This month at Social Media London we were joined by Jeremy Straker – Head of UK & Ireland for Socialbakers, the leading portal for social media data, analysis & measurement. It is used by over 640,000 marketers each and every month to benchmark their social performance against their competitors or industry as a whole.
Jeremy presented the most up-to-date UK data and talked about some of the changes in social media and what this means for brands.
The current social media landscape is made of the following 3 areas:
- Social Media Listening: (e.g. Radian 6, Sysomos) listening to conversations taking place online, seeing how people are talking about your brand;
- Social Media Publishing: (e.g. BuddyMedia) creating content, scheduling, and publishing on social media platforms;
- Social Media Analytics: (e.g. Socialbakers) web analytics with a social aspect.
Besides those 3 areas, there are three stages that a brand needs to go through to fully integrate within social media:
- Setting up profiles on social media
- Establishing a presence on social media, creating content
- Engagement and measurement
- Most companies have been through the first stage; however, it’s only once you’ve gone through the second and third stages that you can say you’re taking full advantage of social media.
- The face of social media is changing – how we use the social media platforms to engage is changing, as well as the platforms themselves (e.g. Facebook changing its EdgeRank algorithm etc.). Brands are changing, as well their fans too. This can be seen in the consumers’ behaviour: in 2009 the average user on Facebook liked 4.5 pages, each page posting 23 updates a month. However, nowadays the average global Facebook user likes 40 pages, each of which posts around 36 posts per month. The average UK user is a fan of 48 pages. (As a quick breakdown, travel and telecom pages are the top category of brand pages liked by Facebook users in the UK.)
- It’s important to see how brands are doing and how they’re posting – most brands put a focus on visual content (e.g. pictures). However, pictures aren’t always the best engagement to use on Facebook, so it’s always worth checking what’s going well, what works best and what doesn’t, especially according to the latest EdgeRank updates/changes.
- How about videos? It’s interesting to see that videos posted via Facebook gain far more viral reach than videos shared via YouTube – in fact, they have 10 times the virality of a video shared via YouTube. (By organic reach we mean the reach within your fans, direct audience, while by viral reach we mean the reach within your fans’ friends.)
- When it comes to social media, it’s not all about building a fanbase – when it comes to social media, engagement is the key. Growing your fanbase is only a fraction of the work you can do on platforms like Facebook.
- Be careful with metrics – there are so many of them, but not all of them are useful for your brand. For instance, there’s a Facebook-specific metric called PTA/PTAT (People Talking About This). However, Jeremy doesn’t believe it’s an effective metric to measure. So what are the best metrics for your brand? Those are the ones that you can use to optimise and change your company’s strategy.
- Socialbakers adopts another metrics: engagement rate. This metric, which is pretty self-explanatory, can be calculated for both posts and the page itself: Post ER = [(Likes + comments + shares)/(number of wall posts made by page on the day)/ (total number of fans)] %Page ER = [(Likes + comments + shares on a given day)/ (total number of fans on the same day)] %
- When we talk about customer services, it’s interesting to see how the face of customer services is changing through social media. In Q2 2012 only 30% of CS requests were answered, which grew to 48% in Q3 and 55% in Q4.
- Socialbakers have another metric called ‘socially devoted‘ (not to be confused with this other devotion): this was introduced by SocialBakers to address brands that incorporate social networks into their marketing strategies. Although this standard focuses mainly on Facebook brand pages and on Twitter brand accounts, it can apply to all social networking platforms, including Google+, YouTube and others. This is to measure how engaged brands are on Facebook and how well they’re connected with their fans. Facebook brands are becoming more socially devoted, as they’re getting faster than ever in responding to customers’ queries. Facebook brands took 20.9 hours to respond to customer queries in Q2 2012, 19.5 hours in Q3, and 13.7 hours in Q4. It’s interesting to see how these numbers are well outside the SLAs for most companies. However, it’s reassuring to see this number decreasing.
- When it comes to ROI, every brand does that differently. However, Socialbaker’s main focus is on ROE instead – return on engagement, and it’s a different way of measurement. ROI starts with engaging content, so it only makes sense to see how your revenue is affected by your online engagement – the better the engagement, the better the results.
- Wall Street Journal: when Wall Street Journal started out on Facebook, their approach was quite aggressive, pushing out a lot of content on their Facebook page. However, when they lowered the volume of content and started optimising it, they noticed the engagement going up as a direct result. This is a perfect example of “quality over quantity”.
- Starbucks: Starbucks is one of the many brands that have noticed a change in engagement as they changed strategy. In this particular case, when Starbucks moved going from a global page to local pages, they noticed an increase in fan (and customer) engagement due to that local focus.
- Kit Kat: Kit Kat is the perfect example of how to publish great content and come up with a great campaign with no budget – Red Bull spent $30m on the Stratosphere campaign, while Kit Kat spent a lot less when they jumped on the bandwagon and did a spoof of the Red Bull Stratos campaign. This is an example of how building great content doesn’t have to cost millions, or put a dent in your team budget:
- Three: EE used to be the leading telco brand page after Orange and T-Mobile joined forces as part of their rebranding; however, with the recent Pony advert (#DancePonyDance), Three have quickly jumped to number one.
- Samsung: A customer, Shane Bennett, posted on Samsung Canada‘s Facebook wall, listing all the Samsung gear he’s got – a TV, a laptop, and a Galaxy S – asking for a free Galaxy S III to replace his old phone. In return, he gave them a picture of a dragon he drew all by himself. Samsung’s marketing guys shot him down gently, of course, but appreciated the effort, and countered with a picture of a kangaroo on a unicycle, drawn just for him. The witty interaction quickly went viral as Shane posted them on Reddit, and Samsung got so much publicity with this stunt, that Team Canada decided to gift Shane with the original request. He was sent a Galaxy S III with that very same dragon he drew, etched on the body of the phone, and on the box, too. The lesson is – show your human side!