Nike ad marketing campaign for 2012 - Find your greatness

Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses - Learn from Giants

Social media has become an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes. But for a small business owner, how can you compete with the seemingly endless resources of large corporations?

While large businesses and brands may seem to have endless resources, marketing strategies for large businesses are often slow to adapt, rigid in messaging, and often miss the genuine spark that resonates with audiences.

Small businesses, however, have one huge advantage over the bigger brands that have fully established their brand and look: agility and creativity. By learning from larger companies and adapting their strategies to your unique needs, you can craft a social media presence that punches well above its weight.

For small businesses, focusing on building genuine connections should take priority, not just follower counts. Let your passion and personality shine through, and you'll find your niche, your loyal community, and your voice amplified far beyond your perceived size.


Peleton on Tiktok platform for social media marketing strategy article

(Peleton official TikTok video - @onepeleton)

Leveraging Technology to Connect with Younger Audiences

Remember the days of static gym ads and cheesy workout videos recorded on a low-quality phone camera? With the popularity of short-form video content, capturing the attention of Gen Z on social media requires a whole new playbook.

Enter Peloton, the fitness giant that's mastered the art of connecting with this tech-savvy audience. How? By leveraging technology and short-form video content like a pro:

It starts with collaboration, not promotion. Gen Z lives on TikTok, and Peloton recognizes this. They've strategically partnered with popular influencers like Addison Rae and Chase Hudson to create workout routines specifically for the platform's short-form video format.

But it's not just about throwing up any old content. Peloton's success hinges on authenticity and a deep understanding of the platform. They collaborate with creators Gen Z already trusts, craft content that feels native to TikTok, and foster a sense of community around a shared passion for fitness. This approach bypasses skepticism, builds trust, and organically spreads the brand message.

Peleton on Tiktok - keeping it fun on tiktok as a social media marketing strategy

(Peleton official TikTok video - @onepeleton)

And it's more than just likes and shares. Peloton fosters a community around the #Peloton hashtag, uniting users in a shared passion for fitness and motivation. It's not just a brand; it's a tribe. Short, energetic workouts set to viral tunes become part of the platform's endless scroll, feeling native and engaging.

This isn't just Peloton's story; it's a blueprint for any brand hoping to connect with Gen Z for their social media marketing strategy. Embrace authenticity, collaborate with trusted voices, and understand social media platforms. Forget selling, join the conversation! Crank up the music, put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to move with the Gen Z beat.

By adapting Peloton's playbook, you can build your own community around your brand to build loyal fans of the brand, rather than just customers.

Tiktok and Peleton partnership for #TikTokFitness

During the creation of this article, Peleton has recently partnered with TikTok to create a new fitness hub dubbed "#TikTokFitness Powered by Peloton". This has skyrocketed Peleton's shares by a whopping 15%.


Nike's marketing strategy for social media marketing strategies article

(Nike official Instagram post - @nike)

Prioritizing Lifestyle Over Products

Forget glossy product shots and sales pitches – Nike has rewritten the playbook for sports brands. They've moved beyond simply peddling sneakers and become champions of the "Just Do It" lifestyle.

Their marketing strategy isn't to create a catalog of products; it's a tapestry of inspiring stories, woven with the threads of everyday heroes pushing their limits, elite athletes chasing dreams, and the quiet victories of simply showing up and moving your body.

Learning from Nike Ad Campaign from 2012 - Find Your Greatness for a social media marketing strategy

(Nike, 2012 - Find Your Greatness ad)

This shift, from product to purpose, resonates deeply with a broader audience. It taps into our human desire for self-improvement, community, and the thrill of pushing boundaries. We see ourselves reflected in those everyday athletes, not just the Olympians. We hear our own aspirations echoed in their stories, not just the price tags on their shoes.

This approach fosters an emotional connection that goes far beyond the product itself. Nike sells the feeling of accomplishment, the camaraderie of shared goals, and the joy of movement. They become a companion on our fitness journey, not just a shoe on our feet. This authenticity and emotional resonance build brand loyalty that transcends fleeting trends and seasonal releases.

