Monday night in New York City's Times Square, the best and the brightest--of a sort--were honored at the Sixth Annual Shorty Awards. Produced by Sawhorse Media (the New York-based technology startup behind journalism network Muck Rack) and hosted by actress Natasha Leggero, the ceremony shined the spotlight on who's who on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare, and the rest of the social media universe. In short, the event showed the people and companies whose presence on social networks you should be watching and emulating.
The ceremony recognized two sets of awards: the Shorties, which honor individuals, and the Shorty Industry Awards, which honor brands and companies. The Real-Time Academy, a panel of entertainment stars and prominent businesspeople, picked the winners from a pool of nominees chosen by the public, based on factors such as originality of content, impact, and engagement.
The Shorty Awards named winners in a variety of categories, from the Best Fake Twitter Account to Vine of the Year to Best GIF Maker. Here are a few of the award winners in business that you should be watching:
- Clothing maker The Brooklyn Circus grabbed the gold in the small business category. The Hay Merchant, a craft beer and food company based in Texas, and She's the First, a sponsor of girls' education in developing nations, were also named finalists in the category.
- Unsurprisingly, Guy Kawasaki won the Business Influencer category. The author and former Apple Evangelist was nominated for "his continual and consistent business guidance" and because his "advice is spot on and un-convoluted."
- In the Charity category, Nature Conservancy beat out charity:water, Random Acts, and Oxfam International.
- The Veronica Mars Movie Project won the Kickstarter of the Year category.
- General Electric was named the Best Brand on Vine for such efforts as its #6SecondScience and #GravityDay campaigns.
- Credit card company American Express was named the Best Fortune 500 Brand on Social Media.
- Engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton won the Best Facebook Contest for its Motor Mouth contest. The video contest garnered 3.3 million impressions and the company experienced a 43 percent increase in its Facebook fan base.