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The #Online18: Promo’s Best Organizations On Social Media

27 Feb 2023 9:52 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

It’s time for the big reveal! This year’s seventh annual #Online18 list of the industry’s best on social media is ready to go, and with it we announce some changes to the process.

What began as a list based solely on the opinion of the always-online Dale Denham, MAS+, has been democratized. Now the president and CEO of PPAI, Denham has entrusted PPAI Media to carry on his tradition of alienating everyone who was not selected (tens of thousands finished tied at No. 19) and further upsetting those who did make the list but believe they should’ve been seeded higher.

PPAI Media solicited nominations and recommendations from industry insiders, including each of the 2022 honorees, to help create this year’s rankings. In other words, blame your friends.

In the past, Denham’s list consisted of an apples-and-oranges ranking of both organizations and individuals. This year, we’ve created a separate list for each category for double the fun and flattery.

This is Part 1 of the 2023 #Online18, ranking the best-posting organizations in the industry, including distributors, suppliers, service providers and collaborative groups. Shout out to all the twentysomething social media managers making your bosses look good.

Seven organizations spotlighted in last year’s article made it back into this year’s lineup – but not in the same ranking. They are joined by 11 savvy new front-runners who are making quite a name for themselves across social media platforms. The final countdown from No. 18 to No. 1 was decided by the PPAI Media staff along with the association’s most discerning likers, lurkers and retweeters, who considered the effectiveness of each organization’s posts across all accounts, their creativity and connection to their followers. (And obviously we disqualified ourselves from the competition, just to give everyone else a chance.)

Let’s BeReal, though: If you are serious about strengthening your company’s presence on social media, you can learn a lot from the successes of these #Online18.

18. PromoCares
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Instagram – 1,700 Followers

Making the world a better place is what drives this industry organization to exist, and social media is an important channel for them. We love that the organization’s posts reflect the fun-loving and gregarious personalities of its board members. Their passion for the group’s mission consistently comes through their posts and helps build a community of like-minded volunteers who support their vision.

17. Team SCG
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Instagram - 1,023 Followers

We really like this family-owned distributor’s approach to social media – showcasing the people and personalities behind its brand and having a great time doing it. Read a few posts and you’ll not only feel you know the folks at Team SCG but you’ll want them as friends. And you know the old saying – people do business with people they know and like. They also mix it up with occasional product posts, live videos from shows and helpful links that spark ideas for clients.  

16. SAGE
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: LinkedIn - 5,522 Followers

SAGE’s social media gets our vote for its useful tips, hacks and tutorials that help industry subscribers use their software programs more efficiently. The company also grabs attention with content around its exclusive research on things such as top products of the month and top product categories, plus timely reminders about upcoming webinars with handy registration links.

15. SnugZ USA
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Facebook - 7,100 Followers

When a supplier sells goods across more than two dozen product categories, we expect to see lots of products on social media, and we get that with SnugZ. The posts consistently spotlight a variety of its most eye-catching products in creative ways. We especially like the entertaining videos taken at this year’s shows, plus the short videos that educate and engage viewers about the company’s services and imprint methods. 

Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: LinkedIn - 4,757 Followers

iPROMOTEu delivers content that hits its distributor audience right where they live with useful stats, resources and story links, plus reminders about programs and services to make their lives easier. It’s easy to see why iPROMOTEu has such a solid social media following.

13. Hirsch
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Instagram - 2,154 Followers

Most of Hirsch’s social media posts reflect a positive vibe that mirrors the company’s culture. This supplier always has something good to share: a new product, news about one of the giveback programs they support or a shout-out for an exceptional client or team member. Keep up the great work, Hirsch!

12. PromoKitchen
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Twitter - 5,540 Followers

It’s no surprise that PromoKitchen made our list – this volunteer-led group has been one of the most active on social media since its start more than a decade ago. They always have something relatable and attention-grabbing going on to share such as a new podcast or blog post, upcoming education program or humorous photos from an industry event. Last fall, they orchestrated a T-shirt design contest entirely on social media.

11. Logojojo
Follow On: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Instagram - 2,056 Followers

Did someone say coffee? This five-year-old, custom-label, craft coffee supplier has a social media following as strong as any espresso – and this is the company’s second year on our list. The difference-maker is co-owner Ellie Bathe, who has become the face of the company with her offbeat and hilarious social media posts. We can’t wait to see what she’s going to post next!

10. Raining Rose
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Facebook – 3,500 Followers

This personal-care product supplier grabbed our attention with its smart variety of posts aimed to educate distributors about its products, processes and services. Some of these can even be shared on distributor sites. The company has a great product story and they do a good job of telling it through social media. And a big shout-out for the entertaining video made at The PPAI Expo – so enjoyable to experience the show again through their lens.

