Posted by Kim Willems, Social Media Specialist

As businesses, we all go about our social strategies in different ways, but the ultimate goal is usually pretty similar: to engage our unique (and in some ways similar) mix of followers.

So which companies are getting it right? How are they grabbing people’s attention and motivating them to interact?

A new report from the social media company, Sharablee, provides some interesting scoop. It compiles data from Q3 2015 and gives a breakdown of the top 25 brands with the best social engagement rates according to the total number of actions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Who do you think tops that list? Not surprisingly, there are a bunch of sports-related brands, including the NFL, NBA, MLB and ESPN on it. There are several entertainment entities, too, like MTV, and Hollywood Life.

But the brand to come in with the highest rating is National Geographic, with more than 482 million actions recorded in just three months.

Sure, National Geographic may have the added advantage of being part of an industry that lends itself to stunning images of nature and wildlife. It’s how the brand shares this content, though, that makes its social presence and engagement levels so successful.

Take a quick look at National Geographic’s Facebook page and you’ll find things like “Extreme Photos of the Week” and “Weird Animal Questions of the Week” – features that are undoubtedly meant to pique people’s curiosity and initiate some chatter. Scan a bit further and a common theme among posts is that questions and fun facts are incorporated … photo contests and editors’ videos as well.

Pop over to Twitter and you’ll find a lot of the same kind of stuff sprinkled with teasers for upcoming programs. What’s on Instagram? The page description sums up the incredible graphic display as it invites visitors to “enjoy the ride and the world through the eyes of National Geographic photographers.”

In taking a quick look at these channels, what are some takeaways from National Geographic that we can apply to our own social strategies?

The brand shares a huge volume of content and posts to all of its channels consistently, but it manages to vary up the presentation and keep things fresh at the same time. Plus, there’s a nice balance of photos and videos from the staffers, along with a good amount of user-submitted content. On top of that, posts are very visual (a big plus!) and they encourage visitors to interact.

An engaging social strategy isn’t something only the big brands can pull off. With a good plan and compelling content, a company of any size can have success!