THE SOCIAL MEDIA BEHIND
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
2
Introduction
This report analyzes the social media performance of National...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
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Though Facebook and Twitter remain leading platforms for marketers, Instag...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
4
NatGeo has become the largest, fastest-growing, and most-interacted profil...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
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Lesson
Your Instagram content should show-off your brand’s identity, give ...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
6
Just 38% of NatGeo’s posts have fewer than 300 characters, and while only ...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
7
NatGeo leverages Facebook and Twitter for building communities and driving...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
8
Brands should interact with their audience, and the more active they becom...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
9
Their most popular post asked fans to caption this photo - it got over 350...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
10
Speaking of fan engagement, there is one aspect that NatGeo could definit...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
11
NatGeo has no shortage of great video content. They’ve been ahead of the ...
Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com
12
Social media can be - needs to be - more than a glorified RSS feed. Audie...
Get in touch with us to start getting more from your social
media audience info@socialbakers.com.
Contact us
Media brands ...
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National Geographic Social Media Guide

National Geographic maintains one of the biggest and most dynamic Instagram profiles of any brand or media outlet. They’ve really set the standard for visual content on social - a standard that others should look to emulate.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Social Media      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - National Geographic Social Media Guide

  • 1. THE SOCIAL MEDIA BEHIND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
  • 2. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 2 Introduction This report analyzes the social media performance of National Geographic across leading social networks - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The study also suggests how media brands can improve their strategies through the analysis of NatGeo’s social media efforts. If you want to achieve the best results on social, you need a comprehensive understanding of your competitors’ social media performance, as well as yours. The media industry is one of the most competitive industries on the social media landscape - making competitive analysis and benchmarking crucial for developing a winning strategy to, above all (for most publishers), drive website conversions. Socialbakers Analytics enables media brands to track social performance against the competition and stay on top of how their content and overall social strategy are doing in the ever-changing social space. Our industry-leading social media dataset can help you make more well-informed decisions where it matters most across networks and paid media. Gain a competitive edge and start building a smarter social marketing strategy with Socialbakers Analytics today. Want to know more about how brands like Condé Nast, Yandex, and Reader’s Digest use deep competitive analytics to improve their social strategies? Contact us at info@socialbakers.com We recently published a study about How Media Companies Can Get More From Social Media. We found that media companies have an inherent advantage from the amount of original content they produce and are reaping the benefits. On average, media companies post roughly 5x more often on Facebook and Twitter than brands across 50 other industries. As a result, they also receive much higher levels of engagement - up to 7x more interactions on Facebook. NatGeo is among them. They produce a ton of content for all mediums - stunning magazine spreads, interactive apps, TV shows, and across the entire digital space. Social has given NatGeo a whole new world of possibilities and they are taking advantage. The foundation for success lies in good planning and the ability to utilize each social network for a different purpose. It’s critical to build your approach and content around platforms that help to achieve core business goals and highlight your brand’s identity. NatGeo does this exceptionally well on these leading social networks - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • 3. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 3 Though Facebook and Twitter remain leading platforms for marketers, Instagram is moving up fast. According to our latest data, Instagram truly is the definitive place for brands who want to engage with their audience. We looked at how the top 10 most engaging brands and media performed across the board. Notice that brands and media are averaging the most interactions per post on Instagram. Compare that to posting frequency, and anyone can see just how valuable Instagram is becoming. It’s a great space for a very enthusiastic audience. Interactions by Platform Top 10 Engaging Profiles - Average Number of Interactions per Post Top 10 Engaging Profiles - Average Number of Posts We can see that media publishes a huge amount of content on Facebook and Twitter compared to brands. However, media and brands publish approximately the same amount of posts on Instagram. If we take a look at the levels of engagement relative to the volume of content, Instagram clearly dominates. The gap between the amount of interactions brands and media experience are quite close - and perform better than on Facebook and Twitter - in terms of garnering the most interactions and interactions per post. NatGeo has clearly taken notice, and has cleverly built their social marketing strategy that yields the best results for achieving different goals on each platform.
