As the social media marketing landscape evolves, companies are increasingly inventing and reinventing ways to create compelling advertising for their brands.

More than ever, if you’re a business owner, it’s important to stay current on new social media trends, since users are quicker to support or ignore brands. Even so, there are a limited number of resources for business owners. So how do you go about educating yourself about what’s next in social media? Try following the examples of these five trendsetters and see if you can get some wheels turning.

1. HomeAway

HomeAway has taken something ordinary – vacation rentals – and turned it into something extraordinary by putting a face behind the campaign. With the idea behind HomeAway being, ‘why home, when you can HomeAway?” it’s no wonder that the short commercials they’ve put out online show some hilarious (and true) scenarios of what happens when you rent a hotel as opposed to a vacation home.

The Ministry of Detourism (and the Minister’s swanky accent) built up their presence leading up to the customized Super Bowl commercial that was released- giving you the ability to put your face on the baby in the commercial (jib-jab style but more awesome) and star in the commercial. There’s also another cutting edge app they released where you can put your vacation rental in their ad and create a customized tour of it for friends and potentials.

2. Abercrombie & Fitch

With its sexualized advertising and trendy fashions, Abercrombie & Fitch has long been attractive to young consumers. Knowing that most of its demographic uses Facebook on a daily basis, A&F has developed an engaging page, with activities like Model Match.

This application allows fans to match themselves with store models, creating another way for people to get attached to the brand.

They also have a tab specifically for A&F casting- one easy place to stay in the loop for users.


3. Victoria’s Secret

Like Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret knows that much of its consumer base is on Facebook. The Victoria’s Secret facebook page lets users find out about sales, coupons, and new items.

But what makes the page stand out are its interactive features: users can “Send Love” to their Facebook friends in the form of little gift cards. It’s the perfect way to let users add some emotion to the brand. They are also always posting up images of their models in products- not only putting eye candy out there, but making people want their product too in a fun/non pushy way. Subliminal.

4. Barstool Sports

There are lots of websites that provide sporting news, but few deliver it with the irreverent panache of Barstool Sports. The company does a great job of providing users with fresh content and allows them to interact with the brand by playing games and by letting users comment on anything and everything — something many brands are scared to do.

The company also knows that users don’t want watered-down, politically correct content, so it employs a no-holds-barred approach to its writing.


This sports news stalwart has capitalized on its dominance by providing users of its website with multiple ways to engage with the company. Users can vote, watch videos, and comment on almost everything.

Also, ESPN has made great use of opengraph, and makes it super easy for users to share content by allowing them to “like” articles and videos, which creates an instant link on the user’s Facebook page.

6. Honda

The car manufacturer has created a dynamic Facebook page. There are pages for each of its models, giving users the opportunity to peruse the cars they may someday buy. But one of the most interesting features of the page is the “Dreams” tab, where Honda has posted short documentary films that highlight people’s successes and struggles. It’s a great way for users to form an emotional connection to the brand and be entertained at the same time.

By studying some examples of successful social media marketing, you’ll no doubt be inspired to try out some ideas of your own. Anytime you find a Facebook or Twitter page with a lot of fans or followers, or even a socially enabled or open graph enabled site, take note: the company is doing something right, and maybe it’s something you can learn from.

Can you find one example of effective marketing today that you could incorporate into your company’s social presence tomorrow?


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