When it comes to social media, being a follower isn’t always a bad thing.
Social media started as a place to keep up with old friends, share photos, tell your friends what’s on your mind. And while you can still friend-request your old college roommate or notify your followers that you’re eating a really great sandwich, it’s become a place to do a lot more.
Now, social platforms are powerful connectors between brands and audiences. A reported 32 percent of Facebook users and 68 percent of Instagram users engage with brands regularly on their feeds. And it’s not just targeted sponsor posts: People follow and engage with marketing from brands that they love, or, better yet, learn to love because they follow and engage with their marketing.
Still, our social feeds are carefully curated spaces, and getting your audience to click “follow” means developing an acute understanding of who they are and what they want. So in order to better understand what kinds of promotional social media messaging works, our D Custom team got together to talk through the social media accounts that have won us over.
7 Social Media Accounts That Slay the Marketing Game
Kylie Valigura — Art Director
Who to follow: Darling Magazine, a quarterly print women’s magazine that “redefines beauty and empowers women to own their unique potential”
Why I follow them: Darling magazine inspires me with its simple design and powerful storytelling. The art team’s decisions are focused on a message and telling it to their audience in a beautiful way. Everything — their photography, typography, color palette, paper stock — is well-thought-out, intentional, and aesthetically consistent within their brand. Also, none of the pictures of women in their magazines are retouched! That attention to detail and authenticity is something I strive to achieve every day in my own work and life.
Kate Crouse — Director of Digital Media Strategy
Who to follow: Ryan Reynolds, aka Marvel’s Deadpool
Why I follow him: This is a roundabout way for me to write an ode to the entire Deadpool 2 marketing strategy. Ryan Reynolds is hilarious — his Twitter ramblings about his kids are pure gold — but he’s been twice as fun to follow recently because he is an outlet for the marketing machine behind Deadpool 2. (P.S. The first movie’s marketing campaign topped our 2016 marketing best list.)
I’ve never seen a promotional campaign that’s done a better job of capturing the true nature of a product and showing it off so cohesively across creative channels, from Flashdance– and Norman Rockwell-themed print posters to a partnership with Good Housekeeping and online gimmicks with Celine Dion and David Beckham. They all clearly convey the spirit of the movie and are interesting, engaging, and go viral. The second trailer featured a previously unheard of character, who they’d launched a Twitter handle for and, for an extra touch of authenticity, he’d been sharing beekeeping tips for months already. If you want to know what dominating marketing looks like, look no further than Deadpool 2. (Also, follow Ryan Reynolds for a guaranteed uptick in the number of things on the internet that make you laugh.)
Michaela Brandt — Digital Media Strategist
Who to follow: Jenna Kutcher, self-made “girl boss” photographer and small-business marketer
Why I follow her: I found Kutcher two years ago through a photographer friend of mine and have enjoyed watching her journey from small-town photographer to marketing guru and viral sensation. Kutcher provides her audiences with authentic, kind, and inspiring content that truly feels personally tailored to them. She’s a firm believer in spreading knowledge and encouragement in a competitive space, which in turn elevates her as a leader. Bonus: She releases episodes of her business podcast, Goal Digger, on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Paul Buckley — President
Who to follow: Elon Musk, co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla (among other things)
Why I follow him: He’s one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time. I’m inspired by his courage to ignore all conventional wisdom. It seems to free his mind to the point where ideas come more naturally; they’re unconstrained. I also like following his parody account, @BoredElonMusk, which houses futuristic ideas that Elon fans might imagine him coming up with, which tend to be funny. Reminds me of the movie Night Shift, “What if you mix the mayonnaise in the can, with the tuna fish? Or … hold it! Chuck! I got it! Take live tuna fish, and feed ’em mayonnaise!”
Abby Kinsinger — Managing Editor
Who to follow: Glossier, a beauty brand “inspired by real life”
Why I follow them: I’ve remained pretty averse to letting brands and/or celebrities into my social feeds, but Glossier got me with their targeted ads and quickly roped me into their cult following. They’ve spearheaded a makeup movement that shows how their products look on real faces rather than the poreless, perfect skin that we’re used to seeing from other beauty brands. The faces on their feeds aren’t just models; they’re real people (Glossier sifts through tagged Instagram photos to find “real girl” models). It’s a brand about loving how you look instead of covering it up. Glossier is also killing it in its user-generated marketing approach: With pretty packaging (stickers!), a strong hashtag strategy, celebrity buy-in, and an inherently Instagrammable brand, they aim to position their products as content, says founder Emily Weiss.
Rebecca Wong — Director of Client Services
Who to follow: Eva Chen, head of fashion partnerships at Instagram
Why I follow her: Not only are her social media posts fun and glamorous, showcasing a mix of fashion and her family life, she’s grown a huge following on Instagram and knows how to use it to position herself as an influencer. In her role at Instagram, she counsels fashion designers, influencers, and models on how to use Instagram effectively. She’s also a busy mom of two young children, and I’m always looking for working moms who can inspire me.
Josh McCollough — Junior Graphic Designer
Who to follow: Adult Swim, the adult-oriented nighttime programming block of Cartoon Network
Why I follow them: I’ve always been inspired by how Adult Swim blends countercultural music, art, and comedy together in one popular programming block. Its social media posts are usually either comedic animated GIFs or awesome artwork that backs up the brand. It’s the kind of brand I’d like to contribute to as a designer.