  • 4. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 4 NatGeo has become the largest, fastest-growing, and most-interacted profile on Instagram. The photo/video sharing app offers elements of a high-end magazine - a perfect fit to house NatGeo’s amazing footage and images from their global community of visual storytellers. To put their success into perspective: they have more than 16 million followers and gain roughly 18,000 new followers per day. Compare that to say, Redbull that similarly uploads stellar images and videos, and gains an average of 3,000 new followers per day. In 2014, they increased their following by 180% - that’s 6.5 million new followers. This monumental growth has been met with a highly engaged audience - NatGeo experienced over 750 million interactions on Instagram between January 2014 and March 2015. The Big Picture - Instagram National Geographic - Follower Growth on Instagram National Geographic - Interactions on Instagram NatGeo’s social media success on Instagram is largely attributed to featuring content every day from their extensive network of photographers. These contributors are massive personal brands in their own right, and they tend to publish to other profiles as well - both branded and personal. The posts tend to promote each other, which helps to generate quality content daily, increase user engagement, and mutually expand their audience. NatGeo continued to ramp up their volume of content over 2014 to keep their followers coming back for more.
  • 5. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 5 Lesson Your Instagram content should show-off your brand’s identity, give an insider’s look, and really be geared towards your core audience. If you are not enthusiastic about the photo or video you uploaded, your fans probably won’t be either. Featuring fans through contests, partnering up with a key influencer, or handing over your account for guest posting are great ways to increase interactions and expand your audience. We analyzed over 3,700 of NatGeo’s Instagram posts made between January 2014 and March 2015. Photos make up 96% of their posts and are likely touched-up or altered in another third party program beforehand since 97% are uploaded under a normal filter (#nofilter). The majority of videos are also uploaded under #nofilter. But, NatGeo’s posts are more than just striking photography. They make the most of the description text to provide a compelling story behind the content - certainly a core advantage of Instagram as a platform. National Geographic - Posts on Instagram National Geographic - Posts on Instagram We took a look at more than 2,000 brand, media, and celebrity profiles and analyzed over 600,000 brand and media posts to get a clear picture of 2014 on Instagram. In our article about how Instagram Matures for Brand Engagement, we showed that the length of the description text does not influence engagement. This demonstrates two important discoveries 1) Instagram serves as an excellent profile extension for media and brands alike 2) Instagram users are enthusiastic about the profiles they follow and enjoy learning about the content they are viewing
  • 6. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 6 Just 38% of NatGeo’s posts have fewer than 300 characters, and while only 5% of all brand posts on Instagram had more than 500 characters, almost 1/3 of NatGeo posts went over 500 characters. They are using Instagram as a microblogging service, and it is working. Here’s a great example of description text usage: NatGeo’s most popular photo of the year was this gem - a harp seal pup sheltering under a piece of ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The photo sparked more than 650,000 interactions - by far the most from the time period we looked at (January 1, 2014 - March 31, 2015). The post promoted National Geographic Live - a popular speaker series in Calgary showcasing firsthand presentations from great explorers, filmmakers, and photographers featured on the National Geographic Channel and in National Geographic Magazine. Description Length of National Geographic Posts Lesson This post demonstrates how they are using a picture to promote their values - in this case about reductions in sea ice due to climate change, to spark conversation, and create a clear call-to-action.
  • 7. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 7 NatGeo leverages Facebook and Twitter for building communities and driving fans to their website; whereas Instagram is used mainly for sharing pictures and the stories behind them. Social engagement drives site visits - and, for the most part, that’s how they are using Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, 90% of their posts are links, and they receive 80% of all interactions. Photos on the other hand are posted only 6% of the time, but experience higher engagement per post, accounting for 18% of total interactions. On Facebook Post Type Distribution Post Type Interactions Distribution In fact, 9 out of 10 of their top posts on Facebook were photos; however it seems that gaining high levels of engagement for photos is not their core focus (they do that on Instagram where the interactions are much higher), attracting users to their site is. NatGeo posts frequently and often - an average of 6 posts per day which garnered over 58 million total interactions in 2014! Compare that to a mega brand like Coca-Cola which posts only 1 time per day on Facebook and received more than 1.3 million total interactions in 2014.
  • 8. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 8 Brands should interact with their audience, and the more active they become, along with engaging quality content, will also help to stimulate more interactions. Of course it pays off to have a quality audience - something Facebook is helping with. In March 2015, Facebook announced the removal of inactive accounts that were either memorialized for deceased users or had been voluntarily deactivated. The argument was this change would give businesses up-to-date audience data National Geographic - Posts on Instagram National Geographic - Growth of Total Fans to understand who is actively engaging with their Page. During the “Likes” cleanup, NatGeo lost 1 million fans. Even better for them - this means they can only continue to experience higher levels of engagement with their more than 34 million active fans. Last year they added nearly 15 million fans - that’s 1.2 million new fans per month!
