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7 Brands Who Are Keeping It Real on Facebook & Twitter (And What You Can Learn From Them)

brands killing it on social

Each second, five new Facebook accounts are created.

Each day, more than 100 million people log into Twitter.

That is a massive audience that your brand could be reaching. However, many brands struggle to create real, human connections on social media. They confuse social media with a commercial platform where they can push their products 24-7. They take bad reviews personally, or they are so busy being ‘professional’ that they forget to be human.

The internet is a big place, and your content can easily get lost in the noise. Which is why more brands are using social media as a place to create real connections with their customer base. Here are a few brands who are succeeding at keeping it real on social media and creating solid, human connections in the process.

1. Humans of New York

What started as a photo project by a recently fired photographer named Brandon Stanton has become a brand to be reckoned with. Originally, Brandon planned to photography 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. Somewhere along the way he started telling their stories, and the project has since evolved into three books, a meeting with President Obama, and several prestigious awards.

HONY seeks to tell the extraordinary stories of regular people in a way that is easily accessible. By seeking to create a connection first and foremost, Brandon has been able to keep his first book on the top of the New York Times Best Seller’s List for 26 weeks.

Each post receives thousands of likes, shares, and comments.

(2/3) “He’d been married before and had three children. I think he doubted that he’d ever meet someone who’d look past…

Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, November 30, 2015

Lesson to Learn: Focus on connecting with your audience first. Remember: Social media is, above all, social. 

2. Red Bull

Think Red Bull just sells energy drinks? Think again.

The brand has leveraged social media to become a media and publishing giant. For all the high energy content they post, you will almost never see a can of Red Bull. Why? Because they don’t have to.

CaptureWhat you will see is lots of content about sports and adrenaline pumping activities like skiing, racing, and surfing.

Lesson to Learn: Don’t treat Facebook like one big ad. Instead, share interesting content your audience wants to see.

3. Dewars

Most of the pictures this whiskey company posts on Facebook are obviously staged photos of models mid-laugh or clinking glasses. Which seems pretty mainstream.


Where the brand excels is interacting with users and keeping their page light and fun.

CaptureLesson to Learn: You don’t have to be a straight-laced professional all the time. Inject humor if it works for your brand. 

4. Oreo

Ever since their iconic “You can still dunk in the dark.” Super Bowl tweet, the cookie brand has been killing it on social media. Unlike Red Bull, they mention their product in nearly every post.

But, because they have an avid fan base who loves their products, it works. By harnesses the power of brand love, Oreo is able to create social media campaigns that blatantly promote their products – without being annoying or overly promotional.

Lesson To Learn: Use social media to turn loyal customers into your brand advocates. 

5. Taco Bell

Another brand that has managed to keep it real is this fast food giant. Unlike other fast food brands, Taco Bell has made being trendy part of their brand, which has likely helped them avoid the declining sales many other fast-food places like McDonald’s are facing.

Their Twitter feed is filled with trendy images of young people and their products. They even went on a crusade to have a taco emoticon created. And they succeeded.

brands that are killing it on facebook and what you can learn

Like Oreo, this brand is keeping it real by tapping into the love affair people have with their tacos and other food.

Lesson to Learn: You can use social media as a brand building, or even rebranding, tool. 

6. Aerie

Probably best know for using unretouched photographs in their ads, Aerie also does a great job of using Facebook as a customer service platform. They don’t try to be tongue in cheek or funny, but they do promote their own sales and have a team monitoring to respond to customer complaints.

brands keeping it real on facebookLesson to Learn:  Use social media the way your customers do. If they are reaching out on social for customer service, answer them! 

7. Barbie

In the last decade, the iconic doll has gotten a lot of flak for promoting unrealistic body standardstraditional gender roles, and body issues in young girls.

Instead of trying to defend the doll, they use social media as a platform to share gender equality messages and tell girls they can be anything they want.

CaptureLesson To Learn: When used well, social media can help you tell your brand’s story or repair your reputation. 

Keeping it Real on Facebook and Twitter

Want to Learn More About How Your Brand Can Succeed on Facebook & Twitter?

If you want to join the ranks of successful brands on Facebook and Twitter, get yourself registered for our next sponsored SEJ ThinkTank webinar on December 9th, 2015 at 1 pm Eastern.


Hosted by SEJ Founder Loren Baker and presented by WordStream Founder Larry Kim, this free hour-long webinar titled “The Ridiculously Smart Guide to Facebook & Twitter Advertising” will show you how to get much, much more out of your paid campaigns – using budgets of $50 or less.



Featured Image: Shutterstock |

All Screenshots Taken by Author: 12/2015

Danielle Antosz

Danielle is the former Features Editor for Search Engine Journal and the producer of SEJ Marketing Nerds podcast. She lives ...

7 Brands Who Are Keeping It Real on Facebook & Twitter (And What You Can Learn From Them)

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