Social media as we know it is still very young. And by “as we know it,” I am referring to the daily connections with our favorite brands, companies and organizations. Personal use of the socialsphere is also still pretty young, hovering around a decade or so if you are looking at Friendster and Myspace. And if there was anything “social” before 2002, I’m sorry, I missed it. Social media as it now sits, has taken over our online worlds. Sure you can still find out if your younger cousin Toby got his wisdom teeth out, but you can also communicate directly with your favorite beer, sports team, or celebrity.
You might not always get a response, which is unfortunate, but you can feel like you are part of their daily operations or lives. And, believe it or not there is a human behind the brand’s voice. (I know from first hand experience as I am one of those humans.) Hopefully the company or brand you follow knows how to use that voice to their advantage and to connect with fans. Even the ones that sound like a robot still have a human somewhere in the process, as hard as that may be to believe.
But I digress.
I follow a ton of brands across the social web. I want to point out some of my favorites (keeping this list to Facebook and Twitter). In my mind, these brands are doing a great job of being human, reaching their fans, keeping the content interesting and fresh, and making you want more. Here’s my current short list, in no particular order….
- (Facebook) Hilarious, ridiculous one-liners that you read and immediately just say “WTF?” But then you laugh, sometimes out loud. Their voice is consistent and doesn’t waiver much if at all. Very witty and entertaining. I love that the vast majority of their content has nothing to do with their product, proving the point that just selling, promoting, and marketing by way of social media is not a winning strategy. Being interesting wins. (facebook.com/skittles)
- (Twitter) An extremely human voice that sounds like your friend you are watching the game with, smashing beers with. It’s a very witty line-up of tweets that work sports into the heart of the content. They don’t stray away from their lifeblood, but they do find a way to make that straightforward content interesting, different. It doesn’t just sound like news. (twtter.com/espn)
- (Facebook) Keith Stone and his always smoothness has taken to Facebook and it’s fantastic. This lower budget and/or college beer definitely knows who they are targeting and they do it well. Their posts are geared towards dude who like to drink a ton of beer. They’re witty, in the same voice as their TV commercials and on brand. I love when brands know what they are and go for it. (facebook.com/keystonelight)
- (Facebook) This one is interesting because it is another prominent social platform, with a presence on another prominent social platform. That in itself isn’t that odd, but to do it well is another thing. Foursquare doesn’t really go for humor but they talk about their new pins, locations, tips, specials, new partnerships and what not. It’s interesting. Lucky for them their business is interesting, so the content follows suit. They do talk about themselves a lot but it doesn’t come off annoying. At least not to me. (facebook.com/foursquare)
- (Twitter) Not only is this one of the coolest brands around right now, and they have one of the best overall marketing campaigns in the country, but they are very human on Twitter. They aren’t necessarily funny or overly interesting, but they are human. Go look at their Twitter feed – they respond to pretty much everybody who tweets at them. Not a big deal for a smaller company, but this is impressive for a brand presence like Red Bull who has over 600K followers on Twitter. (twitter.com/redbull)
- (Facebook) First and foremost, I’ve loved Cheerios since I have been alive. My son loves Cheerios. So, with a biased approach I loved this brand already. But, their Facebook presence isn’t half bad. They use fans’ photos as part of their cover image which immediately brings the brand to a human level, they have interesting tips for healthy living and speak directly to people like me that just plain love Cheerios. (facebook.com/cheerios)
The Today Show
- (Facebook) Making news reach beyond news is a strength of social media. While this concept isn’t earth shattering, I think the Today Show does a good job with their Facebook timeline. The stories we see every morning become interactive discussions, and they pull in trending topics from Twitter as newsworthy discussions on air. I know that many other news entities do the same thing. Fine. This is my list. (facebook.com/today)
- (Twitter) Doing a house project and need help? Lowe’s on Twitter is there for you. They even lead their profile description with “Got a complaint, compliment, or question? Let us know!” This is customer service done right using a social tool that is so perfect for it. There responses are very human, and helpful. A great way to connect with customers. (twitter.com/lowes)
- (Facebook) I’ve been rockin’ a pair of hybrid boat shoes from CR for the last 8 years. Yeah, they definitely don’t look like new, but I still love them. This is a cool brand that has grown a ton in the last decade and has a cool social presence to go with it. Good content is the key to any good social channel, and their vivid imagery, sweet products, and conversational posts seem to connect well with their fans. (facebook.com/creativerecreation)