  • 9. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 9 Their most popular post asked fans to caption this photo - it got over 350,000 interactions - and was submitted to their photo contest. Realtime Interactions National Geographic - Number of Interactions Lesson User and community-generated content is always a great way to get people engaged, and photo captions are a fun and simple way to get audiences involved. The digital form of word-of-mouth is sharing posts, and brands should monitor these types of interactions over time. In the new Socialbakers Analytics, we give you a comprehensive view of how your posts perform against your own targets and the competition.
  • 10. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 10 Speaking of fan engagement, there is one aspect that NatGeo could definitely improve - social customer care. In an era where social is instrumental to brand success, 18% of brands globally still maintain closed walls - meaning over 3 billion user connections lack adequate customer service - NatGeo is among them. We believe brands should be Socially Devoted - our benchmark for responding to at least 65% of user questions on Facebook and Twitter. They also lack on customer care on Twitter by leaving the responsibility of answering questions to the content creators. NatGeo was asked over 15,000 questions on Twitter in 2014, but only replied to 52 of them. Clearly the demand is there, and NatGeo could benefit immensely if they developed a sound social customer care strategy on Facebook and Twitter. Social Customer Care On Twitter NatGeo has nearly 8 million followers on Twitter, and over the course of 2014, they were able to gain 2.6 million new followers. Their strategy on Twitter is similar to Facebook - get news out fast and drive traffic to their site with article links. NatGeo tweets twice as often as they post to Facebook; however, they don’t interact with their audience or Retweet. Regardless, their stellar photos, trending topics, and attention to global and environmental issues garnered 1.4 million mentions, and nearly 2 million interactions in 2014. National Geographic - Profile Tweets on Twitter National Geographic - Mentions by Users on Twitter
  • 11. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 11 NatGeo has no shortage of great video content. They’ve been ahead of the curve for implementing visual content into the core of their social media presence. Where static images and short videos dominate on Instagram and generally on mobile, YouTube gives the space for lengthy storytelling with videos on full-screen desktop. Extremely active on YouTube - they published 1,000 videos in 2014 - an average of 90 per month - and gained nearly 500,000 new subscribers. NatGeo’s channel is approaching the 4 million subscriber mark. Lesson Of course it’s NOT just about capturing new subscribers, what matters is how much they engage with your content. On YouTube, video views and growth of interactions On YouTube National Geographic - Total Video Views are a good measurement to help define success. In NatGeo’s case, their increase in subscribers was significant because they were highly engaged as can be seen by the increasing number video views. Insights Publishers should look to National Geographic for inspiration when devising their social media marketing strategy. NatGeo has successfully used each social network for a different purpose. Take advantage of space across social to create a clear call-to-action; whether it’s watching a video or increasing website conversions. Read more about out how top U.S. media publishers are increasing referral traffic through social.
  • 12. Smarter Social Marketing www.socialbakers.com 12 Social media can be - needs to be - more than a glorified RSS feed. Audiences expect it now. On average, media brands post more than 300 pieces of content on social a month. Media companies - especially those managing multiple social profiles with tens of millions of Fans and Followers - need to focus on key performance metrics like interactions, post clicks, and shareability. But, they also need to know how they stack up against the competition. Media marketing teams need to be equipped with the right social media tools to publish at the right times, reach key audiences, and report the results effectively. Data is at the heart of executing an effective strategy - it’s imperative to have a comprehensive overview of what’s resonating with your audience across networks and paid media to take decisions in real-time. Go Deeper With Socialbakers Analytics Socialbakers Analytics is helping thousands of clients - including some of the world’s top Media brands - get more from social media with data-driven insights in a competitive context. Only by analyzing, comparing, and benchmarking can marketing teams make more well-informed decisions where it matters most. Space on social is finite, as is audience attention, and very few people read about the same issues multiple times on different platforms. Publishers need to pay attention to the competition’s social traffic and try to beat them the next time a big story breaks. They also need to benchmark over the long term and develop comprehensive social strategies that compete for social traffic, fans, and reach.
  • 13. Get in touch with us to start getting more from your social media audience info@socialbakers.com. Contact us Media brands we work with What we learned from monitoring our social media profiles with Socialbakers begat immediate results: we were able to customize the way we managed our pages and improve upon our earlier engagement metrics. Claire Morlon, Digital Analyst France Télévisions

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