9. KNOSS Apparel
Follow On: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Instagram – 808

KNOSS Apparel may be a new name to some, and has the smallest following on this list, but they are quickly establishing themselves as an industry leader on social media. KNOSS has some of the best videos we’ve seen – engaging, humorous, snappy little bites of content that are fun to watch. And they mix it up with stylish apparel spots and sales tips in a way that keeps viewers coming back for more.

8. Maple Ridge Farms
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Twitter – 4,430

A consistent standout on previous lists, this supplier has done it again this year with a variety of videos and content as rich as their fudgy brownies. But it’s more than sweet talk. Their posts about self-care, wellness tips and a blogging primer offer some alternatively tasty takeaways. Our favorite video is their Valentine’s Day post – a hilarious riff on a comedy classic.

7. PromoCorner
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Facebook – 4,671

PromoCorner is one of the most active companies on social media, sometimes posting daily or even twice a day. Even better, the content is typically education-focused, linking to PromoJournal articles from a variety of experts, and video Q&As with leaders across the industry. They also score big points for consistency with recurring posts like #PromoErrDay!, a frequent, product-focused video hosted by Brandon Pecharich and The Monday Minute, 60 seconds of inspiration with Kirby Hasseman. They’ve made our list previously because there’s so much to see here. 

6. ASI
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: LinkedIn - 30,911

Returning to the list, ASI has the largest number of followers of any social media account we checked. The company's content approach includes recorded podcasts and live sessions hosted by ASI Media’s Vinnie Driscoll, as well as videos that give a sneak peek at upcoming event keynote speakers. Seemingly everyone at ASI is active on social media, and their individual accounts share in this award. The group keeps things fresh with inside jokes and chatter. Plus they’ve got the GOAT, Michele Bell, who always has something sweet to say when our own publisher posts pics of his kids. Kudos to ASI for the team effort.

5. Goldstar Pens
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: LinkedIn - 3,810

Goldstar is another of last year’s top influencers that makes smart use of social media by posting frequently and often about products: new collections, color trends, product introductions and links to new look books. For several years, VP Charles Duggan has been a familiar face on Goldstar posts and now he’s hosting a frequent video spot called The Creative Goldstar Globetrotters where he chats it up with a variety of industry personalities. Goldstar is serious about the business, but they have fun doing it.

4. American Solutions for Business
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: LinkedIn - 5,798

ASB held the No. 1 spot on our list last year, largely on the strength of some of the individual accounts under its umbrella. Still, the ASB corporate social media presence is definitely praiseworthy – specifically for its wide variety including product spots, gift ideas, creative inspiration and charitable company news (see how far they’ll go for a charity in the clip below). Plus, Founder 411, a video interview featuring CEO/Founder Larry Zavadil, and ASB Employee Spotlight, an element they launched in 2021, add a welcome family-feel to their content.

3. commonsku
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Instagram - 2,966

commonsku is another company that knows its brand persona inside out and remains true to that brand on social media. We love their broad assortment of content from original articles crafted by commonsku’s leaders and others, to podcasts featuring experts inside and outside the industry. And who can forget those posts promoting upcoming events? They share a bit of info in one post, boost the excitement in the next post, and finally unveil the details in the final post. It keeps us guessing and wanting more – and that should be every company’s social media goal.

2. HPG
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: LinkedIn - 2,650

If you want product storytelling at its best, look at HPG. They use custom photography, well-designed GIFs and tightly-edited video reels to deliver messages that are succinct and memorable. Other large suppliers can take a cue from this social media leader because they know how to capitalize on the strengths of each platform. For example, their Instagram posts lean to short-form videos, while posts on LinkedIn are often company announcements and reshared posts from around the industry, and Facebook is a complementary mix of product posts, videos and company activities and announcements. They obviously work hard to achieve this kind of success and it’s impressive.

1. BrandFuel
Follow On: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn
Largest Account: Twitter – 5,501

The magic about BrandFuel is that this distributor never takes itself too seriously and that shines through on its social media pages. Brilliant! Viewers can expect not only witty content that’s worth sharing, but also thoughtful, purposeful posts that get people thinking. We love to read activity updates on the many nonprofits and causes the company supports as well as the occasional, unexpected post (a high school football team photo featuring the two co-owners that was posted just prior to the Super Bowl). BrandFuel knows exactly what its brand looks like and sounds like, and its social media posts are a mirror image. From the likes on these pages, we are not the only ones to find its content so refreshing.

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