Labels with social media iconsSocial media networks have taken on a leading role in online marketing. Yet social was never intended to be an advertising platform, which can pose a problem for brands.

So how are the top brands mastering social media marketing?

CEO of Boom and co-author of Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstar, Kim Garst says, the best approach to social media marketing is to be authentic.

Four Seasons look before you book campaign

The Four Season hotel designed an app that allows their customers to view rooms and explore destinations where they own property. The virtual reality app allows prospects to can hotel room and facilities in 3D before they choose to purchase.

This is an authentic approach and gives the hotel credibility. But the app team did not stop there. They also provided additional information for what visitors could expect from a particular resort, for example whether it is child-friendly or whether it has business facilities.

Roberto Cavalli’s passion and personal touch

Italian designer, Roberto Cavalli, provides a face behind a name by featuring in his videos and posting images of himself on his blog and Instagram account – among many other images of course.

The personal approach has helped him to accrue over 1 million Facebook fans and almost half a million on Twitter, not to mention another 128,000 followers on Instagram.

And Cavalli is passionate about his brand and fashion in general. He frequently posts content to his blog – which he shares across his social media networks of course!

USAA Interactive

Social media is all about interacting with people, and USAA took advantage of the annual Army-Navy football game by installing photo stations where spectators could capture photographs with a football themed background and share it with friends and family on social media.

The reason why this campaign worked is because the company chose an event that is important to the nation’s military personnel and their families. It showed patriotism rather than a company looking to cash in on major league events like the Superbowl, thus surmounting their authenticity and their credibility.

Jet Blue in real time

There is a lot to be said for real-time feedback, and the US low-cost airline JetBlue certainly know how to deliver great customer service for their passengers.

Travelling can be stressful, particularly the journey to the airport. There have been several instances where travellers have been held up in traffic or delayed on public transport and contacted the airline via social media.

The one-to-one interaction helps to calm travellers down, but also informs the airline that passengers may be late, and enable them to make emergency arrangements for when they do arrive. These stories always seem to have a happy ending.

Social media is a dynamic platform, and is not just a useful tool for large corporations and well-known brands. With a little creativity, it can be adopted by any business to increase traffic, raise brand awareness and deliver great customer service.