For anyone who’s ever managed or assisted someone that’s managed a community, you know that while a rigorous posting schedule is a solid strategy for boosting fan engagement on Facebook, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, post-wise. It helps to have a few quick tips and stats at your fingertips to provide a fresh perspective on brand updates and give your overall interaction numbers a little jump-start.
Luckily, our friends at Buddy Media understand this, and they’ve distilled 2 weeks of post statistics from more than 200 major brands down to a few simple tips to improve Facebook engagement:
1) Posts containing 80 or fewer characters had higher engagement rates than posts longer than 80 characters (and yet less than 20% of all posts studied were this short!)
2) Brand posts outside of business hours showed 20% higher engagement on average (but more than 60% go live during business hours)
3) Thursdays and Fridays showed the highest rates of engagement overall
4) The lowest rates of engagement came on Saturdays
5) Words like “event” and “winning” boosted engagement higher than “contests” and “promotions”
6) Posts ending in questions are good, but posts ending in questions that ask “where”, “when”, “would”, and “should” (rather than “why) are better
Next time you’re looking to change up your posting routine, consider employing 1 or more of these strategies and see how your own community responds!
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” could refer to the plight of the French peasantry, but taken out of context Dickens could also be referring to Monday at 1:00pm ET and any day after 8:00pm ET, respectively. Yes, these are the actual best and worst times to post on Facebook and Twitter.
Bit.ly released new data based on wide usage of its links-shortening service showing the best and worst times and dates for sharing, as well as a few other tidbits, as written up by Mashable:
Best time to get a link clicked on Twitter: Mondays, between 1:00pm-3:00pm ET
Worst time to Tweet with a link: Any day after 8:00pm ET, and after 3:00pm ET on Fridays
Half-life of a link posted on Twitter: 2.8 hours
Best time to post on Facebook: Wednesday at 3:00pm
Best time to post links on Facebook: Any day between 1:00pm-4:00pm
Worst times to post on Facebook: After 8:00pm and before 8:00am
Facebook traffic peaks: Between 11:00am and 4:00pm
Best times to post on Tumblr: Anytime AFTER 4:00pm, best traffic is gotten after 7:00pm ET
Best day for Tumblr? Friday evenings.
While it’s useful to see the data displayed simply like this, any account manager with his/her salt can tell you that it varies widely from community to community, and your best bet is to Know Your Fans. Know what gets them clicking and when, and how. For example, take a look at the two “engagement by times of day” charts below from 2 CPG food brands here:
However, if you’re feeling like you’re in a bit of a rut with your community, the suggested times and days above might be some good tests for shaking things up a bit.
What do you think? Do you notice differences in posting times and days from community to community?
Remember back when you were a child, backing cookies with mom, or grandma? The aroma in the air, the taste of stolen bites of cookie dough? Chances were, the cookie recipe you were using with Mom was something she had gotten from a close friend, maybe even her own mom, or was recommended by one.
Enter the digital age. The way Americans source recipes, think about food, plan our meals, and learn to cook has drastically changed, according to a new study: Clicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture. In a survey of more than 1,600 US adults, almost half reported learning about food and recipes via social networking sites, and 40% learn about food via websites, apps or blogs. This marks a dramatic shift from the sensory food experience that dominated our learning (relying on smell and taste) to a new, rational one: What’s on the label? What are the ingredients? What does it look like? By relying on digital and social media, we’re inadvertently “crowdsourcing” our food before we decide what to eat, make, or buy.
So what does this mean for food and grocery brands online? Engaging with consumers needs to go beyond a collection of fans and followers and into the realm of meaningful conversations and emotional connections. The payoff to this approach is the creation of brand advocates and a connection that will drive influence. The study groups consumers’ engagement with grocery brands online into three categories:
- Spectators: The largest group, using social media as an extension of family and friends, looking for recipes, information, and good deals.
- Dreamers: Content curators leveraging social networks and looking to increase their influence.
- Doers: The core of food-related social media, creating content that inspires followers.
By keeping these consumer groups in mind, grocery brands can create a variety of content to appeal to each of these consumer segments. Posting recipes, for example, will engage the Spectators, but offering consumers the opportunity to share their own recipes will inspire the Dreamers and Doers.
