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Social Media Lessons From Monster, Rock Star & Red Bull

Red Bull, Monster, and Rock Star fight for energy drink market share on shelves and on social media, and that battle has left each of these brands with a great deal to teach about where to focus your efforts, how to build brand awareness, and how to set yourself apart from competitors. Read on to fuel up on social media goodness.

Monster: Activity ≠ Engagement

Monster, like its competitors Rock Star and Red Bull, gets a lot of traction from cars, bikes, and babes in its social media efforts. But that’s not the true lesson here. While researching the brand, I was fascinated to learn that Monster sees the most engagement on Instagram; more than all their other channels combined.

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But the brand posts most frequently on Twitter:

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This is a great reminder that brand posts do not necessarily equal engagement – your brand’s audience has engagement patterns and different momentum tendencies on different networks. By paying close attention to these, you can leverage your content for best success rate. The takeaway here is not that Monster should stop Tweeting – the brand gets a good amount of engagement there, too – but that every brand can benefit from examining which channels its fans and followers are organically drawn to. If the difference is not the content or the messaging, the difference is the network.

Rock Star: The Power of Twitter Takeovers

While poring over Rock Star Energy’s social media data from the past two months, I found the following:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 10.38.38 AM I was struck by the huge spike on April 23, so I looked back through the data and found this:

Ah, of course! The classic Twitter Takeover move. Getting a band/celeb/brand that resonates with your followers to answer questions encourages that band/celeb/brand’s followers to poke around your profile and get curious about your brand – to leverage a Twitter event of this kind properly, make sure you’re building out consistently entertaining content that encourages folks to stick around, become followers, and become Potential Impressions-driving advocates of your brand themselves.

Red Bull: Winning With Videos

When I ran a Facebook Competitive Analysis Report for Red Bull, Monster, and Rock Star, I was intrigued by the success Red Bull is seeing with videos. Red Bull holds the top two most engaged-with posts between the three brands.

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And those posts both include videos:


Between its main competitors, Red Bull is clearly winning the video game, with a significant investment in that type of content right now – in fact, it posts about as many videos as photos.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 11.23.37 AMI don’t bring up this strategy point simply to encourage your brand to start drilling up video content – although it’s clearly working for Red Bull, and is a strong tactic to consider investing in if your budget allows.

I bring this up because Red Bull has found something that sets it apart on a saturated social media field. The high-octane video content that isn’t product specific resonates with their audience, capturing their interests, rather than just their interest in the brand (which is a much harder task). Video is the right medium for their brand. Having that understanding is important.

So what’s your takeaway?

Which energy drink lesson was most helpful? What am I missing? Where do you think Monster, Rock Star, and Red Bull have room to grow on social media? Don’t leave me hanging. Drop a line in the comments below.



Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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