Social Media Advertising

Using Social Media to Promote the Consumer, Not the Brand

6 minute read

Social media is widely recognized as one of the most successful ways for brands to engage in a two-way conversation with their customers. Some brands are more successful than others at utilizing social media in a way that builds customer loyalty; what makes these brands rise above the rest is their ability to put the consumer first.

One’s primary purpose when logging into Facebook is to connect with others, whether they be friends, companies or musicians. Even the most loyal of customers generally do not use Twitter as a medium through which to purchase a new product. In short, people see social media as an interactive and individualized experience, and they want the opportunity to express themselves in this manner. The following two brands are particularly adept at using the social media experience to their advantage.


Converse is doing social media right, thanks to VP-General Manager of Brands and Segments Geoff Cottrill. When asked in an interview for the source of the brand’s success, Mr. Cottrill claimed, “We try to celebrate our audience, not ourselves.” Indeed, Converse’s Facebook and Twitter pages are dedicated primarily to promoting its fans; for instance, a campaign titled Chuck Hackers spanning all of the brand’s social media channels allows customers to post photos of their custom-drawn Chuck Taylor sneakers for millions to see.

A lesson we can learn from this brand is that social media users do not want to be told how to use the products they buy. Converse both understands and publicly praises its audience’s desire to distinguish themselves from others. Are your customers using your products in a unique way? If so, use social media to capitalize on their individuality.


Coke is famous for having millions of social media followers, and for good reason. This huge conglomerate utilizes its Facebook page similarly to Converse in that it centers the channel around the consumer. Its multiple concurrent campaigns solicit fans to generate their own media content to be featured on other social channels, the Coke website, and even in commercials
– take a look at the “This Is Ahh” campaign that asks consumers to create a short clip visualizing their “ahh” moment and post it to the Facebook page.

There are multiple advantages to social media campaigns and contests: for example, they generate a lot of discussion (and therefore visibility) and increase the rate of consumer interaction with the brand. The fundamental reason that consumer-content campaigns are so successful is because consumers want the ability to express themselves and be recognized. Coke uses social media to this end as opposed to increasing product sales.

Customers use social media to be heard. Follow the lead of Converse and Coke and highlight the consumer, not the brand. Contact inSegment’s PR and Social Media team for a boost in your brand’s social media content.