The energy drinks industry is booming.
In every corner shop or supermarket you will find shelf upon shelf of these drinks. They have become a staple of modern living; whether you’re powering through a stakeholder meeting or pulling an all-nighter revising for that all important exam the next day, there is sure to be an energy drink in your hand, helping you cross the line.
It is no surprise then that energy drink companies are equally as dominant on social media. You only need to think as far back as Red Bull’s Stratos jump where they put their logo in-front of a worldwide audience, executing what could be described as a game changer as it was one of the most impressive advertising stunts ever.
Let’s take a look at why these energy drinks rule social media.
Boasting a staggering 43.7 million Facebook fans (with 80,000 new fans this week to date) Red Bull is the second most popular branded Page on Facebook, second only to Coca-Cola (83.3 million fans). While the twitter following is considerably smaller it is still an enviable 1.53m.
Red Bull sponsor 48 different ownerships, sponsorships and endorsements including a multitude of extreme sports teams and athletes which they regular cover on their Facebook Page. In addition to that they also host 27 events including the infamous Red Bull X-Fighters, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series and the Red Bull Soap Box Race. This vast array of affiliations mean that there is an almost endless stream of high quality content to their social channels to ensure that their fans and followers are engaged for as long as possible.
The majority of Red Bull’s content comes from these affiliations and it is an almost impossible task to find any content on their Page that isn’t some sort of inspiring or jaw dropping video or image. Likes and shares of the content are in the thousands on every single post ensuring that their content is served to an even wider audience who do not necessarily like the Page already, an important factor in fuelling the relentless growth of the Page at over 100k new fans week on week.
Unlike the vast majority of branded Facebook Pages you will struggle to find any promotion of their products. There are no special offers or discounts. They don’t push a sales message or shout ‘buy our drinks!’ They simply let their content do the talking. They establish themselves as the effortless, cool kid who doesn’t need to shout about how great they are because you should already know that.
As a general rule Twitter accounts normally have less of a following than their Facebook counterpart pages. This remains the rule with Red Bull but they still boast a sturdy following of over 1.5 million. By utilising the hashtag #givesyouwings Red Bull are able to maintain a consistent branded message across their tweets whilst giving their followers something to pull all the content together. The message also ties in with their content which often features extreme sports athletes flying through the air on bikes or snowboards.
Just like their rivals Red Bull, Monster Energy also sport an impressive social following. With 24.5 million Facebook Fans (with an average growth of just under 100k a week) and 1.31 million followers on Twitter Monster has established itself as another industry leader.
The similarities between the two brand giants do not stop at their large fan bases. Just like Red Bull, Monster Energy also have an impressive association with extreme sports groups, which once again forms the basis of their social media strategy.
The main sports they concentrate on are skateboarding, NASCAR and Moto GP and again the focus is on inspiring images and behind the scenes content.
Their content first approach is maintained across Twitter with the brand using a variety of hashtags to link their tweets to the extreme sports events they are showcasing. By doing this they allow fans of the sport to find their content with a simple search, with the opportunity to then turn them into followers and further grow their social presence.
How do I Energise my Brand?
Branded content plays a huge part in social media. However, these three energy drink brands appreciate the subtle nature of the medium. They don’t splatter their branding over everything they post.
The key to successful branded content is to create something that people WANT to watch or share, something that resonates with your fans or offers them an incentive, in this case, exclusive footage of their favourite athletes and sports.
This sort of subtle branding transforms an audience into a community whose interests extend beyond the product offered by the brand, creating a stronger brand affinity and allowing the fans to connect with the brand identity, values and beliefs and not just the product or service it is offering.
But how can you apply this to your brand?
Simple. Stop trying to sell. Instead try to offer value, think about your fans and not your sales figures and in the long run you will reap the rewards. Follow these simple tips to energise your brand’s social media strategy:
Play to Your Strengths
A brand should always play to its strengths when it comes to any form of marketing. Red Bull and Monster are both well connected in the extreme sports industry so they use this to their advantage to provide insights and recommendations that are definitely not wasted on their fans. So, your brand may not have the connections to send someone to the edge of space but you might have the opportunity to produce content from community events/ charity sponsorships or even just a product that lends itself particularly well to visual manipulation. Identify what your strength are and apply it to your social efforts.
Have a Clear Brand Message
This should not be “please buy our product” but should instead represent the value that your brand can offer to its fans. Red Bull’s message of “Gives You Wings” represents the brands ability to improve your life and take you to new heights but also ties in with the daring and often high-flying nature of its extreme sports endorsements. It offers fans inspirational content and instead of saying “please buy our product” it shows how they can offer you more value than that.
Be a Crowd Pleaser
What do your fans want? What makes them tick? How can you add value to their lives? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself when developing your social media strategy. It is no secret that organic reach is falling on Facebook so you need to make every single post count to maximise engagement and subsidise organic reach with virality.
Be More Awesome
Why settle for average just because that is what everyone else is doing? Be more awesome. Produce content that you are excited about and chances are, if you know your brand well, your fans will respond with equal enthusiasm.
Over to You
What do you think? How are you energising your brand? How are you being more awesome?