One of the best ways to achieve success is to model your effort, behavior, and mindset after those who have made it big. Why else do we buy their memoirs, self-help books, and tickets to their lectures? We want to follow in their footsteps.


track social media success

In that light, take a look at these awesome examples of companies who have taken social media by the horns and ridden it to success in new and creative ways.

Clever Social Media Strategies that Worked

Samsung: Remember this Twitter selfie that was posted by Ellen after the Oscars? It was taken with a Samsung Galaxy. Ellen’s post was retweeted over 2.6 million times, and though Samsung’s involvement was subtle, the tweet generated a lot of buzz for the brand.

Oreos: “You can still dunk in the dark.” The now iconic Oreos ad aired during the also infamous Super Bowl XLVII blackout. It features a lone Oreo cookie on a background that fades from white to black. This was retweeted on Twitter over 15,000 times and liked on Facebook over 20,000 times, illustrating Oreo’s timeliness and originality. That’s the key thing to remember about social media: learn to strike while the iron’s hot.

Skype: In 2013, the famous telecom business teamed up with popular travel blogger Mike Corey in a stunt to document its own product in action. Corey was abandoned in Istanbul without luggage or a way home and his only means of communication were Skype and Twitter. The gimmick was called “Rerouted: A Skype travel challenge.” Erin Walsh of Boost Software Inc. claimed that the effort “put [Skype] back on the map with everyday users and gave them a reputation for being more than a corporate IM tool.”

Wendy’s: Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger campaign of summer 2013 became its most successful product launch to date. The company turned fan tweets into a collection of love song parody videos. The videos garnered over 7.5 million Facebook views. Wendy’s stock soared and everyone was happy, with CNBC’s Jim Cramer calling the campaign “genius.”

Taco Bell: This strategy is relevant to any company that has a physical product to photograph. Taco Bell’s approach to “native ads” has been effective with its target audience, the Millennial generation. In native advertising, the advertiser “hides” its ads within the context of the users’ experience, as opposed to more blatant, in-your-face advertising. Using Instagram, Taco Bell posts amateur photos of menu items with hashtagged captions that modern users and diners can relate to.

Arby’s: During the 2014 Grammy Awards, Arby’s harnessed the power of Twitter and sent out a tweet poking fun at performer Pharrell Williams’ hat, which resembled the Arby’s logo: “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs.” This simple, well-timed message was retweeted over 48K times. In a follow up, Arby’s reported that it has purchased the hat from Pharrell over eBay for $44,000 and donated the money to the artist’s charity.

How to Incorporate these Strategies into Your Social Media Campaign

In the words of The Buzz Agency’s director of social media, Alex Bimonte, “…simple humor and less than 140 characters can lead to great exposure and success for multiple brands, and […] timing is of the essence.”

If you want to find social media success, you first need to have personnel on staff whose sole responsibility is to stay tuned into pop culture, monitor your social media accounts, and remain alert to opportunities to chime in. Otherwise you will constantly be missing golden opportunities to speak up, create waves, and put your brand in front of thousands of people.

Tracking Your Success

Other must-haves in your toolset are these free and paid programs to help you track your efforts and results:
•    Google Analytics
•    Wildfire’s Social Media Monitor
•    My Top Tweet by TwitSprout
•    Hootsuite

Are we missing any tools that have worked for you? What other social media success stories have you heard of or experienced?


Martin, James. “14 Must-See Social Media Marketing Success Stories.” (June 16, 2014.)

Honeysett, Alex. “4 Ways to Measure Your Social Media Success.” (June 16, 2014.)