The Best Brands on Social Media

  • October 30, 2015
  • INK Team

This blog post comes from INK intern, Mya Wilkes

It’s an exciting time to be a Millennial. My social media feeds are filled with brands vying for my attention. And I like that! Every other aspect of my life is represented online, so why shouldn’t that include the brands I enjoy? In fact, if a brand is not utilizing social media they take a serious dive in credibility in my estimation.

While there is really no such thing as a universal Millennial experience, in general I feel that Millennials like to see one or both of these qualities in brand social media efforts:

  • Authenticity- I think the 2016 election is a great example of the importance of authenticity. At this stage, the candidates who dominate social media are the ones who are the best at seeming authentic.
  • Remarkable brand awareness and consistency- Since social media has made us all see ourselves as a brand, Millenials have a personal awareness of what it takes to maintain a brand. When a company/organization is doing that successfully, it engenders respect. Think of the Kardashians. Love or hate them, we can all respect the lengths to which they go to maintain their brand.

My favorite way to learn is by example, so if you’re looking for social media inspiration here are some brands that do it really well:

Taco Bell– I follow Taco Bell on Twitter and Snapchat. They are always hilarious, and I give them high marks for authenticity. As far as strategy, Taco Bell is an expert at cross-pollination with community influencers. Famous YouTubers have even served Taco Bell at their wedding, and Taco Bell’s feeds are filled with collaborative content.

Denny’s– Everyone loves this brand. I give them an A+ for authenticity, and they might be the funniest brand on Twitter. I would describe their Twitter voice as a silly, drunken armchair philosopher with a side of snark. Denny’s obviously knows the impression Millennials have of their product, and they run with it.

National Geographic– This brand is the poster child (ha, geddit?) for brand awareness and consistency. They have made a splash on Instagram, which is the perfect platform for their gorgeous photography. They also get high marks for using social platforms for the correct types of content. Instagram has pretty pictures, Twitter has quick and interesting tidbits of information, and Facebook shares their more in-depth content.

BONUS: Adele– I have to give Adele’s social media team a shout out for their phenomenal planning and audience awareness. The announcement of her new album began largely on social media. Adele’s fan base obviously appreciated being told personally. I know I did. Her new single has already shattered Vevo records, if you need more evidence of how powerful social media can be.

Here are some more brands that INKers like:

Kris- Inc. and Fast Company hands down are the best at storytelling. I’m always clicking their articles to read more because they are so interesting and cover really innovative stories.

Nicole- I love what Patagonia does with social. Their Instagram consistently has some of the best content I see in my feed, brand or otherwise. Also, they really embrace the adventurous spirit of their brand by featuring the stories of explorers, hikers, climbers, etc., which makes for great, really engaging content for their audience.

Amanda- I love social channels that allow me to digest random knowledge fairly quickly. My Twitter favorites: @MerriamWebster, @UberFacts (also on Instagram!), @NASA, and @GoogleFacts.

I hope this blog is a both a love letter and a cautionary tale to the brands who want my attention. Make sure your social media fits your goals and is unique to your brand. Nothing is one size fits all, and every brand needs a different strategy. The good news is that Millennials really do notice and appreciate good social, so the effort is always worthwhile.