5 Things you can Learn from the Top 5 Social Brands of 2012

The results are in, social agency Headstream has whittled down more than 300 nominated brands to reveal the top 100 social brands of 2012. There were some interested trends emerging from the general social media usage; charities are finally putting social resources to good use and now make up 25% of the top 100. AND, the in the past 12 months, brands signing up to Google+ and Pinterest has risen by 49%. Impressive.

The top 100 were selected based on a data score and a panel score. The data score looks at a set of visible markers across the brands various social networks and determines their score. The brands social presence is also scrutinized by a panel of industry experts, including YouTube’s Anais Hayes and Brand Republic’s Gordon Macmillan.

So what can you learn from the top 5 social brands of 2012? (And this is just on Facebook!)

1. Be Generous – As demonstrated by Innocent Drinks 

When we think about sharing content with our networks, we traditionally want to remain on topic and relate everything back to our brand. Innocent demonstrates that content sharing on social networks can be just as much about making your audience laugh or smile, than it is about  delivering a marketing message. Innocent is generous when sharing content and has developed a strong fan base by delivering content which is as quirky as the brand.

This image has nothing to do with smoothies, and yet after one hour it has amassed 1486 likes, 223 shares and 37 comments.

2. Cross Platforms – like Starbucks

Apparantly, starbucks loves Pinterest, and 13,525 people like this about them. By using cross-platform promotion you’re giving your followers yet another channel to reach and follow you. You may reach a user who isn’t hugely active on Facebook, and yet is delighted to hear that you’re using Pinterest. 

3. Don’t just interact: be interactive (like GiffGaff mobile

GiffGaff mobile never miss a chance to give their users an opportunity to test things out, offer feedback, and vote in polls. After all, it is a network which is run by its users. Show your users that you value their opinion by posting polls and inviting them to try out new features. Polls are a great way to drive word of mouth promotion.

4. Highlight the best, like Cancer Research UK

Love it or loathe it, Facebook timeline does offer some great ways to promote your favourite content. Cancer Research UK makes great use of the highlight feature to show off some of their best pictures, like the one below.

5. Multimedia is king! Just ask British Red Cross. 

What does everyone on Facebook love to do? Trawl through photo albums of course, and the British Red Cross knows a thing or two about putting together their fantastic photos of volunteer efforts into beautiful albums. It’s a great way to show off their work in a quick and easily absorbed way