How Shinola, Garrett Popcorn decide which social platforms to be on

New social platforms pop up faster than you can say “Periscope.” For brands, it can be dizzying. Do you jump on Snapchat because everyone’s doing it? Or do you sit on the sidelines and limit your social profile to Facebook?

For companies Shinola and Garrett Popcorn, the key is to be open-minded while keeping brand values in check. Both brands have historical ties: Shinola, a 4-year-old Detroit-based company that sells wristwatches, bicycles and journals, is named after the shoe wax founded in 1907 (and made famous by the WWII-era phrase about knowing “shit from Shinola”); Garrett Popcorn maintains the same packaging style it did when it was founded 65 years ago in Chicago.

But no matter how traditional a brand may be, keeping up with social media means staying relevant. At the Digiday Retail Summit, we asked Elly Deutch, associate director of digital and social media at Garrett, and Bridget Russo, CMO at Shinola, to tell us how they decide which new platforms to try. Both agreed that it’s important to test new things, but equally important to put muscle behind the platforms where they already have big followings — namely, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“We look at what other gourmet brands are doing and think, does that fit in our brand, would that work with our demographic,” said Deutch. “But mostly we focus on where we already have a fan base.”

As for Russo and the Shinola brand, she made it clear that forcing the adoption of a new channel can weaken the brand’s story.

“We pick channels that we feel best represent the brand, and that we feel we have the capability to feed content through that channel,” said Russo. “For instance, we’re not on Tumblr because I don’t feel like we have exactly the right content yet to be on there.”

Watch the women talk new social platforms in the clip below.

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