The Brands to Watch in Social Media in 2016

Will Nokia Sustain its Social Media Popularity in 2016?

There’s a clear favorite going into 2016 – and, shockingly, it’s Nokia. A past winner of the Shorty Award for the “Most Retweeted Brand Tweet Ever” (there’s a possibility that might not be true), the brand subsequently capitalized on its new popularity, including with those Twitter users who hate advertising and usually do not follow brands at all. Nokia owned their propensity for taking on competitors with tongue-in-cheek criticism by going toe-to-toe with Samsung and Apple.

Now, in 2016, having surpassed two million followers on Twitter, the brand is all over the place on its social. There might be five dull Tweets in a row about Nokia’s annual profit report or a series of questions (“How was your New Year’s?” etc.) that have no effect or relevance to Nokia products. But they did launch a new product with surprising popularity; the #MarketTechHuman podcast, which shows the more serious, intelligent side of the brand and has already caught on after only a pair of episodes.

What will Nokia do in 2016? Screw up the gift users handed them or lead the way in social? We shall see.

Airbnb Ruled the Social Arena in 2015

iMediaConnection named Airbnb the best brand on social in 2015 and there’s no reason to suspect, with Airbnb’s expanding user base, they won’t rock it in 2016, as well. With sensational UGC content merging spectacular photography culled from thousands of reported photographers who work on listings for the company, Airbnb’s Instagram account is an impressive hub of mouth-watering vistas, friendly faces, and must-see houses.

A photo posted by Airbnb (@airbnb) on

The company further endears itself to users by properly attributing content, then appending quick, captivating, almost-poetic copy to the images, making them easily shareable and Like-able.

Red Bull’s Adventurous Social Media Posts

While older people have long ignored Red Bull, there’s no denying they are popular with Millennials and therefore here to stay. “The thrill-seeking energy drink brand… gets huge per-post engagement from Instagram,” according to Buffer Social, “Yet… the company made fewer posts to Instagram than any of its other social networks, averaging just 0.6 posts per day.”

A photo posted by Red Bull (@redbull) on Jan

What’s the secret to their success? According to metrics and other research, it’s a focus on exciting (not just eye-catching) photographs of athletic prowess and related, on-message real-life snapshots.

“Red Bull highlights people doing extraordinary things in extraordinary places,” adds Buffer Social. “This content appeals to risk-takers, recreational athletes, and all viewers who are stirred by the Red Bull vision of life.”

Denny’s Social Is A Grand Slam

Amazingly, a brand no one talks about outside of social media is often the toast of the internet within this context. How great are they? Just this week, Denny’s posted two surprising Tweets in a row:

While we question the erratic capitalization, grammar/punctuation, etc., there’s no denying the popularity of these bizarre and effective Tweets. Both were immediately Liked and RT’d hundreds of times although the brand only has 279k followers. First, a beautifully on-message post for these environmentally-friendly times; then, a shoutout to Dave Grohl without even using hashtags or other obvious attempts to get attention and gain new followers. There’s no telling what they’ll do next – and that makes Denny’s a must-watch account in 2016.

The Apps We’re Worried About

And then there are two more – the godmothers of social, that is – two top social media companies themselves: Pinterest and Facebook.

Pinterest’s Paid Marketing Gimmick

Pinterest – it’s been a long time coming, but Pinterest may have finally figured out how to monetize. It’s the same idea YouTube had ages ago and Instagram has snuck into recent ads – introducing a “Buy” button.

Instead of ogling home furnishings, Angus beef and wedding dresses, Pinterest users now have a way of saving and purchasing their pins directly through the app. However, according to some reports, the brand has only launched this option in a separate section entitled “Buy It,” where the fledgling Apple Pay is the preferred method. However, we found paying with a card simple and effective and the app is clearly going to make plenty of money from this feature in 2016; the question remains: will it be enough to sustain them?

Facebook: It’s Not For Teens Anymore (Because Teens Don’t Like It)!

Facebook – but not for the same reasons as above. Facebook, while not hemorrhaging users, is having the same problem every social media platform has had – and had just prior to collapsing. They’re not attracting young people. Twitter and Snapchat all rated higher as preferred social networks” among teenagers, according to Brand Watch. Today, only 15% of 13-to-19-year-olds consider Facebook their favorite social network.

Therefore, Facebook is a brand to watch in 2016 because it’s not on the way up. Watch it as it starts sliding down and learn what not to do to maintain your success.

MavSocial is the leading social media visual content management & publishing platform for brands and agencies. Try our FREE Small Business Edition for your business here.

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