Face it: We’re addicted to social media, and it’s finally okay to admit it. Social media is not a fad, and it’s not going away; it’s a permanent reality of online existence. Why? Because it’s no longer used solely for uploading pictures from your family reunion, or wishing “Happy Birthday” to someone you haven’t spoken to since high school. (Side note – can we please stop doing that?)
Now social media is all about the brands. In the past few years, social media marketers have experienced huge changes to Facebook’s algorithm, new features on Twitter, advances on Pinterest, and the staggering rise of Instagram. They’ve learned that a good social media presence is indispensable, forcing brands to leverage social media in exciting and innovative ways.
I asked the Studio 7 team: “What are the best brands on social media? Which brands do you feel are doing social media right?”
“The best accounts are the ones that create a perfect projection of the brand from both a quality and lifestyle perspective. I am really liking the Guess Instagram channel. Another great one is FiftyThree’s Facebook page. Beats by Dre has a great Facebook page too, and I like that they turn the lifestyle factor up a notch.”
My favorite organization to follow on Facebook has been the Lucky Fin Project. In less than five years, its founder, Molly Stapelman, has grown LFP from a support page on Facebook to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an international community. Molly totally “gets” how to bring people together and build awareness using social media. It has been remarkable to watch all of these people find one another, follow what the Lucky Fin Project is doing, and feel a shift in the way I view the world, because of this organization.
I think Lay’s Potato Chips does an awesome job on social media, particularly their Do Us a Flavor campaign. They have not only promoted submitting your flavor on Facebook, but it has all hinged into a foodie road trip on Instagram with #LaysInstaTrip. Bloggers get involved in what they think the next new Lay’s flavor should be. It also gets people buying their chips every year just to try the new, unusual flavors, thus making an impact on a retail level as well.”
“Moosejaw is always entertaining and is one of the few pages that I don’t feel like unfollowing after a week. On Twitter I like to follow @NASA, and more specifically @MarsRover, the robot on Mars that tweets science stuff with a character of its own.”
“I use Pinterest because it is a great no-nonsense tool for grouping similar sites, ideas, and inspiration that I use for both home and work. I know it’s not necessarily a brand, but it’s a great tool.”
“As a photographer I really like Instagram. Right now I’m finding myself captivated by National Geographic’s two pages: @natgeo and @natgeocreative. It’s some truly stunning work to look at and be inspired by.”
As for mine? I use Twitter for interacting with my friends, and as a result rarely ever go on my personal Facebook. However, my favorite platform by far is Instagram. I follow almost 400 accounts – brands, fashion bloggers, health and fitness personalities, restaurants, chefs, and of course any accounts that feature mostly dog photos (@thedogist).
I love SUJA Juice (@lovesuja). They’re a San-Diego based company producing cold-pressed organic juice. I love their account because they aren’t just pushing forward their products, they’re actually providing followers with awesome information (I love their recipes and infographics). It shows that they’re not only experts, but industry leaders.
Another one of my favorite accounts is Ann Taylor Loft (@loft). Besides the fact that I would spend my entire paycheck there if I could, I love their account because it’s strikes the perfect combination between product photos and lifestyle photos. Their whole approach is very simple and minimalistic. I get my daily dose of style inspiration with a side of dog pictures, food pictures, and photo contests.
For companies, the number one rule to succeeding at social media is: Bring value to your customers’ lives in one way or another. They want to see accounts that are smart, fun, stylish, and inspiring, while at the same time are conversational and listen to their needs. There are plenty of companies to learn from who are really killing the social media game, and completely changing the way social media enhances brand messaging.