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How Secret Builds a Social Community with Life Hacks, Responding to Fans, and More

unnamedSecret Deodorant’s social team has two serious advantages. First, its product is used by millions of women on a daily basis (more than 15% market share when compared with other leading deodorant brands in the United States in 2013), so it’s immediately recognizable.

Second, its product leaves a ton of room when it comes to branding flexibility and creativity, since deodorant has obvious utility and value. This means that Secret deodorant has room to play with
its more frivolous benefits.

Secret is focusing on building a social community by asking followers for their practical expertise, associating themselves with adventure, and partnering smartly.

Secret’s an important brand to pay attention to if you want clear proof that participating in a dialogue with your fans on Facebook is worth the time and effort, and will drive the engagement you’re looking for. It’s also a brand that’s succeeding on social by experimenting with different themes and partners, and, ultimately, knowing what their audience expects from them. Read on for more of my findings.

Life Hacks

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This month, Secret only posted twice on its Facebook page between October 1-21, so I dug in to see how those posts did. I noticed a huge spike in Facebook engagement on October 8.

This led me to Secret’s most successful post on social this month so far across all its active social channels:


This post scored significantly higher engagement than any other social post during the month with 37,303 in total engagement (Comments, Likes, and Shares)  — double the amount of engagement Secret usually receives on a Facebook post and more than 30K more in engagement than Secret’s second most engaging post of the month.

This post highlights how important asking the right questions and knowing what people want and expect from your brand can be for fostering a social community.

It also speaks to how audience acknowledgement and following through with an engagement-building exercise on social can be hugely successful.

During the four days after its most engaging post, Secret responded fifty times to user suggestions, which totaled more than 1,000. Here are a few examples.

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Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 3.53.44 PMAs I looked through Secret’s responses, I saw that almost every single response received a Like from the user and other Secret fans. This is a great indicator of how much social users appreciate reciprocation to their interactions with brands.

Another note: Secret isn’t asking its social audience which outfits they like to wear on a Friday night or what their favorite spa treatment is. This would be incongruous with their identity as a practical and problem-solving drugstore brand (unless they’re partnering with a more high-end brand…more on that later).

On Instagram, too: Secret found success with this post on Instagram, too. Don’t be afraid to conserve your resources and stretch all the life you can out of a winning post.

Putting Product into Context 

How do you make deodorant relevant to a young woman?


Secret has embarked upon a travel and adventure theme to support its Secret Destinations line. The theme has held them in good stead in October thus far — the post above received 4,518 engagements on Facebook, and Secret’s wanderlust-centric posts take up 60% of the brand’s most engaging posts slots.

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Partnerships for Engagement 

Secret chooses partners wisely. This month, it’s invested in promotional contest posts in conjunction with on-trend media brand Refinery29 in an effort to remain relevant and drive awareness — especially towards their growing Instagram account.

Also take note: This has been a successful strategy for Secret in the past and on other forums as well, such as in their YouTube partnership with YouTube makeup and travel sensations Eleventh Gorgeous:

This video is Secret’s most-watched video to date, with more than 2 million views — and it’s only the teaser video for the #Epic48 campaign. That’s great validation that Secret picked a good partnership intersecting with their brand’s audience and those who enjoy watching ladies talk bronzers and beaches.

What’s Your Big Learning From Secret’s Strategies?

Let me know in the comments below or get at me on Twitter @LLHitz.

If you want to know more about adding strategic cross-channel measurement to your own brand’s social media marketing strategy, download our whitepaper The Five Essentials of Cross-Channel Social Media Measurement today.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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