FMCG goods like cereal, nappies, chocolate, tea, and even water are staples of our everyday shopping – but they might not seem like the most eye-catching products to promote on social media.

Amid users’ bustling feeds, and with only seconds’ worth of video or a few lines of text to play with, how can FMCG brands stand out and win over would-be customers?

We’ve rounded up several great examples of FMCG brands that have made a real success of social media – through smart use of tone and humour, building community, playing to the right channels, partnering with key figures, and more.

From established brand juggernauts like Pampers and Cadbury who are keeping things fresh and relevant to small brands like Wild and Surreal Cereal who have built a direct-to-consumer (D2C) customer base on social media, here’s how FMCG brands are succeeding at social media marketing.

Econsultancy runs learning academies for global FMCG brands and offers skills assessment, training and elearning in topics such as omnichannel commerce, retail media, and product & pricing.

Surreal Cereal

High-protein cereal brand Surreal Cereal has made LinkedIn a major platform for its marketing – an outside-the-box choice (pardon the pun) for an FMCG business, but as John Thornton, Senior Creative, told audiences at Ecommerce Expo 2023, LinkedIn is “the only app that people go on to see adverts”.

In its first year on LinkedIn, Surreal Cereal built up 40,000 followers (the brand now has more than 89,000) by using a silly, self-aware tone on a platform where humour and silliness are much more unusual. (Thornton is a former copywriter for Innocent Drinks, also famed for its punchy social media, so he’s had plenty of practice).

For example, Surreal recently created an ad to showcase the fact that they’re now stocked in Sainsburys, and lampshaded their own repeated sharing of the ad on social media.

Given that Surreal’s key customer base is adults who might miss the taste of their childhood cereal (Surreal Cereal’s USP is healthy cereal that tastes good, with flavours like Peanut Butter, Cinnamon, and Choc Hazelnut), LinkedIn makes sense as a platform – and the brand leans into it with posts like a round-up of ‘LinkedIn Friendly’ books and a job listing for an “Influenza Executive” (actually Influencer Marketing Executive).

Surreal also creates irreverent, funny out-of-home (OOH) advertising, with previous campaigns such as its faux-celebrity endorsements attracting some media buzz – and social media buzz, as the brand reshares its OOH ads on social for even more impact.

Whittard of Chelsea

Tea, coffee and hot chocolate brand Whittard of Chelsea puts its social media channels to excellent use with loving short videos and slideshows of tea and coffee how-tos, baking recipes incorporating Whittard products, new product announcements, and glimpses behind the scenes.

We’ve previously written about how strong Whittard’s email marketing is, and they take a similarly creative approach to social media, giving customers new ideas as to how to use Whittard’s products – from coffee ice cubes to tea in cupcakes.

Whittard’s tea, hot chocolate and coffee-incorporating recipes are a particularly clever way to draw in consumers who might not be interested in tea or coffee in drink form, but would try a new recipe instead. Helpfully, this also plays into social media’s love of food videos.

Whittard also knows how to use social media to build community; in 2021 the brand launched a dedicated Facebook group, The Whittard Family, for customers and fans of Whittard. Members use the group to share photos of Whittard goodies and ask questions about recommendations and recipes. Saying that, not all of the feedback is positive, as the group also features posts about issues with shipping and discontinued products; either way, though, it offers Whittard a valuable insight into customer thoughts while giving fans a resource to get more out of their products.


Pampers knows exactly how to tap into influencers on social media, regularly partnering with well-known parenting influencers as well as paediatricians and developmental specialists to promote their products. The brand creates partner videos that help address common parenting questions and anxieties like how and when to best approach toilet training or tips for changing nappies on the go.

Pampers also invited numerous influencers to their headquarters in Ohio to learn about (and demonstrate) the science behind their nappies, resulting in a range of video content produced on-location that shows off the benefits of Pampers.


The proof is in the protection! Messy blowouts are nothing for our blowout barrier defense ????

♬ original sound – Pampers

In the UK, Pampers has also built a community around its social media and partner content with the Pampers Squad, which is an online club that parents can join in order to take part in product trials, share feedback, create content based on their experience with Pampers, and connect with fellow parents. One initiative has seen ‘Squaddies’ join the Pampers Club App to spread the word about the loyalty programme; Pampers also runs a Squaddie Hub that acts as a quasi-community forum where members can connect in the comments of the brand’s posts.


Cadbury knows how to lean into the love for its iconic chocolate on social media, but its social strategy goes beyond simply showcasing images of chocolate bars. Cadbury’s social media accounts feature recipes using Cadbury products; craft ideas like a DIY Valentine’s chocolate box; and videos such as a behind-the-scenes look at Cadbury’s ‘Yours for 200 years’ advert.

Cadbury also leans into the seasonal role played by chocolate in occasions such as Christmas and Easter, showcasing its Heroes sharing tins – a festive staple – at Christmas and reimagining chocolate in Christmassy recipes; and of course, placing Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs front and centre at Easter.

