Social Best Practices From Top US Brands in Q1 2015

Published on May 13th, 2015

We are often asked if the social media industry is slowing down. Based on the significant growth numbers coming out of Q1 2015, the answer is not at all. People engaged with US brands’ content across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram a total of 13 billion times in Q1 2015 alone, and US brands saw a 52% total increase in engagement year over year. Furthermore, we see that average actions per brand are growing at a faster rate than average content posted per brand. For example, on Twitter, the average posts per brand increased 16% while average actions per brand increased 32% in Q1 2015 compared to Q1 2014. It’s clear that people continue to be receptive to engaging with brand content and it is becoming a greater part of people’s daily lives.

So, what are the elements that make content engaging for social audiences?

Three overarching content themes were prevalent when interpreting the social sharer and what drives engagement: Discovery, Inspiration and Usefulness. Below are a few examples of top campaigns from early 2015 to help brands understand how to create and engage audiences with the right content.


Samsung tapped into its social audience’s curiosity to discover the capabilities of the new products in the Galaxy family. The brand posted videos that conveyed various features of the Galaxy line, which consisted of 38% of the total content posted on Samsung’s Mobile Facebook page, and drove 78% of all shares in Q1 2015.


Adidas launched a campaign in February 2015, which included a series of videos to inspire and motivate young athletes to play every game as if it were their last, and used social media to further extend this campaign messaging. On Facebook, the average engagement during the campaign was 337% higher than the average engagement brought in by all content posted during January 2014 – January 2015.

American Express launched the #JourneyNeverStops campaign during the Oscars aimed at opening up the brand to a new generation of customers, encouraging them to share their journeys to success. The campaign, which ran from February through April 2015, saw major success across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram achieving much higher engagement than American Express usually captured.


KLM airlines set out to prove its superior customer service by allowing its customer service representatives to take over its Twitter handle and hit the streets to help unsuspecting travelers with their travel woes over the course of a week. As a result of the campaign, the #HappyToHelp hashtag received a combined 88,000 actions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and went on to become KLM’s official company slogan. KLM also posted two videos, one on Facebook and one on yo, which summarized the week and shared some of the amazing stories that came from it. The Facebook post received over 27 thousand actions and 1.5 million views, while the  video received nearly 3.6 million views.

Taste of Home is another example of using useful content to drive social. Recipes make up 77% of Taste of Home ’s content, most of which are user generated. The publisher leads in amplification with more than 17 million shares and retweets in 2014. Furthermore, more than one third of Taste of Home’s audience is loyal, returning to engage two or more times.

A Quick Word on Social Video

In addition to these three core objectives driving social growth, engagement on video is also on the rise. In Q1 2015, social video content grew 121% with engagement on video posts growing by 185% compared to Q1 2014.  In addition, social video is four times more likely to be shared than any other content type, propelling a 140% growth in video shares in 2014. User-generated content is helping to drive this growth. For example, five of the top ten Instagram videos in Q1 2015 included content contributed by the brands’ social audiences. To do social video well, it’s important to understand that the medium is the message.


Engagement for U.S. brands grew a total 52% y/y with actions still outpacing available content. Stories that spark inspiration, discovery and utility underpin the most successful social media content while still driving business objectives. Your social customers are active and actively sharing, learning and researching; and social data can shed light on opportunities, competitive threats, and broader media and creative decisions across the business.

These and other best practices were presented during Shareablee’s Social Best Practices from Top US Brands webinar. Click the button below to download the full presentation.


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