The social media success of a big brand name like Purina, Coca Cola, or Purina can be intimidating if you’re a small business owner. The idea of ever hoping to compete with them is almost completely out of the question. You don’t have their wealth of resources.
Simply forget the idea of trying to compete with them. It’s much more helpful to think of serving a niche. By building your brand around your small niche, you can serve more than enough people to have a prosperous business.
Once you’ve cleared your mind of the need to compete, you are now open to see if there are any social media lessons from these large corporations that you might be able to apply to your own digital marketing.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the social media strategies of Purina, Coca Cola, and the New Yorker to see if there are any takeaways:
Purina’s Social Media Game Plan
Nestlé Purina Petcare was founded on December 12, 2001, with its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. This subsidiary of Nestlé makes and markets pet food, pet treats and litter. Its brands include Purina ONE, Beneful, Friskies, Purina Dog Chow, and Purina Pro Plan. The companies earns about 12 billion dollars a year.
Like all big brands, they have a major problem—a lack of authenticity. Their target market doesn’t know them well enough to trust their marketing claims. Realizing that this was a huge detriment to their sales, Purina set to work to build trust through advertising and social media campaigns that gave people a behind-the-scenes look at their employees and customers with their beloved pets. This focus on people created an emotional connection between the company and its customers.
What can you learn from this example? Make your own brand as personal as you can. Share your personality and your vulnerabilities on social media. Be transparent, show customers that you’re all too human, and, like Purina, take them behind the scenes to see how you run your business. Vulnerability, transparency, and disclosure help you engage with your audience.
Coca Cola’s Social Media Game Plan
In the 19th century, pharmacist John Pemberton invented a patent medicine that was so delicious that it ended up dominating the beverage market, which at the time was on the rise because the soda fountain was the popular answer to a new wave of temperance. Unfortunately, Pemberton died in August 1888 and did not get to see the commercial success that he had spent his adult life pursuing. Today, Coca-Cola is among the top product brands in the world and earns about $47.51 billion a year.
Unlike Purina, Coca-Cola had no problem with building trust, and with 86 million fans on their social media channels, they didn’t need to work on building their audience. Their problem was that their diverse social media channels were all sending different marketing messages. Coca-Cola decided to allow each of its channels to keep their unique message but layered a cohesive branding message across all of them.
What can you learn from Coca-Cola? It’s fine to develop your brand name across a variety of social media platforms, but avoid sending mixed messages. While your messages will be influenced by the medium you’re using, the basic underlying theme should stay consistent.
New Yorker’s Social Media Strategy
Launched in 1925, as a weekly magazine, the New Yorker has become known for its wit, erudition, and sophistication. Publishing 47 times a year, reader’s love the magazines, poetry and cartoons, fiction and satire, criticism and fiction, and, of course, it’s first-rate reporting and perceptive commentaries.
Since the company had already dominated its content strategy, it did not have any major issues to deal with to build its brand. Consequently, it has used social media to encourage readers to consume the quality content on its website. Benjamin Mullin, the managing editor of Poynter.org., explains their strategic approach: “As with most outlets, Facebook is one of the primary traffic drivers for The New Yorker. But the magazine has diversified its social media presence, establishing accounts on LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ in an attempt to find a wider audience for The New Yorker’s content.”
What can you learn from the New Yorker? Create first class content and then use social media to drive people to your website to consume it.