One of the most important attributes of successful small business owners is the ability to learn, and learn often.
That’s right, every day brings new advances in business technology, approaches for running your business, and new ways to market your products and services.
Sometimes it seems like that last one hits business owners the hardest. After all, no one wants his or her business to be left behind, right? To prevent that you need to at least learn about, and evaluate, each new marketing channel.
And that brings up the subject of social media. Talk about an ever-changing playing field — it seems like new sites are launched every day while others disappear. Sure, there are the big players, but even they seem to change on a regular basis.
Blab anyone? How about MySpace and Friendster?
While the social media landscape is changeable, small business owners still need to, on top of everything else, stay up on the latest changes. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a shortcut, some way to figure out how to best use a social media site for your business?
Well there is and whether you call them case studies or success stories, these real life social marketing examples are your fast track ticket to learning how to get the most out of a social media network.
Small Business Trends, has been telling these stories for a long time so here from the archives are some of the best social media examples all in one place.
Put on your learning caps and prepare yourself for insights galore!
General Social Marketing Examples
These first two links lead to lessons on general social media marketing. They don’t pertain to any particular site and in fact, can be used for all.
Learning from the Best: Social Marketing Habits of 6 Power Users
Reading this post is like getting a lecture on how to do social media from the folks who do it best, the power users who’ve been super successful at social marketing.
4 Social Media Lessons SMBs Can Learn From IBM
While you may not connect IBM with social media success right away, these social marketing lessons show that the giant gets social media in all the ways it counts.
Cross Platform Social Marketing Examples
The next set of social media marketing examples consists of articles that focus on multiple networks, not one specific one. These stories cross platforms like the chicken on that road, but the lessons are pure gold.
30 Businesses that Are Rocking Social Media
This is probably one of the most inspirational social media marketing posts on Small Business Trends. These 30 businesses have learned how to get the most out of social marketing and it’s all waiting for you to discover.
7 Awesome Social Media Content Greats To Emulate
This post takes a look at both individuals who, and brands that, have learned to use social media to engage their audience.
GoPro’s Andrew Shipp: Create Amazing Social Media Content — Now
This interview with Andrew Shipp covers a lot of ground including many examples of brands that are crushing it on social media.
This Guy Promotes an Entire Town Online
If you’re looking for inspiration, then this is the post to read. It’s the story of how one man’s efforts to promote his town on social media started to yield amazing results.
Lesson from Reddit Fiasco: Keep Community Under Control
The final post in this section highlights what can happen when social media goes bad. Even if you’re not in charge of the social media network as Reddit was, the lessons on managing your online community are super-relevant.
Facebook Social Marketing Examples
There’s no doubt that Facebook is the 800 lb. gorilla of social media. Despite its popularity however, many small business folks find it intimidating. Here are some social marketing lessons to help you get up and running.
How 5 Small Businesses Are Using Facebook to Reach Customers
These five small businesses have learned how to use Facebook successfully to grow. Now you can learn from them.
46 Small Business Facebook Pages to Follow
This post is pure inspiration. If you want examples of how other small businesses are using Facebook, then start here.
This Entrepreneur Built a Business on Facebook Exclusively
Here’s a close look at one specific example of Facebook social marketing success.
The 5 Biggest Brands on Facebook And How They Do It
There’s a lot that small businesses can learn from bigger ones and this post passes on those lessons.
Travel Club Startup Began with a Facebook Invite
One of the best aspects of social media is the good results that crop up unexpectedly. This is a story of one of those times.
Hillary Clinton’s Social Media Lesson for all Entrepreneurs
What can Hillary Clinton teach you about social marketing? Find out by reading this post.
Staples Introduces Facebook Messenger Chat Feature
The office giant has teamed up with Facebook to integrate Messenger with its website. Discover the underlying marketing drivers for that decision.
Adrian McDermott of Zendesk: Using Facebook Messenger as a Customer Support Channel
Finally, learn why Zendesk began using Facebook Messenger to support customers.
YouTube Social Marketing Examples
YouTube has the potential to be incredibly engaging and a powerful social marketing tool. Here’s some inspiration, as well as real life examples, of how folks are using this channel.
- 6 Companies Killing It on YouTube – What You Can Learn
- How Small Businesses Are Using YouTube to Find Customers
- How Everyday People are Building Businesses on YouTube
- How One YouTube Sensation Spurs Entrepreneurs to Create Follow-On Videos
- Musician Makes over $18k in 5 Days with Social Media
- Walk Off the Earth Band Gets Record Deal from YouTube
- How Smosh Gets 60 Million Visits a Month on YouTube
- What is Gangnam Style? And What Does it Mean for Business?
- What Target Can Teach You About Interactive Video
Twitter, Pinterest, Vine and Instagram Social Marketing Examples
Tweeter in Chief: Obama Twitter Account Gets Heavy Engagement
What lessons can small businesses draw from Barrack Obama’s success on Twitter? Click here to find out!
20 Killer Brand Strategies On Pinterest
You’ll find a great overview of how 20 brands are using Pinterest effectively in this post.
20 Brands Killing It With Vine Marketing
Vine’s short videos can attract and engage a broad range of audiences. Here are some examples of how Vine is being used for social marketing.
Top 25 Brands You Should Follow on Instagram
These brands are doing Instagram right so head on over and see what you can learn.
Kiel James Patrick Instagram Campaign
This previous nominee in the Small Business Influencer Awards demonstrates a social marketing approach that is unique and takes advantage of what the Instagram network offers perfectly.
Livestreaming and Periscope Social Marketing Examples
Streaming video live via social media channels such as Periscope is still fairly new, but a quickly growing, trend. Here are some real life examples of how folks have used this medium to market their business.
- Monique Johnson: Livestreaming is More Than Hitting a Button on Your Smartphone
- Livestreaming Lets Brands and Entrepreneurs Target Millennials
- Building A Brand On Periscope Isn’t For The Faint Of Heart
- How a Former Michigan Wolverine Uses Periscope To Build Community
- Why Millionaire Shawn Thomas Gives Back on Periscope
- This Entrepreneur Uses Periscope As A Growth Hack
- Relocating? Get The Low-Down On a City From Locals on Telepor.me
- Latino Entrepreneur Taps Growing Trend: Livestreaming in Spanish
Viral Marketing Examples
Going viral is the dream of all social marketers. In this final section, you’ll find some real life examples of campaigns that did just that.
- Seven of the Best Small Business Viral Marketing Campaigns
- Local Attorney Ad Goes Viral with More Than 5 Million YouTube Views
- Want Your Video to Go Viral? Threaten the End of the World
- Peeple Rating People and 5 Other Viral Marketing Hoax Campaigns
- Viral Marketing Campaign Spooks Coffee Shop Patrons
- WestJet Event Goes Viral: Holiday Wishlists Filled for Passengers
- Move Over Grumpy Cat — Chica the Spider Dog Goes Viral
- How Fangirls Made #AlexFromTarget an Internet Star
- Here are Some of the Best Viral Campaigns of 2015
Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock