One often nourishes great expectations about social media and how it can kickstart your
entrepreneurial adventure.

Through this article, you will get to know about businesses of various sizes that are now thriving thanks to their Social Media strategy. It is even more interesting to see the impact that social communities had on these companies. The latter went from total anonymity to becoming top references in their field, all thanks to their engagement skills and smart usage of Social Media.

This can’t be any truer for Petrolicious. The company built themselves on a pure and sheer passion for cars. They started as a magazine, and they now create brand content for the most famous car brands in the business.

Engagement driven by passion

When asked how Petrolicious made it and what has been their role in it, this is what their chief editor, Ted Gushue, declared: “My role there has evolved over the last two years. Initially, it was about building the online magazine into something we could be proud of. Then it moved on to oversee the growth of our social channels, and now it looks a bit more like business development on top of that.”

During the 2018 Paris Auto Show in which he gave a speech on Instagram about Digital Strategy, he repeatedly pointed out how compelling and engaging Social Media is important in his line of work.

Petrolicious and other passion-related media followed the same path and have now turned into leading businesses, like for example The Arsenale.

Social Cookies

In France, a couple of well-engaged brands heavily rely on Social Media platforms, a great example is “Michel & Augustin”.

The famous cakes and biscuits brand now have a huge community: 200K fans on Facebook, over 37K followers on Twitter and 39K on Instagram. Even more revealing, their customers rate them at 4,1 out of 5 on Facebook (panel of 4,000 users), which makes them one of the best graded French brands on Facebook.

Piece of advice

We got in touch with Aline Chirininan and Wassim Haddad who were kind enough to unravel some of the quirks of working with Social Media platforms for powerful brands.

Aline is currently the Social Media Manager at Ashi Studio (77K on Facebook, 770K on Instagram), a luxury fashion house based in Beirut, Lebanon and Wassim, a consultant and brand manager who previously worked for L’Oréal, Coca-Cola and Qatar Foundation.

Wassim Haddad introduces himself

Discover Aline Chirinan

Increasing general engagement is easily achievable through paying ads on Social Media. However, real organic engagement depends on how your brand is seen and how your community engages with it. The most important is to create a bond between customers and the brand. In that respect, the customers become advocates, from Managing the Customer Experience: Turning Customers Into Advocates (John Smith and Joe Wheeler). This is the ultimate goal brands are trying to achieve, and Wassim gives his opinion about it in the clip below :

Wassim shares the steps to increase general engagement

Communicating on different platforms is the hardest. Finding the right tone and the right media to share is the next step to create an exhaustive Social Media strategy. The goal is to deliver the right message to the right people on the right platform. Aline explains how she got it done :

Aline tells us how she got her brand image across media platforms

Finally, because most entrepreneurs might not be confident enough to start their own strategy, Wassim has a few tips to share.

A few hints to get yourself on the right track by Wassim

Note: the full interview is available here.

In the end, an authentic and credible usage of Social Media leads the way to success for companies. The insights our interviewees can all be summarized into one word: authenticity. Organic reach is what you must target, authenticity and passion are the keys to it.

Interestingly enough, Suzi Nelson, Community Strategist at Facebook, seems to agree with the previous statement.


This article was written by students on the Grenoble École de Management Advanced Masters in Digital Business Strategy. The task was to create an article within 24 hours including varied media and to share it. The students were responsible for all aspects of writing, editing and uploading with no input from the lecturers. It has, therefore, not been checked by us before uploading. Thanks to everyone who took part by agreeing to be interviewed, answer questions and share the content.

James Barisic

Lecturer, Grenoble École de Management