Nike's social media campaign don't focus only on the athletes, but also the fans

(Nike official Instagram post - @nike)

Nike's ads, marketing, and social media marketing don't only focus on the hardworking athletes, but also on the hardworking fans.

So, how can you channel the Nike magic for your own brand? It's not about bombarding audiences with inspirational quotes and celebrity endorsements. It's about finding the stories that resonate with your specific audience and sharing them on social media platforms.

Highlight journeys, showcase the values your brand embodies, and celebrate the small victories and everyday triumphs. Be the cheerleader, not the salesperson.

Remember, genuine inspiration sells better than empty promises. When you focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle, you're not just selling products, you're building a community, a movement, a legacy. And that's a recipe for social media success that goes far beyond just selling stuff.

So, lace up your storytelling shoes, find your community's heroes, and start weaving your own tapestry of inspiration. That's how you can use Nike's social media marketing strategy for your own business.


Wayfair instagram video for short form video as a social media marketing strategy

(Wayfair official Instagram post - @wayfair)

Video Killed the Static Image Star

Forget flat brochures and pixelated product shots – Wayfair has rewritten the playbook for how furniture brands connect with customers. They've replaced sterile room displays with short, immersive videos that transport viewers into dream homes waiting to be lived in.

It's like stepping through the screen and into a world of cozy nooks bathed in warm light, welcoming kitchens humming with family laughter, and sun-drenched patios whispering promises of starlit BBQs.

Suddenly, shopping for furniture isn't just a chore; it's an emotional journey where you can almost smell the fresh bread baking in the oven and hear the happy clink of glasses raised in toast.

Wayfair promotes a lifestyle and experience of their product rather than their product as a social media marketing strategy

(Playfair official Instagram post - @wayfair)

But it's not just about aesthetics. Wayfair's videos infuse these spaces with soul. They show real people interacting with the furniture, cooking up family feasts in spacious kitchens, or laughing with friends around a crackling fireplace. These aren't sterile showrooms; they're homes filled with life, laughter, and memories in the making.

This shift from product focus to storytelling taps into a deeper human desire – the desire to belong, to connect, and to create our own versions of these aspirational spaces. We see ourselves reflected in the people we see on screen, envisioning our own families gathered around that farmhouse table or cozying up with a loved one on that plush sofa.

Wayfair doesn't just sell furniture; it sells the feeling of home, the promise of happy memories, and the joy of creating a space that truly reflects who we are.

So, how can you channel the Wayfair magic for your own brand? It's not about bombarding viewers with perfectly staged vignettes. It's about capturing the human stories that your product or service enables.

Show real people using your product, showcase how it enhances their lives, and highlight the emotional connections it fosters. Be the one who shows lifestyle, not the pushy furniture salesperson.

Remember, people buy emotions, not just products. When you focus on showcasing the feelings, the moments of joy, and the memories that your product fosters, you'll connect with customers on a deeper level. You'll become the Wayfair of your industry, leaving viewers not just wanting your product, but yearning for the life it promises.

So, grab your video camera or a videographer, find the real stories and happy faces, and start crafting your own narratives of aspirational living. That's how you'll transform your social media marketing strategy into a portal to countless happy homecomings.


These are just a few examples of how large businesses are using social media to their advantage. By adapting their strategies to your own resources and target audience, you can create a social media presence that drives real business growth. Here are some actionable takeaways for small businesses:

  • Choose the right platforms: Not all social media platforms are created equal. Focus on the ones where your target audience is most active and engaged.
  • Identify your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your social media marketing? Understanding their demographics, interests, and online behavior is crucial for crafting effective content.
  • Create high-quality content: Share valuable, engaging content that your audience will want to see and share. This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, or even user-generated content.
  • Be consistent: Regularly publish new content to keep your audience coming back for more.
  • Track your results: Use analytics tools to measure the success of your social media campaigns and make adjustments as needed.

By following these tips and learning from the successes of large businesses, you can develop a winning social media marketing strategy for your small business.

Avoid social media marketing agencies or social media marketers that only report followers. Remember, it's not about having the biggest budget or the most followers. It's about creating authentic connections with your audience and building a community around your brand.

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