Two things I’m really passionate about are social media and snacks. I love to snack while browsing social media, I love to find recipes for snacks on social media, and I definitely love follow my favorite snack brands on social media!
While I follow the pages/accounts for a lot of my favorite brands, one company I’ve found that does a successful job of handling their social media is Cinnabon. While my fondness for them originated with a love of their products, my marketing radar soon picked up how witty and fun they’ve crafted their brand persona to be. It’s gotten to the point that I’ve gone out of my way on many occasions to see what they’ve posted lately.
This got me thinking: What is it about their marketing that makes it so great, and what can I do with that information? Here are the things about Cinnabon on social media that I think more businesses should implement:
They Have A Strong & Defined Persona
You only need to glance at a few posts to get a sense of the voice at Cinnabon. Their posts are aimed to leave you feeling the way their food does: comfortable and happy. They rely on clever puns quite often and occasionally engage in some tongue-in-cheek humor, to play into the “food porn” trend. (Don’t worry, it’s not nearly dirty as it might sound.) The important thing is that their posts always make you feel something, and that emotional response fosters a connection to your brand in the minds and hearts of your customers.
They Use A Lot Of Imagery
WARNING: Following Cinnabon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube will most likely make you hungry. As a food and beverage company, this is a must anyway, but an added bonus is the exceptional food photography utilized by Cinnabon. Even if you’re not in the culinary industry, research shows that people respond really well to images and videos in social media posts.
There are plenty of examples of brands taking this in a direction it shouldn’t go, but Cinnabon never misses the mark. Whether it’s rephrasing popular songs or utilizing a trending hashtag, they bring voice that genuinely tickles the funny bone. That’s not to say that you should lend your voice to EVERY trend on social media (because you put yourself in the position of looking phony at best and politically incorrect and offensive at worst), but if something in the news or pop culture relates to your industry, it helps to show that you’re tuned in.
They Love To Engage Their Followers
Inspiring conversations are a great way to get people engaged with your brand. Every Thursday, Cinnabon holds a very popular Twitter chat called “#SweetTalk,” where they choose a topic, ask a series of related questions, then followers answer those questions using #SweetTalk in their tweet. Although this often done by companies that provide services and give related advice, Cinnabon chose to make their chat about a range of topics, from snacks to holiday plans to music. Followers love to know that they are being heard because they know that their interests matter.
They're Open To Cross-Promotion
Although it seems counterproductive to direct people away from your site, people don’t want to be inundated with all you, all the time. Linking to other pages builds relationships and makes for good karma—both in the eyes of Google algorithms, as well as in the traditional sense.) Also, by working with another company, you have the potential to open yourself up to a completely new audience.
They Don't Work Too Hard For The Sale
To echo the sentiment of my earlier warning, if you scroll through their feeds and don’t feel an overwhelming urge to drop what you’re doing and go to the nearest Cinnabon store, you should probably reevaluate your priorities. The great thing about they way they manage to achieve this is that they don’t constantly force sales pitches on you—their posts are short and sweet (no pun intended) and let their images seal the deal.
Cinnabon’s effect on me as an inbound marketer and social media enthusiast is proof that you can find inspiration for your company from anywhere—even companies outside your industry. All people want to see is that you are genuinely interested in them as people, and not just as ATMs giving them money. By following good marketing practices, you are not only delighting customers in the short-term, you start cultivating them to become brand evangelists.