When it comes to social media strategies, publicly traded companies are in a tricky spot. Unlike smaller start-ups, these companies are established and have an adequate marketing budget to allow them to experiment with new concepts and platforms in the hopes of progressing on a quarterly basis. When an emerging company hits a social media home run it is celebrated because it is unexpected.
But when a major, well-established corporation distributes strong social content, it isn’t as lauded because it is expected. These kinds of companies are up against a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” mindset. But even though the expectations are incredibly high, many organizations are rising to the challenge.
The Times are A-Changin’
Five years ago social media was primarily a branch within marketing departments. Sure, organizations paid attention to Facebook and Twitter, but these platforms weren’t necessarily driving their overall strategy. Today, every brand marketer understands that performance across social media can be the determining factor between failure and success. As a result, social budgets, and teams, have grown exponentially. As each platform constantly works towards new iterations and features, major brands are constantly working to stay abreast of the latest social media updates and trends.
The average person spends 76 minutes each day on social media. More specifically, individuals spend 35 minutes on Facebook, 25 minutes on Snapchat, 15 minutes on Instagram, and 1 minute on Twitter. And it’s not as if users set aside dedicated time each day to log into their social accounts; they’re constantly checking their feeds, sending snaps, and multi-tasking with social media. Staying up to date on their friends and family is never far from anyone’s minds. Knowing that users across demographics devote such a significant chunk of time each day to surveying their social feeds, brands are creating content to cut through the noise of each platform and speak to their target customers where they already live: on social platforms.
Over time, brands have gotten smarter and savvier at mastering social media content creation and deployment strategies. They know that organic reach on platforms like Facebook has dropped due to increased competition, and more have become adept at using platform analytics to make more informed decisions about future content.
Here are the 10 publicly traded companies that have excelled in the social media arena over the past year
Starbucks is a brand that knows its strength. Its products are so ingrained in the lifestyles of consumers across the world, that some of its best content comes from simply celebrating the drinks that have made it famous, like the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Posts announcing the arrival of both almond milk and it’s seasonally famous latte dominated on Facebook and Instagram.
2. Taco Bell
A subsidiary of Yum Brands!, Taco Bell inarguably steals the show from it’s fast-food relatives. Taco Bell was one of the early brand pioneers on Snapchat, realizing that creating playful content could forge daily connections with Millennials and Gen Z-ers. Taco Bell is still creating some of the best branded Snaps. In fact, it’s 2016 Cinco de Mayo filter was viewed over 224 million times.
On the surface GE doesn’t seem like an organization ripe for social success. But over the years it has used social media as a vehicle for getting people interested in science. This past year, the company created content specifically for Snapchat, Facebook Live and Instagram Stories as it documented the live eruption of a Nicaraguan volcano.
In an effort to connect with Millennials, American Express launched a social-first Everyday Congrats campaign that featured Tina Fey congratulating people on achieving lifestyle milestones.
Thanks to the live action remake of Beauty & the Beast, Disney has already enjoyed gigantic box office returns this year. But the company didn’t just bank on the power of nostalgia to drive viewers to the theater. Instead, they launched a massive social campaign across platforms that sparked over 987,000 conversations. This has caused consumers to think Disney as their go to brand for high price events like birthdays, graduations and weddings.
Social media was designed to be a two-way street, yet so often, brands simply talk at users. Chevrolet decided to highlight users’ own social posts by giving users overall positivity scores. Powered in tandem with Watson’s IBM, the campaign gave audiences a new way to get involved in brand initiatives.
Lowes knows that, alone, paint and plywood don’t make for the most exciting Instagram and Snapchat content. But put into use for a fun DIY project, and that paint and plywood can create a social media frenzy. Their 360 degree Facebook video series Made in a Minute shows followers easy homemade projects and attracts the views of up to 5.7 million people.
To celebrate the launch of a new children’s clothing line, Target enlisted the help of some of its most influential friends. Leveraging the power of six Instagram influencers, Target was able to reach 2.63 million people in the first two weeks of the campaign.
Rather than simply using social media as a promotional tool, Ford has found a way to incorporate it into their product. The automotive company recently released a new patent for a vehicle patent system that allows drivers and passengers to find the best angles and shots while on the road.
The FedEx social team has long believed in the power of story. They know that their organization is responsible for transporting treasured items across the globe every day, and subsequently, bringing people happiness. Their content is focused on these unique stories to put a human touch on the brand.