Social Salute: 4 Brands on Social Media to Admire This Year

It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the year. While we know there is much more to come in the next half of 2016, we want to take a moment to salute brands who are doing a killer job so far on social media.


If you’re looking for inspiring brand content on Instagram, look no further than Airbnb. Not only is the company’s entire feed aesthetically pleasing and wanderlust-inducing, but it follows many channel-specific social best practices. It’s no wonder Airbnb won a Shorty Award for best Instagram presence.

The numbers don’t lie, either: with 1 million followers, Airbnb is a clear brand winner on Instagram.

Social 1

The key to gaining and retaining followers is consistency. The clean, sleek, and colorful look of Airbnb’s photos is no mistake—the brand appears to keep the rule of thirds in mind, a well-known compositional photography technique we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. Additionally, Airbnb frequently showcases user-generated content (UGC), an excellent method to strengthen consumer relationships and authentically connect with customers.

Disney Pixar

You’ve got a Snapchat friend in Disney Pixar. The animation film studio is renowned for its beloved children’s movies—but as social media marketers, we’re mainly interested in how the studio utilizes platforms like Snapchat. With a creative and artistic staff at its disposal, we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed.

Top Social 2

Disney Pixar not only uses Snapchat to promote its upcoming movies, like Finding Dory 2, but also engages its followers with entertaining “games” that work naturally within the platform (i.e. tapping on your phone screen—see the example above). It’s obvious the studio put a lot of thought, resources, and artistic effort into its Snapchat strategy.


If you haven’t heard, Facebook Live is taking off by storm. The real-time feature enables users and brands to share moments instantly and has produced fun Q&A’s, live interviews, and behind-the-scenes coverage of events. However, IHOP recently decided to take a less-traditional approach to live video: pancakes on the beach.


Yes, you read that correctly: the famous pancake house’s first Facebook Live video featured three plates stacked with delicious pancakes while ocean waves crashed blissfully on the shore in the background. When users accused IHOP of using a green screen, props began popping up throughout the video in real-time.

Is it a bit weird, a la Denny’s Tumblr? Yes. Was it an effective use of social? Absolutely. With 240,000+ video views (and counting) and a captive audience creating a constant stream of conversation, IHOP takes the (pan)cake for most inventive use of live video.

Red Bull

Even if it’s not your energy drink of choice, you have to give credit to Red Bull’s excellent social media presence. We particularly admire its Twitter account, which uses a perfect content mix of gifs, videos, and photos with short, sweet copy and just the right sprinkle of emojis and relevant hashtags.

While it may be tempting to make your content product-focused, we think Red Bull’s approach of speaking to its customers’ passion points is optimal for social. Red Bull talks about activities that require energy, like intense sports, traveling, or exams.

Finally, Red Bull uses Twitter for opportunities to surprise and delight fans who, in their words, need wings. There’s nothing like a free four-pack to win over new customers!

Top Social 3

Want to know how your brand can excel at social media like the ones discussed here? Contact us for more information and leave a comment with your favorite brands’ social media moments.

Ignite Social Media