Profiling the Profile: A look into what makes professional social media work

Social media has become a necessity for businesses everywhere. Today, nearly 30 billion companies use Facebook, not to mention the many other countless forms of social media. With every company using these tools, what makes a memorable social media platform? We’re going to take a look at companies, from huge enterprises to smaller businesses and see what makes them stand out among the rest.

1. Jet Blue

Most airlines have taken advantage of social media in a different way—for customer service. Jet Blue pinoreed this track after what’s refered to as the “Valentine’s Day Crisis” of 2007. That day, weather caused Jet Blue to cancel nearly 1,000 flights. Jet Blue responded to obvious outrage by posting an apology featuring then-CEO David Neelman onto Youtube. This video began what is now a frequently used way to communicate business to customer online. Branded as a customer satisfaction-focused company, social media became the easiest way for Jet Blue to address customer complaints, which has been copied by nearly every other major airline. Jet Blue now has over one million followers on Twitter, responding to nearly every single one of them.

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2. BarkBox



One of the smaller companies on our list, BarkBox is included because of their ability to capitalize on one of the most easily viral topics, cute animals. Targeting all of the dog lovers out there—their target customer base—BarkBox uses a series of social media posts to not only convince customers to buy their product, but to keep them interested and excited by the brand. BarkBox uses Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by posting hilarious photos of dogs and dog-related things. People who follow BarkBox aren’t necessarily subscribers of the company, yet thousands upon thousands of people know the name, what they do, and, if they were ever in need of or knew someone in need of the service, would automatically think of the amazingly-branded BarkBox profiles they follow.

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3. Oreo

Oreo made a slash (or should we say dunk?) in the social media scene during the infamous Super Bowl blackout of 2013. Within minutes of the blackout, Oreo posted this tweet that went viral (below), giving them the reputation of being both clever and socially relevant.



The company continues to post on-the-spot relevant photos, such as a clever tweet about the royal baby the day he was born. Oreo has built their social media popularity based on highly sharable photos that feature the product without making the photo entirely about cookies.

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4. Oscar de la Renta

Screen shot 2015-02-01 at 4.46.48 PM

 Oscar de la Renta differs than most other social media-saavy companies because of the demographic of consumers. Most companies thriving on social media are relatable, affordable products that anybody could enjoy. Needless to say, there is no way that all of their 462 thousand followers on Instagram can afford an Oscar de la Renta wardrobe. What makes OdlR different is that they are using social media for awareness instead of pushing followers to buy their products. Through the name “OscarPRGirl,” OdlR posts behind the scenes images of photo shoots, gown sketches, and unreleased fashion spreads, taking an average fashion enthusiast on a high-fashion journey. Not all followers will be buying Oscar de la Renta because of their social media tactics, but in a highly competitive industry like fashion, having a brand known by many is just as valuable.


5 thoughts on “Profiling the Profile: A look into what makes professional social media work

  1. Aside from being a particularly relevant case study on, of course, professional uses of social media, my favorite part of this article was the diversity of the companies that you chose. Using social media to create and maintain brand identity is no easy task, especially when the product in question is something with as singular a function as JetBlue or as unattainable to the masses as Oscar de la Renta. Your juxtaposition of big companies with small ones and expensive with inexpensive was helpful in highlighting the particular challenges that each kind of company faces.

    Your research was especially helpful. Using specific examples from each of the companies–JetBlue’s Valentine’s Day situation, Oreos’ Super Bowl blackout reaction–constructed a meaningful context for each company that helped us understand why each has been successful. It was interesting to see what each company has done differently, and how they’ve been able to circumvent bad situations into positive marketing. It was also fun to see a company that I’ve never heard of, because everyone loves cute puppies!


  2. Brenna,

    I definitely agree that airlines using social media to reach out to customers is extremely effective, especially Twitter. I’ve tweeted at numerous airlines with complaints when flying and have almost always received a response. Twitter provides the airline with a platform for instantaneous response, no longer causing us to wait for weeks for an apology in the mail. As a result, complaints are resolved in a more timely fashion and customers are more trusting.


  3. Hi,

    It’s interesting that the same techniques don’t always work for the same company and how each company uses social media helps to further identify its brand. Still, all of these examples had the similar theme of going beyond solely accommodating the consumer. BarkBox has followers that don’t necessarily buy the product and likewise with OdlR. However, their followers serve as connectors and inspiration for the company. Social media is both a way to connect with consumers and build a broader community beyond that. Cool!



  4. These are great examples of successful social media campaigns. I think they emphasize the importance of staying current with developments on social media platforms as well as current events. The Oreo twitter account is a great example of maintaining relevant material. Oreo’s are irreplaceable but their twitter account keeps them relevant and on our minds even during a huge sporting event.

    Great post!


  5. Hi Brenna,

    It was so interesting to read about how certain successful companies use social media not only to sell their products, but to establish themselves as a brand and connect with consumers. All of the companies listed in your post utilize social media to obtain brand loyalty. They want their consumers to be able to connect with/relate to their company. Social media allows these companies to do so in an extremely effective manner. Thanks for the informative post!



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