We’re always looking for new tips, tricks, and hacks for engaging with social audiences — and sometimes, the best place to look is at the brands that are already doing it right. You can learn a lot from what others have done to ace the game, and you can also pick up plenty of insider advice that you can then put to use in your own social media strategy.
There are nearly 3.36 billion people around the world using social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and that number is expected to increase to almost 4.41 billion over the next handful of years. And while you can’t engage with all of them, you can take steps to ensure that you reach and connect with more of the audience that matters to your brand.
So who’s doing the best job of it? Here are four brands that have taken their audience social engagement to the next level, plus some takeaways that are worth adapting for your own needs.
Instagram: 718K followers
Facebook: 68K followers
What it is: Depop is a peer-to-peer eCommerce site with 18 million users worldwide. They specialize in fast fashion alternatives and cater to a mostly GenZ audience.
Why it excels on social: The Depop brand is built around social connectivity, so it’s really no surprise that their social media strategy excels at user-generated content. The brand makes impressive use of the content their users share, repurposing it to their own followers to double up on the engagement and increase exposure to what they sell.
What you can learn: Brand loyalists are eager to share, and they love when they get recognition for doing so. So go ahead and share your user-generated posts — you’ll get increased engagement from the original poster, their followers, and your own followers.
Instagram: 17.9M followers
Facebook: 35.4M followers
What it is: This coffee giant likely needs no introduction since it’s been leading the pack in on-the-go joe since the early 1970s.
Why it excels on social: For such a major brand, Starbucks does a fantastic job of providing their social media audience with a personal experience. The brand is known for its quick response times on social media (a must-have for providing optimal customer service) and for randomly engaging with accounts of all sizes that interact with its page.
What you can learn: No effort is too small when it comes to social engagement. Give your brand a voice in the conversation, and when a follower wants to interact with you, interact in return.
Instagram: 2.7M followers
Facebook: 388K followers
What it is: One of the original “Instagram beauty brands,” Glossier has built a name for itself as a socially-driven makeup and skincare line with its fingers on the pulse of its followers’ preferences.
Why it excels: In 2018, Glossier broke its own record for audience social engagement by partnering with Beyonce on a post. And while we can’t all get Queen Bey on our channels (a surefire engagement booster), we can appropriate some of Glossier’s other successful tactics, including lots of one-on-one engagement with their followers and lots of pre-product launch hype.
What you can learn: A little bit of mystery can go a long way. Glossier takes advantage of their audience’s natural interest in what they’re doing to design engagement-driven campaigns around everything from new product developments to new releases, letting their followers shape the conversation instead of the other way around.
Instagram: 1.7M followers
Facebook: 2.9M followers
What it is: BarkBox is a monthly subscription box of toys and treats for spoiled pets and the people who love them. The brand also offers original pet content and an online store for on-demand items.
Why it excels on social: Social media involving pets and animals is on an entirely different level and BarkBox definitely capitalizes on having such an engaged audience. Instead of just celebrating what they sell, BarkBox celebrates the reason they’re in the business in the first place: cute, fluffy, sweet, and silly animals. They know what their audience wants, and they’re definitely not afraid to give it to them.
What you can learn: Your audience’s interests matter. Learn as much as you can about what your followers like, and then work it into your content. Even content that doesn’t convert to sales still has a potential for major engagement.
Social media may be a lot of work, but the payoff potential is huge. A consistent social media presence will help you be available to your customers and prospects, grow your brand and business, and generate more site traffic so you can grow your email lists. Adapt one (or all!) of the creative strategies above as you map out your strategy, and get as big of a piece of the engagement pie as you can get.
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