Disney, with a major Orlando presence, is the obvious top brand on the list, but much of the exciting activity among Florida social media companies centers around the restaurant industry. From Burger King to Outback Steakhouse, to agencies working with Buffalo Wild Wings, Smokey Bones, and the Melting Pot, the food service industry is a common thread.
Other standouts include three trendsetting companies: Crispin Porter, Mindcomet, and IZEA. These companies have all influenced the national social media landscape.
Two vendor side companies doing some important work under the radar are Ingage Networks (formerly Neighborhood America) who has been building major social solutions for many major businesses and government agencies, and Voce Communications who has built some of the better brand blog solutions.
Overall, the state of social media in the sunshine state is strong. These agencies, brands, and vendors stand out, not just in Florida, but on the national stage as top creatives and innovators in the social media industry.
Disney (Orlando, FL) has invested in several blogs and communities for all if their different audiences, moms, dads, families, and fans. They had a recent viral hit by allowing you to produce a video for friends, renaming a Disney park in their honor, as part of their What Will You Celebrate Campaign. Disney has a family community, Mom’s panel, and Dad’s community. Disney also operates various blogs for their different audiences.
Crispin Porter (Miami, FL) is well known for their industry leading creative work, plenty of which is extending into social media. From their Coke Zero Facial Profiler Facebook App, to their work with American Express’s small business social network Open Forum to the controversial use of Crowdspring for the new Brammo Logo. They also have embraced transparency and social with their recently updated homepage.
Burger King (Miami, FL) has always been willing to take chances and experiment with their marketing. From their early viral hit in 2003, The Subservient Chicken, to creating their own Xbox games in 2006 to more recently questioning our concept of Facbeook Friends with their Whopper Sacrifice campaign.
Ingage Networks (Naples, FL), formerly Neighborhood America, is a social enterprise software powerhouse. They have been building large brand and government solutions for years. They have helped CBS News do crowdsourcing with their massive audience. They built uReport, the user generated news community for Fox News. KFC and other Yum! brands use their software to leverage mobile marketing. And Kodak uses their software to support their Idea Center Community.
IZEA (Orlando, FL) is leading the discussion and debate over sponsored online content. Evolving from the original PayPerPost, they have created the IZEA community where bloggers connect with each other and advertisers is a very open and transparent partnership. They have also taken this model to Twitter with SponsoredTweets. They are empowering bloggers and social media users of all types to become media outlets.
Voce Communications (Tampa, FL) is an award-winning marketing and communications consultancy with an important piece of it’s operations located in the heart of Florida. Some of their most notable work includes very well done blogs for big brands including eBay Ink, the official eBay blog, and the official Playstation Blog, one of the most active brand blogs on the web.
Mindcomet (Orlando, FL) has been experimenting with blogging and viral marketing for a while, one of their early projects, Blogs in space, took a $1,000 budget and created a big viral movement online and tons of offline press around bloggers signing up to have their content beamed into space. They have utilized niche blogging very well for marketing their own company. And they have helped develop strong social media projects for Sea World, worked to develop advanced iPhone games and even crowdsourced their own pro-bono work through CommuniCause.
22squared (Tampa, FL) works with restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wing to grow a great Facebook audience as well as create an interactive media experience using mashed up video and enabling it to be shared easily. Another project of note is their work with CBS Sports Fantasy Football and an extended smack talk community called The Locker Room.
PUSH (Orlando, FL) has taken on the restaurant chain problem of needing a national and local presence and established hubs that included a new, interactive Web site and content management system, mobile site, iPhone application, corporate MySpace and Facebook pages to compliment 68 individual restaurant Facebook and MySpace pages. They are also working closely with other restaurants like Tijuana Flats and the Melting Pot to extend their branding through social media and extend their community with Facebook applications.
Outback Steakhouse (Tampa, FL) uses Facebook as the homebase for their social efforts. Their free bloomin’ onion campaign saw their Facebook Fan numbers soar over 500k recently. They are also experimenting with multiple Twitter efforts, social coupon sharing, and have created their own version of online fantasy football.