To me, a company that is doing social media well is one that is providing engaging content on a regular basis that also points either directly or indirectly to the products they are selling. I understand that businesses are only successful when they are able to sell their products, so I don’t have a problem when their social media posts link directly with their goods, but I find the best ones are the ones that do that in an interesting way.
Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ontario, is one that I find manages their social media content well. In particular, there was a campaign a couple years ago where they were working to raise money to support a female-led brewery in Rwanda. For the period of the campaign, they were selling merchandise and experiences that linked directly to that charity initiative, but also promoted and sold their own brand as well. Some of the products for sale included branded clothing (again, promoting their goods when people wear them) and experiences like a tour of the brewery and special brewery dinners, which would promote their primary product to potentially new individuals. While the goal was to raise the funds for the Rwandan brewery, they were also able to promote their brand, so a win-win in their books.
Ingenium is another company that promotes its brands well. Ingenium is a collection of museums in Ontario that are operated under one banner (Science and Tech museum, Space and Aviation museum, and Nature museum). I find that their most engaging posts are the ones that uncover deeper stories about some of the exhibits that are either on display or coming soon to one of the museums. They have strong writers on staff and the articles they produce are interesting enough in their own right, but also drive interest to visit the museums and see the artifacts on which the stories are based.
One organization that I think could do a better job in its social media is the BlackBerry Help twitter account. The only content that the account pushes out on a regular basis is a near-daily tweet that “they are there.” My presumption is that much of their traffic is handled through direct messages, however, there is no engagement with a regular BlackBerry user. The account could easily promote content around the latest product, tips and tricks with existing devices, handy features, and other useful tidbits that a device owner would find useful and drive engagement with the brand. Saying hello and/or goodbye on a daily basis does nothing to promote the brand or drive loyalty.