How to Use Social Media Like the Pros

For some, there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to learning how to use social media–especially if you’re new to the platforms. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.

Do you ever look at companies that run successful social media campaigns and have thousands of online followers and wonder how they were able to achieve such popularity? Many of the pros adhere to several underlying principles to reach these heights.

There is no question that it takes time and effort to build and maintain an active, engaged follower base on social media channels. The greats didn’t get where they are today overnight. However, by studying viral social media campaigns and applying the key principles behind them to your own efforts, you’ll be on your way to reaching thousands of followers—and, more importantly, significantly increasing your revenue stream.


Instagram’s First Ad: Michael Kors

Instagram ran its first ad in November 2013. Initially, users weren’t happy with the ad, which promoted fashion house Michael Kors. However, the marketing effort ultimately proved to be a success. The day the promotion was launched, it received 370 percent more likes than an average Michael Kors Instagram post, and Kors gained close to 34,000 new Instagram followers as a direct result.


  • Many companies dismiss Instagram because its user base is significantly smaller than those of Facebook and Twitter. However, over the past couple of years, this niche social site has demonstrated a substantial amount of power.
  • Instagram is a visual social media channel. Be honest when assessing whether your brand is a good fit for this type of channel. For fashion houses, Instagram can be a great way to reach a brand new audience.

Native Ads: Taco Bell

Taco Bell has revolutionized the concept of native ads. Native ads involve the advertiser offering content within the context of a user experience. Most brands make their advertising blatantly obvious in native ads, which is offputting for social media users.

After all, people don’t follow brands because they want to see obnoxious “buy me” messages. Taco Bell has found a way to create approachable, fun native ads that are laid back and unobtrusive.


  • You don’t want to intimidate your social media followers. Many people like to follow lifestyle brands because they can relate to amateurish photography styles and relaxed captions. Even if you’re not a lifestyle brand, you can emulate this approach.
  • Put yourself in your users’ shoes. Think about how you would feel if you saw an image that your business created in your own social media feed. If you would find it irritating, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

Events: Audi


Audi created a Snapchat Super Bowl campaign featuring stock images with humorous captions. Most of the content actually had nothing to do with the game, but the Snapchat sessions were responsible for approximately one third of all Audi social media activity on Super Bowl game day. Audi gained 10,500 Snapchat followers within 48 hours, resulting in 100,000 views on Snapchat.


  • Audi used the Super Bowl to break into a new social channel: Snapchat. Even well established reputable brands often have to implement creative strategies to attract followers on new channels.
  • A humorous campaign is a great way to generate excitement and spark conversation centered on your particular brand.

Growing an active online community and crafting social media campaigns takes time and patience. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to implement all of these takeaways at once. Prioritize areas of need and then build from there.