La relación entre las redes sociales y las marcas

The relationship between social media and brands

Picture of Vanesa Matesanz

For more than a decade now (yes, that long), social media has revolutionised the way brands interact with their consumers. Beyond the typical marketing strategies and flashy ads, have you ever wondered what really makes us follow a brand on social media? How many do you follow? Why do you do it? Have you ever thought about it?

How present are brands on our social networks?

While you answer that question, I can tell you that according to IAB Spain’s 2024 Annual Social Media Study, 48% of social media users follow brand profiles.

This percentage is slightly up on last year, when it stood at 43%. But what does following a brand really reflect?

  • Following a lot (6%): These users use the networks intensively to follow their favorite brands. They are aware of all the news, promotions and contents published by them.
  • Seguir bastante (38%): un grupo considerable que sigue activamente a las marcas, aunque no de manera tan intensa. They interact with content and participate in campaigns.
  • Following little (43%): most users are in this group. They follow some brands, but hardly interact at all.
  • Almost no following (13%): is barely following brands, but the fact that it has increased by 3% compared to last year is remarkable.

Why do we follow brands on social media?

The reasons that we, as users, have for following different brands on social networks can be very varied, ranging from finding out about those little offers that they put out from time to time (although this can usually occur through influencers rather than on the brand’s own profile) or to the fact that we like and enjoy their content, something that has become much more frequent in recent years, especially with the arrival of TikTok in our lives. Let’s break down these reasons in a little more detail.

Information and promotions

One of the main reasons we follow brands on social media is to stay informed about their products, services and promotions. Who doesn’t want to hear about a good discount or an exclusive offer from a brand they like? In addition, brands often use the networks to launch new products and keep us up to date with what’s new.

Engaging and relevant content

As we said at the beginning, visually appealing, funny or interesting content is another big magnet for followers. For example, brands such as Red Bull or Sephora, known for their particularly elaborate, dynamic and attractive content, have a large number of followers on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok..

Close and personalised relationship

We all like that sense of closeness (often false, by the way) that social networks provide. In the case of brands, they allow us a direct and personalised interaction with them. Especially with smaller brands, with which you can even have a ‘closer’ relationship: you can comment, ask questions and receive answers in real time. This ability to interact in real time makes us feel more connected to and valued by the brand, which obviously improves the brand’s performance. engagement and the final purchase decision.

Examples of success in social media

KFC and its dominance in TikTok

KFC is an incredible example of how a brand can stand out from the rest on social media. With more than 6 million followers across all its platforms, KFC has taken particular advantage of TikTok, where three out of ten interactionsacross all networks belong to this brand. The key? Fun, interactive content tailored to TikTok’s young (though increasingly younger) audience.

Red Bull: energy in every publication

Red Bull is another brand that has managed to ‘steal the show’ on social media. Its strategy focuses on extreme sports and sponsored events, and produces highly visual and exciting content. This strategy has allowed him to maintain a high level of interaction and loyalty among his followers.

Starbucks and the response to criticism

Starbucks has demonstrated how a transparent and rapid response to criticism can transform a potentially negative situation into an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships. When faced with criticism for a variety of reasons, the company has responded with clear communications and concrete actions to address the issues, earning the respect and trust of its consumers.

Lush and its commitment to ethics said goodbye to social networks

Note that we have a great example in this case that is more related to the importance of transparency. Lush, the fresh, handmade cosmetics brand, is known for its transparency in production and its commitment to ethical causes. Its social media campaigns often highlighted its efforts to reduce plastic use, promote fair trade and support animal rights. This honesty and dedication to their values created a very loyal community of followers. But… chao! In 2021 they decided to leave without looking back from all their networks. They even created an Anti-network policy which you can read in full here. Here are some of his points:

  • We want to be able to trust that the external platforms we use offer their services in a clear and transparent manner, and that they do not hide their true commercial intentions or revenue streams.
  • We would like to use platforms and services that strive to protect the people who use them from any form of harassment, harm or manipulation.
  • We do not want to participate in platforms that use the data they collect for hidden purposes.
  • We prefer platforms that do not use algorithms that bombard people with negative content, fake news or extreme views to keep them endlessly updating their networks.

The importance of authenticity and transparency

Looking at these last two examples of Lush and Starbucks, I thought it was interesting to dwell on the crucial issue of authenticity in social media. A study by MarketSplash reveals that 88% of consumers value authenticity when deciding which brands to support. This is because consumers are looking for genuine connections and brands that present themselves in an honest and real way. In a world saturated with advertising, often misleading and even more so now with the issue of AI, the fake news, etc., authenticity becomes a key differentiator.

Authentic brands are those that show their true identity, their values and their flaws. It is not only about showing the good, but also about being transparent about challenges and mistakes. When a brand publicly acknowledges a mistake and takes action to correct it, it gains the respect and trust of its followers.

Transparency is vital: in fact, according to the same study cited above, 94% of customers are likely to be loyal to a brand that offers full transparency. This includes being clear about production processes, product provenance and business practices. Today’s consumers are better informed and more demanding; they want to know what is behind the products they consume.

An example of transparency is Patagonia, an already world-renowned clothing brand, which regularly publishes reports on their environmental and social impact. This practice not only reinforces its commitment to sustainability, but also builds a loyal customer base that values honesty and business ethics.

In short, social media has redefined how brands engage with their consumers, offering new opportunities for direct interaction, personalisation and customer loyalty. In an increasingly digital world, brands that leverage these platforms not only increase their reach, but also build deeper and more meaningful relationships with their consumers. But, be careful, there are also brands that are fleeing… We will see what the next few years will bring.

Latest posts



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *