Well, it's award season for celebrities (isn't it?). Since many of us will never have to prepare an acceptance speech for the Oscars, let alone a local talent contest, we at Blue Archer have decided to hold our first annual "Social Media Outstanding Citizen" Award show. The name was chosen mainly for the incredible acronym it forms. SMOC? That's catchy right? "SMOC award winner" - hey, we like it.
This year we did the footwork ourselves, climbing through the mountains of social media awesomeness, diving into the pools of customer-service brilliance, and making our way to digital communicative grandeur. We poked and prodded at several contestants on their several social media platforms, and rated their overall effectiveness. Here, (drum roll, please) are our results!
1. Tactical Tweeter:
Congratulations to.... Pepsi! Ever heard of them? They make fizzy drinks, and they are the winner of our "Tactical Tweeter" SMOC award. We're not the only ones who think they have something to say; they have over 1 million followers. The Pepsi brand does an awesome job of being completely culturally and socially aware (with the help of the gang at Deep Focus). They tweet memes, photographs, jokes, music, oh- and stuff about their brand - all while staying true to their company personality: cheeky, quirky, and refreshingly entertaining. Unlike a lot of companies, Pepsi isn't afraid to tweet like a real person (imagine that!). They aren't afraid to enter into random conversations with tweeters, and they aren't above a completely "random-thought" tweet. But, that's what we find not only endearing but more importantly effective. They aren't throwing their product down the throats of the digital community; followers are willfully sipping from their pot of social media glory. See how they get the buzz started:
2. Pinteresting Prodigy:
Whole Foods Market
Congratulations to... Whole Foods! Yumm... these social media all-stars rock most social media platforms out there, and they populate them all really well. In an effort to not have Whole Foods monopolize our Social Media Outstanding Citizens Award (Hello? We have bylaws to uphold), we decided to pick what we thought they did best- Pinterest. Whole Foods - a brand that could easily stick to strictly food-related pins - has managed to create a surprisingly eclectic pin board. They include recycling, strength, architecture, technology, and beauty in their pinned-themes. All of their boards include creative names like "Cheese is the Bees Knees", which we once complimented them on via Twitter AND received a response from them (See? They totally own the Twitter realm too). Additionally, a significant amount of their boards are community boards, meaning other non Whole Foods employees and regular people can pin to them too, making their pin's viral radius even greater. Almost 2 thousand pins and over 115K followers later, we're giving Whole Foods 2 thumbs up and their very first SMOC award!
3. Facebook Fanatic:
Congratulations to... L.L. Bean! These guys may not boast the millions of followers that other brands have on Facebook, but they treat their 150K "likes" as individuals. Firstly, their Facebook timeline looks clean and professional. They update their cover photo based on different seasons, specials, and brand happenings, and their updates are unique while encouraging customer engagement. Custom tabs help to direct Facebookers to limited-time promotions and sales through their "daily mark-down" tab. The "Share Your Story" tab helps to support social media engagement by acting as a center for customers to talk about their own experiences and memories with the L.L.Bean gear. The posts range from informational to downright inspirational. Sure, they aren't above a few product promotions here and there, but they do it in a non sales-y approach, making their content more user-friendly and appealing for brand followers. There sheer volume of their Facebook updates makes it current and fresh without being spammy.
4. LinkedIn Leader:
In case you have yet to catch on, we're fans of alliterations here at Blue Archer. This year's LinkedIn Leader is.... IBM! No surprise, there. IBM enjoys a staggering 1,035,422 followers. Additionally, over 300,000 of their employees are connected via the LinkedIn network. Their homepage displays frequent updates complete with both pictures and videos. Many of their updates link directly to their various IBM niche blogs, like their software blog, for example. Other updates include third-party business articles focused on IBM or even simply relevant industry news. As a colossal company, IBM also makes use of their careers page. Their professional image header and embedded video regarding careers at IBM help to showcase their company culture as an attractive work environment for prospective employees. IMB's Products and Services page, like many other LinkedIn profiles, functions as a highly informational page. Consequentially, it looks pretty text-heavy. However, their recommendations on the right column from hundreds of clients help to break up the text with individual pictures.
5. Wild Card Winner:
We couldn't wrap up our Social Media Outstanding Citizen Awards without representing a little guy. As a small business, we love other small businesses.In a lot of ways, small business' tenacity and spunk online makes them some of the more interesting brands to follow. That's why this year, we are giving our Wildcard Winner to.... Bethel Bakery! For those who know the people behind Blue Archer, it should surprise no one that - as food enthusiasts - we might be a little biased. But, sweets or no sweets, Bethel Bakery has gleaned an impressive following on Facebook of about 3,800 "likes". So how did a Pittsburgh small business gather such an impressive online audience? Well, the frequent pictures of downright delicious treats probably don't hurt. But, furthermore, Bethel Bakery shares images of daily specials they're selling each day. What better way to lure in sweet-toothed Pittsburghers? They complement their photos with engaging text, like asking their customers which flavors they would like to see them offer in the future. The social media masters at Bethel Bakery have also built up enticing profiles and impressive followings on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest among others. For their well-rounded social media technique and their sweet digital demeanor, we're awarding them as this year's Wildcard Winner.
And there you have it! Congratulations to all of our Social Media Outstanding Citizen Award winners for 2013. If you think we made some good decisions, please link and share this post. Think we missed some deserving citizens of the social media realm? Let us know with a comment and a link to the profile you think we should have highlighted. We'd love to highlight some additional social media pros, especially in our favorite city - Pittsburgh!
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