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The big brands diving into social media tend to get all the attention. So we wanted to celebrate the smaller companies that are social-powering their businesses in new and interesting ways.

So here are our Social Heroes for 2012 - chosen from hundreds for the spirit in which they're seizing the social media opportunity.

Some have social media in their DNA; others are just starting on the learning curve. But they're all using social media in ways that reflect the essence of their business and brand – and we think they’re doing a brilliant job. We hope you’re inspired by them as much as we are.

Week 1

 
Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich

Barley, water and terroir meet social media

Bruichladdich makes Islay whisky the old-fashioned way. In just ten years, the small team has rescued a classic brand by re-connecting it to the geography, geology and climate of Islay.

The marketing team is also tiny, so the CEO feeds Twitter and social media manager Carl Reavey maintains the brand’s Facebook page. Eight distillery webcams bring lovers of the whisky right to the stills and mash tuns.

For Bruichladdich, social media is all about capturing the spirit of place and the people behind the brand – then sharing it with a growing fan base. It’s real and it works.

Read the interview ›
 
Econsultancy

Econsultancy

Extending and experimenting on all fronts

Econsultancy is the world’s most authoritative digital marketing community, publisher and trainer. So they’re job is to understand social before anyone else. Not surprisingly, they do it all – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn groups, YouTube, Pinterest, Foursquare, Google+, Slideshare, Instagram… you name it.

But instead of building communities out in the social channels, they use social to drive people back to their site, blog and content. It’s all about top-of-funnel awareness and engagement – with a big emphasis on experimentation and innovation. And it’s all guided by analytics.

This ‘try it and see’ approach is what makes Econsultancy one of our Social Heroes.

Read the interview ›
 
Grenson

Grenson

An authentic shoe brand goes social

Grenson is a classic English shoe brand, founded in 1866. The company was bought a few years ago by Tim Little and completely revitalised, with a store in trendy Shoreditch, a presence in top retailers around the world, a thriving ecommerce website and high-profile collaborations with brands like Barbour.

Social media at Grenson is run by Joe Hutchings, a company director. What we like about the way Joe does social is that he keeps it entirely authentic, centred around the personality of the brand.

On any given day you might see a friend posting a shot of their feet on a tram in Zurich; a photo of a celebrity wearing Grenson in FHM; or Joe giving someone advice on how to care for their new shoes. Great brand. Great use of social.

Read the interview ›

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