'Always on' whitepaper 1- brand connections


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A study into how Australian consumers connect, integrate, influence and engage with brands on social media.

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'Always on' whitepaper 1- brand connections

  1. 1. ‘Always On’ Social media & brand engagement White paper 1: Brand Connections February 2013
  2. 2. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 2 Latitude Insights and The Social Hatch joined forces to understand the opportunity for brands to connect, integrate, influence and engage with consumers on social media. Importantly, ‘Always On’ goes beyond existing social media data and insights to explore the key drivers of engagement in social media. This study incorporates multiple data sources: › A series of in depth interviews with Australians who covered the spectrum of social media use – heavy through to light users, across life stages. › A comprehensive online survey with 1,057 Australian social media users. › A private online community where we qualitatively explored the use of social media in detail. 150 Australians took part in ongoing conversations over a period of a month. Filling the knowledge gap
  3. 3. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 3 Nearly all (82%) have connected with at least one brand on social media. Social media users were also asked how many connections they had with brands across Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter. When looking at the number of brand connections overall, nearly a third of social media users (29%) reported being connected with more than 10 brands on at least one of these platforms. Australians are connecting with brands on social media Base: Social media users (n=1,057) “Approximately how many brands do you „like‟ / follow on [Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn]?” Have connected with 10 or more brands. Of those social media users: Of Australian social media users have connected with a brand on social media. 82% 29%
  4. 4. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 4 Reflecting the near daily presence of social media, there is already preference amongst some social media users for contact with brands via social media over other channels. Social media is number 1 or a close second to well established channels such as direct mail and websites. Looking at social media specifically, not surprisingly given its penetration, Facebook is by far the preferred channel. That said, users are split as to whether they want to access content passively (via a post) or actively (by visiting a Facebook page). Social media is emerging as a preferred channel for brand communications Base: Total social media users n=1,057 “Thinking about getting information from and having contact with brands, which of the following contact methods would you prefer?” Offers and discounts General information about products / services Help or assistance with products / services Make a complaint / criticism Give general feedback / make comments Social media total 30% 28% 24% 23% 33% Email newsletter 31% 17% 16% 15% 13% Via a Facebook status update / post 17% 11% 8% 9% 14% Via their web page 12% 28% 28% 27% 25% Via their Facebook page 10% 12% 10% 10% 14% Via Twitter / Pinterest / LinkedIn <2% <2% <2% <2% <2% Other / don’t know 28% 30% 36% 37% 32% ?$ ...!
  5. 5. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 5 But many feel let down by the current experience brands are providing. Having a social media presence makes smart marketing sense to brands in most categories. Our research shows that consumers are interested in getting to know brands better on social media. In many instances preferring this over other media. However our research also shows that social media users are currently underwhelmed by brands activity in this space. While some brands are getting it right, many are not. Social media users are open to connecting Understanding what social media users want gives brands the opportunity to use this medium effectively for long term success.
  6. 6. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 6 Facebook (n=1,017) Twitter (n=376) Pinterest (n=254) LinkedIn (n=349) Keep in touch with friends / family 89% 30% 7% 9% Entertainment 54% 34% 22% 9% Make new friends 38% 23% 7% 14% Keep in touch with colleagues 31% 22% 5% 42% Discounts / enter competitions 30% 15% 7% 9% Keep up with news / events 35% 36% 12% 12% Keep up with trends / what's hot 25% 27% 17% 9% Get information about brands 29% 24% 18% 12% Information about interests 26% 24% 25% 11% Find work / job 13% 11% 4% 22% Promote brand / workplace 17% 17% 6% 15% Connect with brands I admire 26% 21% 10% 11% Support friend / family involved with brand 24% 17% 6% 11% Ask questions / get help 23% 23% 4% 11% Complain / give feedback 21% 17% 6% 7% Shop for / research products / services 20% 14% 15% 7% Base: Specific platform users “There are a number of reasons people have told us they use social media. Thinking about the social networking sites below, which of the following are reasons YOU use them?”ultiple response. Social media users indicated all the reasons that they use various social media platforms. Overall, social media use is motivated by keeping in touch with others, being entertained and getting information. Connecting with brands also plays a part, although to a lesser degree. Motivations for using social media does include connecting with brands
  7. 7. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 7 When asked to indicate the top 2 reasons for using social media, brands barely get a look in. Brands need to understand that while social media users are happy to connect, it is not their main reason for using social media. Brands need to work hard to keep social media users interested. But when users prioritise, the importance of brands diminishes Facebook (n=1,017) Twitter (n=376) Pinterest (n=254) LinkedIn (n=349) Keep in touch with friends / family 87% 22% 7% 9% Entertainment 27% 14% 17% 4% Make new friends 13% 11% 2% 7% Keep in touch with colleagues 12% 12% 2% 35% Discounts / enter competitions 8% 5% 5% 2% Keep up with news / events 6% 23% 6% 7% Keep up with trends / what's hot 2% 10% 12% 5% Get information about brands 4% 8% 10% 5% Information about interests 2% 4% 15% 1% Find work / job - 1% 1% 15% Promote brand / workplace 2% 5% 2% 8% Base: Specific platform users “From the range of reasons you indicated, which are the TWO main reasons you use these platforms?” Two responses.
