The most reputable company in the world turns out to be Swiss luxury watchmaker Rolex. The watchmaker emerged from a recent survey of consumers with the best reputation, outperforming Disney, Lego, and Google for the second year in a row – a sign of prestige that could be linked to its growing emphasis on social media.

Rolex opted out of digital for years, shunning social platforms to focus on traditional branding. But when the brand finally joined Facebook and Instagram, it did so strategically – resulting in a major impact. By posting stylish current and vintage images, Rolex earned more than a million Facebook fans in just a few months and quickly outperformed household names like Cartier and Baccarat in terms of engagement, according to L2’s Social Platforms report. As Facebook pivoted to video, the brand maintained its strong showing, although heavy investments by rivals make this a competitive space.

Watches & Jewelry

The brand also earns five times as many Instagram interactions as the average company in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Watches & Jewelry. Despite being a latecomer to the social platform, Rolex amassed thousands of followers within a few weeks. Its strategy consisted of strategically partnering with celebrities and athletes who served as brand ambassadors, amplifying the watchmaker’s reach. For example, one post tagged The Open Championship, which responded with a Rolex-branded photo welcoming the watchmaker to Instagram. These examples make clear that being late to the social game matters less than playing it well.

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