Fridge-Worthy is a social media awards show developed by Hootsuite to recognize brands who have posted unique, interesting, or savvy content on social media. Every episode features one brand, and explains what the brand has done to deserve a place on Hootsuite’s fridge, as well as a few main takeaways for businesses hoping to replicate the success for themselves.

Season 2: Social media awards for businesses

Episode 12: McDonald’s

Social Media Award: Most Polarizing Fast Food Astrology Pairings

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • An Instagram carousel post with “the signs as McDonald’s orders” that got over 3,000 comments

Takeaways:

  • Create posts that are designed to be commented on. The Instagram algorithm tends to rank comments as higher engagement than more passive actions like likes.
  • Do carousel posts! Most posts in this format we’ve seen are just one image, and sometimes the individual items are so small you can’t even read them
  • Find unique ways to hint at or get your audience excited about upcoming new releases or changes.

Episode 11: SmartSweets

Social Media Award: Most Passive Aggressive Worm-Related Instagram Contest

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Ran an Instagram contest to promote the re-launch of their gummy worms

Takeaways:

  • If you’re running a contest, don’t just post about it once. Post every day for as long as the contest is running and try to offer something new every day.
  • Listen to your audience. And then show them that you’re listening. People love to feel heard by the brands that they follow on social media. For example, if your audience demands gummy worms, give them gummy worms.
  • Try the trend of reposting a tweet with a colorfully designed background on Instagram

Episode 10: Moosejaw

Social Media Award: Most Creative Way to Spice Up a Cardboard Box

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Got customers to send pictures of Moosejaw boxes they received with funny doodles on them (drawn by a warehouse employee) and made a contest out of it

Takeaways:

  • Make the most out of user generated content (or UGC). It looks great and is free!
  • Try an Instagram contest. It’s a great way to attract new followers and engage current followers.

Episode 9: CBC

Social Media Award: Most Realistically Sized Carbohydrate to Promote a Baking Themed Television Show

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Posted an Instagram carousel of a life-sized baguette

Takeaways:

  • Try carousels. They are possibly the most engaging format on Instagram.
  • Take advantage of the format and compel people to swipe. One way you could do this is to chop up one large image into several slides like the CBC did or you could tease content on the first slide that you might reveal on the last slide.
  • Sizing your image in an unusual way is a sure way to stand out in the feed.

Episode 8: Ottawa Public Health

Social Media Award: Best Use of a Prank That Makes Social Media Managers Feel Better About Themselves

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • During the Superbowl the public health agency tweeted: WHAT AN AMAZING #SuperBowlLV!! Congratulations to the (*Bruce, make sure to put the winning team’s name here)

Takeaways:

  • Play a prank on your audience – hopeful something that results in a laugh. Keep it light-hearted – the joke should be on everyone.
  • Speak with your audience, not just to them. Reply to comments as honestly as possible, join conversations you know they’ll already be engaged with, like the Superbowl.
  • Remind people there are real people behind the Tweets — and sometimes they’re not perfect.

Episode 7: Shopify

Social Media Award: Best Use of a Fake Reality TV Show to Throw Shade at Mega Retailers

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • A Reel that was a parody of a reality tv show, where the set up is that someone brought an Amazon parcel to an “independent business” gift swap. It targeted their target demo, small business owners.

Takeaways:

  • Humour plays well on Reels.
  • Don’t be afraid to poke fun at your audience a bit.
  • People should come away from your Reel feeling like they either learned something or they were entertained.

Episode 6: Casper

Social Media Award: Best Integration of Canine Customer Reviews

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Made up “reviews” of their new line of dog beds from dogs and included them in a Facebook ad.

Takeaways:

  • Use customer testimonials. People trust other people more than they trust your brand.
  • Play with marketing tropes. Think of a tactic you’ve seen a million times; how can you make it fresh?
  • Make dogs the star of your social marketing campaigns. They are cute and they don’t have opinions.

Episode 5: National Park Service

Social Media Award: Best Use of a Monolith to Promote Bear Safety

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Used a news event (the discovery of a monolith in the Utah wilderness) to remind National Park visitors of the principles of bear safety on Instagram

Takeaways:

  • Try making your image captions educational and humorous
  • Include an image description in your caption for accessibility; take special care to make the image description fun to read as well

Episode 4: Vancouver Coastal Health

Social Media Award: Least Awkward Attempt to Peer Pressure Young People Into Not Spreading Disease

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Started a TikTok channel to reach a younger audience, creating funny and informative content to spread awareness about COVID-19

Takeaways:

  • If you’re going to try a new channel, do it in a way that matches the tone and feel of content that’s already popular on that channel.
  • Don’t be afraid to try TikTok, especially if you’re trying to reach a younger demographic. It’s not a huge money investment. These videos aren’t high-quality. They are simply imaginative and fun.
  • Partner with a comedian if you don’t have the talent on your own team.

Episode 3: Social Tees Animal Rescue NYC (aka. S.T.A.R.)

