How To Get Social Media Right – For Businesses

More and more businesses are flocking to social media with hopes of increased brand visibility and an eager audience of fans waiting to see their latest product offering. However, most of these businesses run into the same problems; they struggle to get noticed, and get frustrated at a lack of quick results. As always, the question is, why?

Why do businesses struggle to find their place on social media? To understand this, we need to know why people use social media in the first place. Below is a graph highlighting the top ten reasons people use social media (Data from Getting Social).

To stay in touch with what my friends are doing
To stay-up-to-date with news and current events
To fill up spare time
To share my opinion
To find funny or engaging content (i.e articles and videos)
To share photos or videos with others
Because a lot of my friends are on it
General networking with others
To meet new people
To share details of what I'm doing in my daily life

People use social media to connect with friends and meet new ones. Users want to share their thoughts and opinions and be entertained and informed. Let’s take a look at the popularity of brands against public figures.

Top 5 celebrity social media accounts

Data accurate as of March 2021*

  1. Barack Obama – 129m
  2. Justin Bieber – 114m
  3. Katy Perry – 109m
  4. Rihanna – 102m
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo – 92m

Top 5 brand social media accounts

Data accurate as of March 2021*

  1. Playstation – 22m
  2. Xbox – 16.2m
  3. Chanel – 13.1m
  4. Samsung Mobile 12.2m
  5. Starbucks – 11.4m

You can find an extensive list of the most followed Twitter accounts here.

There is a significant difference between the popularity of people vs brands on social media. The most popular non-platform brand on Twitter is Playstation. Even with more than 22 million followers, they don’t make the top 100 most-followed accounts on Twitter.

But what does it all mean?

Even the most established brands struggle to attain the engagement that celebrities and public figures acquire. Why? Because of the conflict in motivations between users and businesses. We have already established why people use social media, but why do companies use social media?

  • To promote products and services
  • To raise brand awareness
  • To increase website traffic
  • To generate leads

Businesses run advertisements that interrupt users from watching their favourite youtube creators. In addition, they run adverts that follow consumers around the internet, leading some to feel like they are being spied on.

So Marketers must understand how intrusive and annoying their attempts to sell can be. With this in mind, we should focus on creating a strategy that engages users instead of annoying them.

How to drive social media engagement

Let’s take another look at our list – ‘The top ten reasons people use social media.’ At number four, we have ‘To find funny or engaging content.’

Users are actively searching for content to consume; as a business looking to engage an audience, we should be fulfilling that demand. There are some great examples of companies who have made social media work for them, and they have done so by creating content that adds value to users through a range of approaches. Let’s take a look at some examples.


Wayfair Instagram account

Wayfair is an American retailer operating in the UK since 2008. As a home decor company, Wayfair showcase and sell its products online. In doing so, they have succeeded in attracting an audience of over 1.6 million followers on Instagram alone.

Wayfair uses each platform’s functionality well, notably Instagram’s Shopping’ feature. In addition, each post includes product tags that provide users with a link to the corresponding product on Wayfair’s e-commerce website.

Wayfair invests in creating high-quality content, showcasing its products within beautifully staged scenes to inspire its audience. This approach helps Wayfair remain relevant to customers both inside and outside of their sales funnel as their audience consists of interior design fans and customers.


SAP Twitter

SAP is a German multinational software corporation based in Walldorf, Germany. The company is known for its ERP software and is the largest software company outside of the US.

Software is a complicated topic that is hard to digest, although SAP’s 285,000 followers on Twitter might disagree. SAP created case studies based on real-world applications of their product and thought-leadership in Digital Transformation. 

SAP created a robust content library that included infographics to simplify their more technical subject matter. In addition, the brand’s monitored the performance of organic Tweets and selected those with the highest engagement to promote as paid boosts – this maximised campaign effectiveness.

The brand’s content was optimised by monitoring the performance of organic Tweets and selecting those with the highest engagement to promote as paid posts, improving campaign effectiveness.

Similar campaigns were introduced for each targeted region but tailored to the targeting options to best suit B2B tech. For example, SAP used a combination of keyword, interest and follower targeting to reach its audience – follower targeting specifically included tech influencers such as @nytimestech and other leading tech brands.

User engagement was tracked and measured using website cards. In addition, SAP’s #runsimple hashtag provided measurable views and clicks and directed users to the company website for further engagement.

SAP Twitter posts below

Stay up-to-date with news and events on social media

41% of social media users login to stay up-to-date with current news and events. This lets you keep customers up-to-date with changes in your business, like employee promotions, new hires, and success stories.

Have you got an event coming up? Let people know. Eventbrite is a great platform that helps businesses sell/give away tickets to their events online. In addition, you can create custom email lists to send directly to your customers.

People want to share their opinion online

The 5th most popular motivation for social media use is ‘to share my opinion’. 50% of customers who are asked to leave a review do so (searchengineland). Furthermore, a recent Bright Local consumer survey shows that 87% of users read online reviews in 2020.

By utilising social media in conjunction with review sites such as Google My Business and Trustpilot, you can collect valuable feedback from your customers and inform new and potential customers about your excellent products and services.

What you can do

In conclusion, businesses need to understand why people use social media and what they want to see in order to successfully engage with them. While brands may struggle to match the engagement of public figures, they can still create a strong presence by providing valuable and relevant content. Companies like Wayfair and SAP have succeeded by utilising the features of each platform, investing in quality content, and tailoring their campaigns to their target audience. By focusing on engagement rather than just promotion, businesses can effectively reach and connect with their audience on social media.

Oliver Westrup

About the author

Oliver Westrup is an accomplished data-driven marketer with a focus on SEO. Coming from a background in marketing, analytics and design, he helps businesses develop effective optimisation strategies to drive measurable results.

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