The bottom line? The shift in consumer behavior has provide a lot of opportunity for grocery brands online. A clear strategy incorporating different consumer values will pay off with emotionally connected advocates and ultimately, brand loyalty.
Mashable pushed out another interesting infographic this week. Check out the stats below on how iPhone and Android users compare on social app usage. No surprise, Facebook accounts for an average of 10% of all data used by iPhone users and 5% of all data used by Android users.
Over the course of my career I’ve sat in thousands of brand briefs and background presentations for global brands. Each brief structures what the brand stands for and who its audience is while carefully breaking down its target demographic and what appeals to them. Insert a brand promise and the ‘reason to believe’ and, well, you get the start of a potential ‘agency brief’ to start developing ideas (I’m completely oversimplifying the process, but you get the drift).
A little skeleton that most won’t mention is that many brands struggle to articulate what their actual demographic breakdown is or to provide insights into the profile of brand x’s profile user which can make it difficult to build insight-driven ideas. In some instances, said company or brand’s budget is too small to conduct local market research which results in the brand relying on outdated consumer data, global e-reports and whatever else can be ‘googled’ leading up to plan development. And who can blame them?
An often overlooked approach for insightful ideas that can spur creative marketing concepts is the realm of active listening, or in some instances where a brand reacts almost instantly to user feedback, it’s called real-time marketing (yes, we’re a clever bunch of industry wordsmiths).
Here are 3 ways to tap into amazing insights that can fuel creative ideas and increase your campaign’s relevance for your end consumer. Note, I’ve purposely left out ‘Crowdsourcing’ because I think it’s an incredibly overused industry term that is often incorrectly represented.
1. Leverage your customer care centre
As simple as it may seem, this is often overlooked. Your frontline customer care centre deals with the compliments and complaints that matter most. Recognizing patterns in feedback can yield tremendous ideas.
Example: Our client Halls noticed a pattern of users were giving positive feedback about the product’s effectiveness in relieving short-term allergy symptoms between the time allergy sufferers took their medicine and when it effectively kicked in. We conducted an influencer analysis to identify allergy sufferers across North American and then created an outreach campaign to educate them. In just three months, we were able to generate considerable awareness based on this insight to support their new product line.
2. Have your digital community manager conduct real-time marketing
Example: As social media agency of record for the NHL, our community manager often catches interesting patterns that generate real-time marketing opportunities. Last October, our Facebook community posted a few pumpkins with team carvings on them. Within a few days, we built a campaign asking fans to submit their team-inspired pumpkins for a chance to win NHL gear. Aside from time invested, the creative efforts of community management resulted in a low-cost real-time marketing initiative that generated incredible ROI and community engagement metrics. It’s now being leveraged as a year-over-year initiative to drive fan engagement in social and .com.
3. Use social media insights from one campaign to re-energize it the next year
We’re fortunate enough to be the social media AOR for Caramilk and worked on the highly successful Keys to the Secret Campaign. During last year’s campaign, we noticed that ‘key hunters’ were organically posting unbarring videos to social media channels. If you’ve seen this year’s campaign on Facebook or TV, you’ll notice the creative is all around ‘unbarring’. For the record, this year’s campaign is outperforming last year’s. It’s also more heavily based on real-time user insight.
In closing, we need to get better as an industry at listening and adapting to real-time insights that can fuel innovative ideas and make our creative executions stronger. The end result will be timely, relevant and highly effective campaigns that deliver better engagement and brand equity.
Have another great example you’ve done? Share below.
Another chapter in our on-going study of the habits of millennials online. Here’s a quick re-fresher – Millennials (aka Gen Y) are generally anyone in between the ages of 18 and 34. A broader definition here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Y
Ok so back to the data, we’ve come across some interesting stats lately that I thought I’d share. Some of these are pretty amazing.
- Receive 40 phone calls per day
- 150 IM’s per day
- 80 Social Networking notifications per day
- 250 emails per day
- 75 texts per day
- Spend 2 hours per day on Facebook
- Milllenials watch less than half as much TV as Gen X
-Their purchases are 30% more influenced by friends as compared to Gen X
And probably the most amazing one of them all…..Millennials spend over 20 hours a day using media!