Social Media Award: Most Poetic Captions for the Purest Pups

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Highly captivating and very lengthy captions describing the dogs in all of their Instagram posts

Takeaways:

  • We usually say shorter is better on the internet. But if you pull people into your post with an engaging opening, they’ll hit that “read more” button and will be more likely to reward you with a like or a share.
  • Tell a story in your captions. That means plot, character, tension, humour, drama, emotional investment, and a clear overarching message that you want people to take away from your post.

Episode 2: The Government of New Jersey

Social Media Award: Best Use of a Mafia-Inspired Acronym to Inform the Public

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Combined New Jersey specific pop culture references with COVID-19 safety advice to improve engagement and memory retention

Takeaways:

  • Even if you’re a government organization, don’t be afraid to show that there are real people behind your social media accounts. This can actually help people feel safer in a crisis.
  • Humour can play well in a crisis, as long as it is empathetic, sensitive, and combined with useful information. In fact, humorous content will more likely catch people’s attention. So, just because it’s important information for your followers to know doesn’t mean it can’t be packaged in a playful way.

Episode 1: Spoken English

Social Media Award: Most Delightful Combination of Food, Pop Culture & Magic-Eye Art

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Unique use of size and pop culture references to advertise the food on their menu

Takeaways:

  • Mine your childhood for a unique aesthetic, to make you stand out from your competitors.
  • Test different sizes and angles of images, like large vs. small, horizontal vs. vertical, close up vs. far away. Play with collage.
  • Find a designer to help you develop a unique aesthetic. And then stick with it, so people begin to associate it with your brand.

Season 1: Social media awards for businesses

Episode 11: The Getty Museum

Social Media Award: Best Use of Art History as a Distraction From our Grim Reality

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Created the #betweenartandquarantine challenge on Twitter, which asked followers to recreate famous artworks out of three household items

Takeaways:

  • You can totally ask your audience to get creative and create their own content for you. But if you’re thinking of doing something similar for your followers, make sure that it’s either low effort and really fun or definitely worth their time.
  • You should be adapting your strategy to your audience’s current reality right now. They’re likely working from home or they’re frontline workers. They’re either bored or stressed or anxious or a combination of all three. So that’s going to make the content that you create to engage with them different than usual.

Episode 10: The National Cowboy Museum

Social Media Award: The Most Earnest Hashtag Fail From An Agricultural Professional

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • Assigned social media responsibilities to their security guard, a social media beginner, amidst the COVID-19 crisis
  • Tweeted pictures of exhibits in the museum, educating followers on their history in his own natural folksy style (i.e., ending every message with a formal sign-off like “Thanks, Tim” or using the hashtag #HashtagTheCowboy)

Takeaways:

  • If you’re a business getting on social media for the first time, embrace it and be honest with people that you are learning on the job. People will understand and likely find it endearing.
  • Focus on feel-good content right now (during the COVID-19 pandemic). Obviously this doesn’t go for everyone, for example if you’re a government or health care organization and your job is to inform the public of important information. But for a lot of other businesses right now, it makes sense to just ask yourself how you can contribute to lifting your customers spirits.
  • There are still ways to be creative on social and connect with customers even if your business is closed and/or your budget has been slashed.

Episode 9: Lemonade Inc.

Social Media Award: The Most Unnecessarily Thoughtful Snail Mail Delivery

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • They sent a personalized birthday email to one of their customers. He tweeted about how much he appreciated it, saying “It’s cool when brands humanize themselves like this.”
  • Lemonade saw the tweet and took everything a step further by sending him an actual birthday cake. And the cake said “Not because of your Tweet” which is so perfect because that’s probably the most Tweetable cake. The story was picked up and publicized by the head of social at The New York Stock Exchange.

Takeaways: 

  • Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to authenticity. Let’s be honest, genuine connection is nearly impossible to pull off on a large scale. So it might mean acting like a smaller business than you are sometimes. 
  • Mailing a cake to every single one of your customers is probably not possible – but doing it once in a while, and, more importantly, staffing your support or social teams with real, genuine and socially intelligent people is always a good investment.
  • Always be thinking from a place of: how can I surprise and delight my customers? What would actually make them happy? 

Episode 8: Milano Cookies

Social Media Award: Most Charming Celebrity Impression by a Confectionary Item

What they did that was Fridge-Worthy:

  • A series of Instagram posts on Oscars night featuring cookies decorated to look like outfits worn by celebrities at the Oscars
  • Campaign hashtag #BestDressedCookies

Takeaways: 

  • Think of creative, thumb-stopping ways to show your product being used (i.e., don’t just show people eating your cookies, but show them dressed up in Oscars outfits
  • Try jumping on a timely event (doesn’t have to be directly related to your product, like National Cookie Day). And plan your content for this event in advance.
  • Campaign hashtags don’t always have to be branded. They can just be whatever is catchy or makes sense or is easy to remember.

