As social media bloggers, we spend a lot of our time telling everyone how to “do” social media. Use hashtags – but not too many. Reply to commenters. Choose a tone of voice and be consistent etc etc etc. Often we include examples of people who get it so, so wrong. But who’s getting it right? Read on to discover my top brands on social media.
The Glasgow Subway is a pretty straightforward mode of transport – it’s in a circle, you can go clockwise or anticlockwise, and they run at short “intervals” rather than on a timetable. What could they possibly have to say on a Twitter account? I had the pleasure of hearing Elaine Magee and Stephanie Todd, the voice(s) of the Subway, talk at Social Media Week Glasgow 2012, and they provided some insights into how they keep it interesting. Their number one goal is to give the Subway a bit of personality to match the colourful residents of Glasgow, and to engage followers in a conversation. They not only Tweet service announcements, but tidbits and trivia about the subway, information on what to do and see around Glasgow (travelling by Subway, of course) and instigate a bit of banter with their followers. On top of this, they’ve run some great campaigns, including a real life treasure hunt around the city.
This is a great example of a brand doing more than just Twitter and Facebook. Sony take a unique approach to the visual platform, finding creative ways to get followers excited about their products. Pinterest has a predominantly female user base – recent stats show women are five times more likely to be on Pinterest than men. This could be why the most popular boards and images include fashion, crafts, humour, quotes, how-tos and animals. Sony has tapped into these trends, going beyond products shots and the hard sell, in favour of getting followers truly interested in the brand. One board, “I Can Haz Gadgets”, is exclusively shots of animals with Sony products; another depicts the fashion of their music label’s artists; yet another is full of crafty ways to personalise and protect your gadgets. Their board dedicated to what their followers are lusting after is the icing on the delectable, pinnable cake.
The craft beer scene is getting more and more attention in the UK, and one of Scotland’s stars is Brewdog. A huge part of their popularity has been down to their pushing of boundaries, both with their hoppy beers and their punky branding. On Social Media, their brand has a “personality”; a bearded, swearing, beer glugging personality. Their biggest online success to date has been their democratic beer, a collaborative project with their online fans. Over the course of a week, Brewdog put every brewing decision to their followers and craft beer enthusiasts via Facebook, Twitter and their blog. From beer style to the name of the brew, votes were cast using the hashtag #mashtag. The final brew? A 7.5% American brown ale called … yep, you guessed it. #MashTag.
Much like Sony, Sharpie shares what their product can do rather than sharing pictures of their product. And what can Sharpie do? Draw. On anything. This results in a colourful, likeable, shareable Instagram feed. While most of their posts are illustrations (using Sharpies, of course), Sharpie shares photos of different things that can be, and have been, customised using Sharpie pens. This ranges from wall plugs to white-framed sunglasses. Most recently, Sharpie had their fans attack some white marks with their new neon range, and showcase them under UV lights. Their approach targets teens, with a focus on getting fans involved and inspiring creativity. This means its fresh, visual and engaging, to constantly dodge teenage boredom.
Over to you
What are your favourite brands using social media? Let me know in the comments, or tweet Dave the Penguin @social_penguin and he’ll get the message to me. He’s reliable that way.