Discover more from Link in Bio
8 Recent Brand Posts I’m Into and Why
Including a Reel from the Milwaukee Public Library and a TikTok from the Cincinnati Zoo.
It’s back! This week we’ve got another round up of recent brand posts that I dug and why. There’s everything from a wholesome Reel from the Milwaukee Public Library (that many of you DMed me) to a nostalgic video on SportsCenter’s Twitter. We’ll be discussing more clever posts in the Link in Bio Subscriber Chat later today, so be sure to join that here! (Android users, you can now join too!) Okay, let’s get into it.
1. The Milwaukee Public Library’s Funny Reel
I don’t think I’ve ever been sent a post as many times as you all sent me this Reel from the Milwaukee Public Library. It’s got it all: wholesome energy, humorous timing, and an educational core message. A triple threat. What is interesting, that some may not have picked up on, is that what they are doing is actually a riff on a trend made popular by @robandmay. They credit them in the caption (smart) and then tweak the trend to make it their own. This is something I think a lot of brands can learn from: take a popular trending format that’s guaranteed to perform, personalize it for your brand, and credit the original creator. At CAVA we actually just did something similar by commissioning the woman who has recently blown up for showing how various things walk. And since I know someone will ask—I am not exactly sure how they are getting away with using that song. But, like many brands do these days, post the Reel and ask for forgiveness later. Also please watch this.
2. Heaven by Marc Jacobs’ Genius Carousel
Heaven by Marc Jacobs, the “gateway into the sprawling and enigmatic omniverse of Marc Jacobs subversion”, makes a very strong case for quality over quantity. They don’t post often, but when they do it always hits. The above slideshow in particular got me (click through!). To take people’s old Halloween photos and recreate them to a T—while wearing Heaven, of course—is just such a simple but effective idea. I scrolled through the whole thing. Their engagement rate on Instagram (17%!) is also extremely impressive for a brand. Clearly building a dedicated audience through quality content pays off.
3. Toiro Kitchen’s Delicious Recipe
Toiro Kitchen is a store in Los Angeles that sells donabes and other artisanal kitchen tools and tableware from Japan. What I love most about their account is that they think of the whole lifecycle of their customers. What would someone who just bought a donabe want? Recipes to make in your donabe, of course! I followed because I bought my donabe from them, but I stayed because they became a vital educational resource for how to use my new cooking vessel. The recipes always look so delicious and I love that they come straight from the store’s owner.
4. Fantasy Explosion’s Clever Shirts
Yes, Fantasy Explosion sells vintage shirts and their Instagram is just photos of said shirts. But, similar to that Twitter account “shirts that go hard” that was weirdly everywhere, shirts are also content. In fact, very shareable content. I can’t tell you how many times I saw this shirt in particular reposted. Their strategy is simple but it works: they use these shareable shirts to announce new drops and pair them with simple captions letting you know what time the drop will be. There’s a scarcity mentality that keeps people engaged too—the thrill of the hunt. I still regret not getting this shirt, but I keep following in case something just as good comes along.
5. Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources’ “Texts”
I know I know, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Twitter deserves a dedicated newsletter. But let’s just talk about this tweet for a second. I’ve noticed a trend lately where social managers will post “messages” from their boss or colleague. For example, McDonalds did it here with someone from their legal team. It’s a breaking of the fourth wall (fourth screen?) that attempts to humanize a brand’s social while also positioning the team as the rebels of the company. I think it has varying levels of success, but I do love this example of it from WADNR. It’s not trying to fool you into thinking it’s a real exchange and the one-two punch of the actual mocked up “graphic design is my passion” vibe image is particularly good.
6. SportsCenter’s Nostalgic Video
A lot of brands dabbled with nostalgia this year, but this is one of my favorite executions. SportsCenter nailed it with this video that used the That’s So Raven opening theme song and credits. It’s extremely unexpected but between the editing and the caption it somehow makes so much sense. I also think they could legally do this because SportsCenter is on ESPN which is majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company. I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer but that sounds right to me. Either way, I loved this video by the SportsCenter team and I only see brands leaning more and more into nostalgia in 2023.
7. Planet Money’s Smart Explainer
Enable 3rd party cookies or use another browser
My love for Planet Money’s TikTok is no secret. I talk about them pretty much every chance I get. Why? Because they’ve created a very successful TikTok account without relying on trending sounds or a mascot. That’s impressive. I love this post from Courtney Theophin, the self-described “OTHER @planetmoney Tik Tok Guy”, where he explains overdraft fees in a succinct, funny, and clever way. When I am feeling stuck on TikTok for a brand, I head to the Planet Money account to get re-inspired on how to play on a platform that can sometimes feel homogenous.
8. Cincinnati Zoo’s Very Cute TikTok
Enable 3rd party cookies or use another browser
I normally think parasocial relationships with people on the internet are weird, but that doesn’t count for hippos! Because I am fully, madly, deeply in love with Fritz the hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo. Lucky for me, the zoo’s TikTok account indulges me and often posts very cute updates on Fritz. While I think what makes this post (and the entire account) so good is fairly unique to the zoo industry, it’s generally a good reminder to turn your camera around on things you’re already doing. Simple videos on the zoo’s account like feeding a hippo a pumpkin or a porcupine eating corn have racked up millions of views. If you’re not sure where to start on your brand’s TikTok, document things that are already going on: BTS of making a product, founder Q&A, and more.
There are a few new jobs in the Link in Bio job board! Transparently, the company I use for the job board changed a few things recently that I am still getting used to and working through. I promise it’ll be back up and running at full speed soon!