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Taking social media seriously (no cats, please)

October 29, 2013

The Webby Awards, which honor the best of the web each year, recently published their first social media report with best practices for using social media effectively for your business.

With the catchy title “Cats are Over: 24 Brands Thriving on Social Media in the Post-Cat Economy”, the report packs lots of useful information and examples into the free 27-page pdf document. In their words:

It’s loaded with indispensable tips, facts, and best practices from 24 feline-free Webby Winning brands including Shake Shack, GE, The Onion, The New York Times, Team Coco, NASA, and sage advice from members of our judging body, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

I especially liked the content section of the report, which emphasizes a focus on the audience and how the various media can help brands build relationships through relevant, useful content. In my experience, this is where brand-led social can fall apart:  when content doesn’t properly align with the medium (such as lengthy tweets stuffed with messaging) or doesn’t align with the expectations of the audience (such as Pinterest boards that aren’t visually appealing).

The report also has several particularly good examples of innovative uses of social media, including:

  •’s use of content that romances the idea of travel and provides travel tips
  • General Electric encouraging their audience to contribute Vine videos about science via their #6SecondScience Fair promotion
  • And Mullen creating a Snapchat promotion for their client Acura to create buzz around an auto prototype

A consistent theme throughout the report is that of authentic communication – from the brand, to the audience, and per the medium.  The point is illustrated best by the Webby Award winner for best Overall Social Presence, The Mars Curiosity. Again from the report:

The Mars Curiosity Twitter account is an excellent example of how even a technical and institutional organization like NASA can still be fun and entertaining. The Mars Curiosity rover’s tweets aren’t stuffy or stiff, but always informative.
@MarsCuriosity has nearly 1.5 million followers – that’s not bad for a robot.

From → Marketing

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