Social Media Marketing

Are you looking for some creative social media marketing ideas from businesses?

Look no further.

This article highlights five mini case studies of businesses that have stood out by implementing innovative social media marketing practices.

You’ll find inspiration for your social media marketing efforts here.

So let’s dive in!

#1: Sharpie

Sharpie is the permanent marker company. Through social media and other marketing efforts, this company has taken an ordinary product and turned it into a common noun.

Sharpie excels on Twitter, but they also make good use of their blog and Instagram and have even formed their own community. Here are some things to learn:

  • Sharpie incorporates various background images to keep the look fresh and attractive.


sharpie twitter profile
  • Sharpie sheds spotlight on customers  artwork.
sharpie customers artwork


  • Sharpie showcases how different customers use their product in unique way. This also gives customer a free advertisement
snow leopardReaders are also often looking for inspiration on how to use certain products

pop that collar 

  • Sharpie invites their community to engage through art challenges where users vote for the best submissions

creative invitation

An invitation to be creative is all it takes for some people to invest hours with your brand.

#2: HubSpot

HubSpot is a leading B2B company that provides inbound marketing tools for small businesses. A key to their explosive growth comes through a strategic content creation plan.

free resourcesNotice three different references to free resources just in this snapshot.

  • HubSpot knows what their audience wants. They write about hot topics (like the post on Pinterest pictured below), they tag their articles based on experience level (see “Introductory” in the illustration above) and they provide a way to listen to their posts through a service called Vocalyze.
hubspot recommendations

  • Recommendations are an important selling point to site visitors. Notice the prominence given here.
  • HubSpot also does a great job providing easy access to a variety of social sharing buttons. We can how prominently those display next to both of the above images.
  • HubSpot excels at making their brand personal. On their Facebook page, they do this by featuring their employees.
facebook personal sideLetting customers see the personal side of your staff makes them more likely to stay engaged with you.

#3: Weapons Plus Martial Arts Supplies

Weapons Plus Martial Arts Supplies is an early adopter of Google+ and has found many creative ways to take advantage of Google’s power.

  • One of their most compelling elements comes through their use of animated profile graphics.
animated effectThese three images cycle to create an animated effect on the Weapons Plus Google+ page.

  • Weapons Plus understands that their audience likes to read reviews of martial arts movies and get how-to instruction on making and using martial arts weapons. They also want to show their love.
fan haircutHere, Weapons Plus shows a fan sporting a haircut that advertises one of their customers. Now that’s showing some love!

  • Another ninja method used by Weapons Plus is to take full advantage of the “About” page to get lots of Google juice. The Recommendations links are a perfect way to tie your Google+ page to your other online properties.
google+ about tabBe sure to make full use of the About tab on Google+.

#4: Evian

Evian is the bottled-water company. They have developed a highly sophisticated YouTube page that is worth studying.

  • One of the smart things they’ve done is create a pervasive campaign with the “Live Young” motif. All of their images and products reinforce this through the idea of fueling the Evian baby inside (which, of course, needs to drink Evian water).
evian youtubeEvian has connected their various platforms on YouTube—all while reinforcing their core message.

  • Another excellent idea implemented on Evian’s YouTube channel is a user-generated video. The goal is to create the world’s longest user-generated video. They do this by allowing users to create short video clips that tie into the theme. The technology required to accommodate this can’t be cheap, but all businesses can look for ways to get fans to create content on their behalf.

#5: Openview Partners

Openview Partners is a B2B venture capital firm that helps emerging growth technology companies with startup funding. They have added 10,000 new subscribers through their social media strategies on their blog.

  • The authors of Openview’s blog understand that good content draws new readers. That’s why they make it really easy and compelling to sign up for their newsletter.
  • In addition to the sign-up sheet found next to every blog post, the site provides a pop-up invitation to new site visitors who haven’t signed up before.
social proofThis pop-up ad uses strong social proof to compel readers to sign up.

  • Openview employs another smart tactic by making their posts readily available for mobile readers. They do this through a service called Google Currents.
mobile audienceMake sure to service your mobile audience.

  • Openview strikes a nice balance between professionalism and fun by allowing staff to show a  “Meet the Authors” page.
meet the authorsWhen you hover over an author’s picture, his or her bio and a fun picture display.

Key Takeaways

These five businesses are using social media in different ways, yet each one is seeing demonstrable growth through smart social media marketing.

Here are a few lessons we can all learn:

  • Social media is highly visual—take advantage of photos and videos.
  • Showcase your customers—this greatly increases engagement.
  • Enable social sharing on all of your content.
  • Google+ will impact search results—are you realizing these benefits?
  • YouTube is far more advanced than you may realize—check out the recent changes and consider making this a social destination for your business.
  • Don’t overlook mobile users—optimize your content for mobile readers.

Happy Social Marketing 🙂

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