nothing impresses me more than the way they handle their influencer marketing and community building. Look at this cute little package with perfect blue bow and handwritten note. This kind of treatment was once reserved only for celebrities! Quest also does an awesome job of extending the “life” of an influencer by branching out into logoed goods. Though I know a lot of Quest bar lovers that would never get sick of posting their daily bar, having the option to post some Quest socks and shirt doubles the opportunity for exposure that Quest gets out of their influencer network. I have loved every minute of watching Quest evolve while analyzing what makes their fans, including me, so passionate about engaging with their brand over social media. (Quest Nutrition on FacebookInstagramTwitter)

3. Avocados from Mexico: Avocados can be really boring. (Not to mention, they can be pretty ugly!) But avocados are a good example of the same thing your Mom told you when you were going through your unattractive awkward teenage years. If you can’t be pretty, make sure you excel at something else. And Avocados from Mexico is amazing at making me laugh. They talk to me as if I were a friend and we were talking smack about another friend that doesn’t even like guacamole. They also do their trend research – and are quick to take part in conversations between guacamole lovers (see, #iknowguacisextra). A lot of companies like Coke and Quest are great at starting the conversation, but you don’t always have to be great at starting conversation if you can be the life of it once you join it. (Avocados from Mexico on FacebookInstagramTwitter)

4. El Torito: My friends are always asking me why I insist on sharing posts from a Mexican restaurant in California when I live on the total opposite coast of America. As a content developer, I bow down to their content developer. The humor, the cultural relevance, the connection to whats trending and what their audience is talking about, El Torito knows their stuff. This post I captured reads “I put my hand upon a chip, when I dip, you dip we dip.” I died. I shared. I wanted tortilla chips and a margarita instantly. I aspire to be El Torito. Understand, funny will only get you so far. Funny will get you shares, likes and comments, which will generate organic views on your content. But, to take it one step further, the imagery is what creates the call to action. The hi-res shot with focus on the chips is what’s going to drive people seeing those shares to get up off their butts and grab a taco. (El Torito on FacebookInstagramTwitter)

Any suggestions for me? Leave them in the comments. I could get lost in the land of cool social content for days.