You've read the big social media blogs, followed the pundits' advice and tweaked your social media profile to your heart's content. Make your social media presence even more engaging with ideas from these 3 inspired social media profiles:
My top pick is the The Chicago Tribune's persona Colonel Tribune. Complete with dorky newspaper hat and a bushy 'stache, the Colonel is a quirky, warm presence in your Facebook news feed. Friend him and he'll absolutely accept—and even thank you for it. You'll see his recommendations for interesting reading around the Web (NOT just from the Trib) and frequent comments and posts back to friends. The word on the street is that the Colonel is manned by several different staffers who all contribute to his greatness. The Colonel begs one of the social Web's great questions—to Persona or not to Persona. When done well, a persona like the Colonel's is spot on.
With over 132K fans and 13K followers, the Humane Society of the United States has seriously tapped into the social Web to drive major awareness of and action for its key initiatives. I am struck by their concerted effort to show "real people" behind their profiles—Brand Ambassador Carie greets you from Twitter, CEO Wayne Pacelle's blog posts and appearances regularly update the FB news feed and HSUS reps continually answer member questions and encourage those who post to the Wall. This past weekend, Wayne donated his 44th birthday wish to a special HSUS cause—raising money to stop puppy mills. Check out their site as well to see how they've integrated iPhone apps, online community, and news.
I have to give a little love to the "LUV Airline" for their amazing use of social media as a customer service channel. Whether on Twitter or Facebook, the Southwest reps behind the profiles go above and beyond to help customers in need and share interesting and USEFUL information. Case in point—a tweet telling followers to use the "virtual queuing function" that allows you to avoid long phone waits when calling SW customer service. Or a tip for which seats to sit in to get your drinks first before anyone else. Now THAT'S customer service!
Of course, inspiration is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?!?!? Who do you think is doing it right in social media? Share your thoughts below on your top picks for inspired social media profiles and tell us how they're getting it right.
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Julie Rutherford is the Vice President of Marketing and General Manager for Email at Beliefnet.com, the leading online site for inspiration and faith. Prior to joining Beliefnet, Julie served as Marketing Director for WashingtonPost.Newsweek Interactive (WPNI), where she specialized in Web 2.0 marketing including social media, mobile marketing, widgets, feeds and SEO.
Before the Post, she served as Director of Electronic Publishing for the International Herald Tribune in Paris with responsibility for editorial, marketing, sales and tech operations for IHT.com. Previous experience includes marketing and management positions with several Internet startups during the 1990s.
Julie and her husband Brad live in Brooklyn with their two sons.