2018 kicked off with major changes across the board to the core social media platforms. We saw long-term impacts from algorithm adjustments that changed everything from best practices on posting cadence, to reevaluating which metrics are the best measure of content performance. We saw the social media news cycle cover everything from Wendy’s grilling IHOB (no pun intended), to Roseanne “tweeting under the influence,” to widespread viral movements like #MeToo.
2018 was full of iconic ups and downs, but ultimately, what I’m reflecting on are the brands that inspired me as a social media manager, content creator, and PR professional – the brands that made me stop mid-scroll through my feed and appreciate their creativity. And, while there were countless brands that I admired throughout the year, I’ve narrowed it down to my top three below.
KitchenAid has existed for a century but they’re far from looking dated. The brand has seemingly found a perfect balance in their content between showcasing their products and genuinely connecting with their audience. Beyond having beautiful design and photography in their posts, they utilized influencer partnerships to create video content and share unique, out-of-the-box ways to use their products.They also celebrated their 100-year anniversary in 2018 with a new retro-inspired stand mixer, and closed out the year with the kickoff of their new “Marks” campaign. “Through “Marks,” KitchenAid invites makers in kitchens around the world to share their unique marks on social media using #MarksOfMaking. Whether they bake, brew, blend or anything in between, KitchenAid helps unleash the full potential of makers,” KitchenAid said in a press release about the launch. The new campaign shows a lot of potential as it continues in 2019 and should be on your watchlist.
As someone who is getting married in 2019, I have come to appreciate The Knot as both a brand admirer and consumer. They’re an essential resource in the wedding industry and their content is always spot-on for the needs and interests of their audience. Their Instagram Stories and blog posts are where they shine, especially when it comes to how they cross-promote content between platforms. Their Instagram Stories regularly link to blog posts with eye-catching visuals and use Instagram features to showcase innovative ways to connect with their fans. The Knot is a great account to follow for creative content ideas or examples of how to best engage with your followers.
Barkbox hit a stride with their content in 2018 as they began to incorporate more timely pop culture references into their brand. Take my word for it – pop culture and dogs are a hilarious combo and they nail it every time. Their approach on social media is unique in that selling their subscription box is not at the forefront of their content. Their products are featured occasionally, but their page is constructed as more of a feel-good hub for dog lovers. And, while the content tends to vary in nature, they’ve found a great balance between evergreen content and more timely posts, such as the Bird Box image below.
What brands caught your eye in 2018 and who do you think is worth watching in 2019? Let us know in the comments!
A version of this post originally appeared on the Padilla blog, an AVENIR GLOBAL company.