And the Award Goes to…Social Media Platform Business Winners for 2014

Lessons to learn from the companies with top social media presences (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc.). #WebsiteMarketingPlan

Throughout the years, my purpose for has been to help you understand how basic marketing and strategic principals apply to your business, no matter what current tools are available. You may have noticed I’ve been off on other projects over the last five years (Google Bobette Kyle, and you will get the gist), so while you’ll find a virtual time capsule of strategic insights, the site is also missing reference to an entire tool chest of online platforms—social media. In 2015, my initiative is to bring this blog and website up-to-date by remedying that omission. Today’s post from Nick Rojas, which highlights the current social media rock stars, is a first step in that endeavor.

What you can glean from Nick’s piece are lessons from the experts. One of the first steps in improving your own strategies is to study those who do it well (not to copy their work, mind you, but to understand winning approaches and implement similar methods in a way that moves your business forward).

For example, Starbucks’ Pinterest boards reflect activities and interests likely to intrigue their customers, such as coffee DIY and “The Magic of Ice.” Interspersed among those topics are brand-specific topics such as their gift-card collection and a “White Cup Contest,” which involves fans by encouraging them to decorate their cups and submit photos of their art. In short, the Starbucks Loves account includes a balanced mix of entertaining and brand-centric pins that have garnered the company nearly 175,000 followers and counting.

Without further ado, I turn it over to Nick…

As another New Year unfolds, we are anticipating nominations for all the various award shows that will be aired. But what about social media?  There are several platforms available for these, well, these platforms, and here are the top three:

  • The Shorty Awards – Perhaps the most popular, honoring the best in social media, brands, agencies, and people
  • Social Media Awards – Celebrating the best in social media
  • The SoMe Awards – Short for Social Media, the best of campaigns, marketing agencies, in-house teams, and freelancers

But who has time to get all gussied up in tuxedos and designer dresses, rent a limo, walk the red carpet, and await all the results. Let’s take a look at some social media winners from 2014, right here, right now, albeit on a much smaller screen.

Here’s a recap of the top four, favorite categories: Best Business Branding (from the restaurant industry and financial sector), Most Active Global Users on a Platform and the coveted, Best Marketing Platform.


Best Business Branding (by a national restaurant chain)

Nominees: Burger King, McDonalds, Starbucks, Subway and Taco Bell

Many were expecting a battle between the burger vendors,but it was the coffee giant Starbucks that took home the award. This chain of caffeine-induced coffee peddlers has the most followers on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, the most likes on Facebook, and also came in second place on YouTube and Klout. If it weren’t for a #1 appearance by Burger King and Taco Bell in the latter categories respectively, Starbucks would have made a clean sweep.

BEST Business Branding (by a national bank)

Nominees: Bank of America (BofA), Capital One, Chase, CitiBank and Wells Fargo

This was a tight race for our wizards of Wall Street, but the award goes to BofA for best branding on social media. For Q3 of 2014, according to The Financial Brand, BofA is number two for overall social ranking; number two for adding Twitter followers; number two in YouTube views; and number five in adding new Facebook likes. They may not have the number one slot, but they are consistently showing high in various rankings across different platforms.


Most Active Global Users by Platform

Nominees: Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

Mark Zuckerberg declined to accept the award since, according to Pew Research Center, he lost active users in early 2014; so it will go to the runner up instead (just made up the part about Mark refusing the award, because the results may surprise you).

Since Facebook bowed out of the competition as the obvious winner, the award for the most active users from all around the world, goes to none of the above. That’s right. According to the same research, a higher percentage of people (almost 40%) aren’t actively using any platform, beating out all of the other competitors (the closest was YouTube, with 23%).

And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, similar to watching the Super Bowl just for the commercials or viewing the Oscars all night to find out who won best actor, actress, and picture:

Best Marketing Platform

Nominees: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube

In another surprise upset. It’s not all about the numbers, oh mighty Facebook, but its recent acquisition Instagram, that wins the social statue. Why you may ask? Here’re three reasons:

  1.  One of the fastest growing social media platforms in online history
  2. Among the top 25 brands, better interaction results than Twitter
  3. Better business brand engagement than LinkedIn

Part of the fun of these award presentations are the upsets, especially when people may have expected Facebook to blow the other platforms out of the water or that Starbucks would win out over McDonalds and Taco Bell. Congratulations to the victors, but it’s safe to say that all of us were social winners in 2014.


Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at


One Response to “And the Award Goes to…Social Media Platform Business Winners for 2014”

  1. Bobbi Linkemer Says:

    Welcome back. I’ve missed you. And I read it!

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