With users often organically sharing novel ways to eat and use Cadbury chocolate on social media, creating its own versions allows the brand to influence and be part of the conversation. User-generated content (UGC) on TikTok reportedly inspired Cadburys to bring back its iconic ‘How do you eat yours?’ Creme Eggs tagline for the first time in 20 years, accompanied by the hashtag #HowDoYouEatYours on Instagram and TikTok.

In another twist on UGC, Cadbury has invited chocolate lovers to share their memories of favourite Cadbury recipes from the past – playing into its 200th anniversary – and is highlighting and recreating favourite submissions on social media.


D2C sustainable body care products brand Wild is best known for its refillable deodorant, but has expanded into refillable body wash and lip balm as well as soap and shampoo bars.

On social media channels like Instagram and TikTok, Wild publishes humorous, memorable video content, such as skits featuring a person dressed as a giant deodorant, and stunts like a ‘Guinness World Record attempt’ for most underarms swiped with the same stick of deodorant in one minute, or a challenge to shop as many products as possible within one minute to promote Wild’s products being stocked in Tesco.

Wild’s approach is tailored to each channel: the stunts are geared towards Instagram, while TikTok videos tend to feature a host speaking directly to the camera in characteristic TikTok fashion, or are short humorous videos offering a peek ‘behind the scenes’ into Wild’s HQ. The brand also responds to customer questions about products on TikTok, which helpfully double as evergreen how-to content.

Wild also stocks its products on TikTok Shop, which allows for a seamless lead-in to a call-to-action at the end of social media posts.


pls make this go viral

♬ Originalton –


NYX Professional Makeup

L’Oréal-owned cosmetics brand NYX has a major presence on TikTok and is known for its ability to play to an audience of beauty lovers on the platform. The brand uses a much more informal voice than might be expected, with all-lower-case text, emoji, and contractions like ‘u’, all of which fits with TikTok’s overall tone.

Lighthearted videos about ‘makeup salad’ are juxtaposed alongside more serious collaborations with beauty influencers highlighting the benefits of wearing sun protection while driving.

NYX even succeeded in having a lipstick product go viral on TikTok in 2021 during the height of lockdowns and mask-wearing, as TikTokers marvelled at the smudge-resistant qualities of the Shine Loud High Shine Lip Color – which made it potentially perfect for wearing beneath a mask.

Alongside its organic social success, NYX has also collaborated with TikTok on paid campaigns to drive brand awareness, such as its #BrowFitness hashtag challenge in June 2020, or its ‘Blind to Brows’ TikTok series in 2023 that parodied Netflix’s series Love is Blind and netted the brand a People’s Voice Webby Award.

Bark Box

Social media has always been home to a thriving pet lover community, and dog toy and treat subscription brand Bark Box has found great success by tapping into this audience.

Its posts on Instagram (under the Bark Box brand, although it also posts as umbrella brand Bark) and TikTok (where it chiefly posts under the Bark brand) place dogs’ quirks and adorable habits front and centre, often featuring humorous content from Instagram pet accounts.

The brand uses a light-hearted and fun tone, with its description on TikTok reading, ‘a bunch of dog obsessed weirdos’ – fitting for a brand that centres playful and energetic animals. Many of its posts don’t mention Bark Box at all, but are simply memes or relatable dog owner content.

Bark Box’s presence extends beyond its social accounts, as customers are encouraged to tag #BarkBox in their social media posts – a hashtag that reportedly accrues thousands of posts per month on Instagram. This gives the brand reach across the wider pet influencer and pet social media community, and lets customers do the talking about how much they (and their pets) enjoy the brand, while Bark Box can be more tongue-in-cheek about its own products and content.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BarkBox (@barkbox)

Liquid Death

Beverage brand Liquid Death has a distinctive brand image, and the brand leans into it very successfully on social media with content that pushes the boundaries of what would be expected from a corporation on social media. In one provocative video, Liquid Death teamed up with Titmouse Animation to create a gory animated short about its mascot, ‘Murder Man’, who has ‘murderous superhuman abilities’.

Liquid Death also produces videos and satirical ads poking fun at the practices of rival beverage brands that it aspires to differ from, such as its casting call for the satirical soft drink brand ‘Pure Sugar’, or a facetious Earth Day post extolling the planet-destroying qualities of single-use plastic bottles.

On social networks that facilitate sharing like Twitter/X, Liquid Death also promotes user-generated content from fans of the brand, such as a post that repurposes a can into a light fixture, or a consumer’s shelf display of their Liquid Death cans – showing the strong affiliation that consumers have with the brand.

Econsultancy runs learning academies for global FMCG brands.

For more social media trends and analysis, members can download the latest edition of Econsultancy’s Social Quarterly Report or visit our social media hub. For FMCG stats, trends, and best practice, visit our FMCG hub.