To succeed on social media, brands need to create content that is relevant, relatable, and timely. National Geographic does all this and more, taking its social media marketing efforts to another level. Earlier this year, Shareablee ranked National Geographic as number one out of all social media brands in the US for taking the most actions and having the most followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Visual Content

National Geographic has an advantage over many other brands in its ability to produce highly visual content, but that does not mean the journey has been easy. After spending more than 100 years delivering content offline, National Geographic has had to transition to the digital age, a challenge that many other brands have failed to succeed at.

Across all its social media platforms, National Geographic focuses on video and still photography. The brand is aware of the differences of each platform and tailors content to meet users’ demands on each site.

For instance, on Twitter, the brand’s focus is on high-impact stories aimed at sharing new information with followers. On Facebook, the brand uses Instant Articles and sends users to content on its website. Pinterest, different again, allows users to search for and explore content related to their interests. National Geographic manages to capture the attention of younger audiences with interactive quizzes on Snapchat, in addition to visual content.

Content — Now and Then

National Geographic manages to maintain the brand image it always had by continuing to produce still photos and telling stories. However, it is also embracing the opportunities offered by technology.

Unlike in the past, National Geographic is able to start releasing parts of stories while photographers are still in the field, ideal for platforms like Instagram and for reporting on breaking news. With 62 percent of users turning to social media for their news (according to Pew Research Center), this capability has pushed the brand to become even more relevant. National Geographic is now one of the top news publishers on social media.

Another difference: although National Geographic still uses the world’s top photographers, the brand also involves its followers in storytelling. For instance, the brand offers young explorer grants. These are available for budding photographers to help develop their skills and share their work across National Geographic’s social platforms.

What Can Other Brands Learn from National Geographic?

National Geographic shows how any brand can successfully captivate an audience on social media. Beyond releasing content that is relevant, relatable, and timely, the brand invests in top talent to show users that they can always expect the highest quality. Although National Geographic is a B2C brand, there is no reason why B2B brands cannot learn from this example.