Episode 7: Tentree

Social Media Award: Chillest Approach to Saving the World on Social Media

What they did that was “Fridge-worthy”:

  • Ran a multi-platform campaign for New Year’s on the small things everyone can do to help the environment, created #environmentalish hashtag to accompany it

Takeaways:

  • When supporting a cause on social media, try your hardest to be genuine and realistic. Consumers won’t believe that your company alone is single-handedly saving the world.
  • Meet your customers where they’re at. Tentree obviously knows that they’re audience is made up of well-meaning, environmentally friendly young people who are balancing a lot of different pursuits.
  • Sometimes small = better when it comes to supporting a social justice cause.

Episode 6: Burrow

Social Media Award: Best Rug Picture That Doesn’t Fill You With Crippling Shame

What they did that was “Fridge-worthy”:

  • Frequently posts authentic images of their furniture being used by real humans (and dogs), including a picture of a Pop-Tart that matches a rug

Takeaways:

  • Research your competitors and see if there’s a gap in the market that you could fill. Most other furniture companies on Instagram post highly edited, beautiful (but unrealistic) images of their furniture.
  • If you’re aiming for an authentic connection with your social media followers, post images of your products as they would actually be used in real life—instead of how they look in a showroom.
  • In general, try investing in authenticity over Instagram-perfection. Too-perfect images may end up making your brand seem unapproachable.
  • Always feature cute dogs in your feed.

Episode 5: Virgin Trains

Social Media Award: Most Provocative Use of Commuter Transport 

What they did that was “Fridge-worthy”:

  • Consistently tweeted from the perspective of a personified, confident and sexy train living its best life.

Takeaways:

  • Don’t be afraid to take risks with your strategy and use your imagination.
  • Silly, bold content like this performs especially well on Twitter, where users are on the lookout for good jokes.
  • Marketers talk a lot about “humanizing your brand” but you could take that a step further and humanize your actual product (e.g., your trains).
  • If your channel exists to fulfill some customer service need, humanizing your brand or product can go a long way towards diffusing tension and frustration.

Episode 4: Recess

Social Media Award: Most Whimsical Personification of a Wellness Beverage

What they did that was “Fridge-worthy”:

  • Developed characters with personalities for each flavor of beverage they sell (e.g., Pomegranate Hibiscus is a hot head who is always trying to get rich) and created an ongoing series of posts about these characters and their adventures as part of a larger strategy to appeal to creative, stressed out millennials.

Takeaways:

  • Create content that is weird and interesting enough to make your audience feel like they are “in on something.”
  • Make sure each post works on its own, but also as part of the larger story your brand is telling, like a chapter in a novel.
  • Reward long-time followers with long-running jokes, stories, and references. They are more valuable than followers gained from contests who follow you to get something free and then unfollow you after.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell stories that aren’t directly about your brand and how awesome it is.

Episode 3: KOHO

Social Media Award: Best Generational Stereotype Busting by an Infographic

What they did that was “Fridge-worthy”:

  • Posted a cute and informative graph about the relationship between Millennials’ bank accounts and avocado toast (hint: there is no relationship, it’s a joke!)

Takeaways:

  • Know your target audience and know what issues are important to them so you can post content that speaks specifically to them.
  • Even if you’re a financial institution, it pays not to take yourself too seriously on social.
  • Don’t be afraid to do exactly the opposite of what your competition is doing (in this case, making jokes and cute, nonsense graphs).
  • Even if you’re a “boring” brand (like a bank), that shouldn’t stop you from making engaging, Instagrammable content.

Episode 2: The Vancouver Aquarium

Social Media Award: Most Gratuitous Use of Cute Sea Mammal Content

What they did that was “Fridge-worthy”:

  • PUPDATES: Any time they post content about their sea otter rescue pups, they preface it with “PUPDATE,” which is objectively adorable.
  • In general, they play to their strengths and mostly post images of the cute animals they take care of, attracting tons of fans of “cute animals”.
  • They used puns to name two of their “inhabitants” after celebrities (a seal called “Swimmy Fallon” and an octopus called “Ceph Rogan”) garnering laughs and attention from followers, as well and retweets and in-person visits from said celebrities.

Takeaways:

  • Use cute content to sell products.
  • Use puns to sell products.
  • In general, get creative with naming your products.
  • Don’t be afraid to ride the coattails of people with larger followings than you, by naming your products after them or partnering with them in some way that makes sense for your brand.

Episode 1: No-Name Brands

Social Media Award: Best Deliberately Unexpressive Brand Voice on Twitter

What they did that was “Fridge-worthy”:

  • Post content to their Twitter feed with a consistent, unique, deadpan brand voice that resonates with millennials
  • Live-tweeted the Emmys in the same brand voice, i.e., “trendjacking”

What we can learn from them:

  • When developing a strong brand voice, try creating a character first (with personality traits, hobbies, backstory, etc.). Then write every social media post in the voice of that character.
  • Don’t be afraid to embrace the “boring” parts of your product or brand.
  • Try live-tweeting an event as your brand’s “character.

Want more inspiration for your brand’s social strategy? Bookmark this page and check back often for new episodes of Fridge-Worthy!

Winning a social media award can help you gain followers and increase brand awareness. Do you follow a business that’s doing something unique, interesting, or savvy on social media? Nominate them for a Fridge-Worthy award in the comments below!

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