How the Best Brands Tap Social Media

Social Strategy from Strong B2C and B2B Brands

Branded social media is like vanilla ice cream: commonly found but rarely extraordinary.

Almost every brand uses some form of social media. But how many of them use it to their business advantage? Harvard Business School professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski (a former Agency Spotter advisor) explained on MSNBC what sets the best brands on social media apart from the rest. Have a watch:

Brands to Emulate

Piskorski points out that most brands are tempted to use social media as a means to broadcast. The disconnect happens when you consider that Twitter and Facebook as categorized as “social networks.” Who wants a brand barging into their personal conversation? Very few of us. But brands that subtlety enter the conversation with paid, owned, or earned media can shape consumer perceptions of a product or service.  And that is exactly how the best brands make social media work for them.

Learn from example and take a closer look the cultivated digital presence of Nike, Starbucks, and General Electric.


Nike is no longer a sportswear company; it is a lifestyle company. How better to attract people to your lifestyle than by creating a digital community for them? Nike uses multiple Nike+ platforms, such as Nike+ Running app, NikeFuel, and Nike Training Club, as nodes, connecting them with social media. From tweets to the NikeFuel Leaderboard, Nike cultivates a community around the aspiration to be better.


Starbucks does far more than use social media to promote their products. While frappuccinos and chai tea lattes are mentioned, Starbucks builds a community around its stores, contests, and company values.

And let’s not forget about “Tweet a Coffee.” Starbucks was one of the first companies to enable consumers make a purchase directly from Twitter.

General Electric

GE‘s appearance here might surprise you. But the multinational conglomerate has used social media to educate followers about the technology behind its wind turbines and jet engines. At 1.2 million “Likes,” GE’s Facebook page does have far fewer followers than consumer brands Starbucks or Nike. But in an apples-to-apples comparison against other B2B brands like Siemens and Salesforce, GE holds its own.

social media

Behind Every Great Brand Social Media Account…

…may be an agency with solid social media expertise. Don’t be overwhelmed by the content and platforms Nike and General Electric have created to engage their respective audiences. Instead, get your tweets in a row and start searching for the agency that can help your brand develop a rock solid social strategy.

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Claire Wallace