  8. 8. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 8 Social media users have far more personal connections, than brand connections. On average, for every 1 brand that SM users engage with, there are at least 5 other personal connections to compete with. This alone highlights that engaging content is critical for brands. It also explains why the saliency and recall of any connections with brands is quite low with a high proportion claiming not to know how many connections they have. Brands are competing with personal connections for attention Base: Facebook users (n=1,017) “Approximately how many friends do you have / friends are you following on Facebook?” “Approximately how many brands do you „like‟ / follow on Facebook?” 48% 18% 18% 30% 10% 47% 25% 4% Don't know 50+ 11-50 10 or less Brand connections Personal connections
  9. 9. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 9 Users have both strong and varied attitudes towards social media and connecting with brands. Importantly, based on these attitudes this study has identified 4 key social media types requiring different social media strategies (the subject of a separate white paper). Overall, brands need to understand that while attitudes vary, social currency and convenience are more important than freebies and discounts. Understanding how users feel about social media is critical to brands’ success 6% 8% 24% 23% 14% 19% 16% 14% 15% 14% 27% 33% 9% 8% 19% 18% 15% 18% 18% 12% 15% 12% 22% 26% 34% 31% 31% 31% 43% 37% 42% 41% 43% 48% 33% 32% 29% 33% 20% 22% 21% 20% 18% 27% 22% 21% 15% 8% 22% 21% 7% 7% 6% 6% 6% 6% 5% 5% I think carefully before I ‘like’ a brand on Facebook I enjoy sharing / reading humorous content / photos / posts on Facebook I find Facebook addictive Without Facebook I would miss out on what was going on Facebook is the easiest way to make contact with a brand I expect a brand to have a Facebook page I only like brands on FB if it saves me money / gets me a discount Liking a brand is great way to be ‘first to know’ re: new products / trends I enjoy finding out about new products and services on Facebook Facebook gives me a ‘voice’ with brand – allows me to be heard I worry about what others will think of me if I ‘like’ some brands I would be suspicious of a brand if they did not have a Facebook page Strongly disagree (1) 2 3 4 Strongly Agree (5) Facebook results can be interpreted as indicative of social media generally. Base: Facebook users (n=1,017) “We have spoken to a number of people about how they feel about Facebook. Looking at these statements below, how strongly do you agree or disagree with these statements about Facebook?”
  10. 10. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 10 To succeed in the social media space brands need to understand that it is a different kind of social space, with its own set of social norms. Social media is about being connected and keeping in touch. With friends, family, news, current events, brands, products, etc. It is also a place where barriers are removed. Brands have a voice, but unlike other channels, the voice of the customer is arguably far stronger. Brands need to ensure that social media users feel like the content is specific to them. In this space, a brand’s product, service, content and tone all need to make consumers feel like it has been developed with just for them. It’s not social media, it’s just social Success on social media requires brands to make a dramatic shift from the product and sales centricity of traditional advertising.
  11. 11. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 11 Based on their most recent brand connection, getting a financial benefit (discount, competition) is a big reason to connect, particularly on Facebook. However other benefits are also apparent. Tap into these other benefits of engaging on social media to build a deeper customer understanding, and to isolate opportunities to motivate consumers to engage with your brand. Competitions are only a foot in the door Base: Specific platform users “Thinking about the brand you „liked‟ on [platform] most recently, what motivated you to „like‟ them?” Multiple response. Top responses shown. Facebook (n=1,017) Twitter (n=376) Pinterest (n=254) LinkedIn (n=349) Enter a competition 39% 19% 19% 13% Support brand 20% 10% 9% 5% Save money / get a discount 17% 16% 13% 12% Find out about new products / services 15% 17% 20% 17% Get information / learn about brand 13% 12% 9% 18% Currently a customer 12% 7% 7% 6% Are a brand I admire 12% 8% 5% 5% Keep up with news / current events 11% 23% 9% 15% Fun / entertainment 10% 18% 16% 8% Keep up with current / new trends 11% 15% 13% 12% Keep up with a celebrity / personality 4% 14% 6% 3% Get information about areas of interest 7% 13% 16% 9% Ideas / inspiration 7% 12% 20% 10% Work there / invested in the business 3% 4% 6% 11% Promote my business 4% 8% 7% 10%
  12. 12. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 12 The benefit to consumers of connecting with brands in the social media space needs to be more than having a good product or service. Beyond competitions, freebies and discounts, consumers are compelled to connect with brands for a number of other reasons: › Social currency - being first to know (e.g. breaking news on brands, first access to new product, new ads, promotions) › Information, education (e.g. uses for a product) › Entertainment (e.g. interesting content) › Having a voice (e.g. co-creating, helping develop better products, etc.) › Immediate answers to questions Benefits and motivations for connecting also vary by brand. While generalisations can be made about connections with brands, the type of brand is also a dimension necessary to consider. Smart brands offer something more “Another brand I‟ve liked is Jack Daniels and sometimes they do interesting things like post recipes. I‟ve tried out a few.” (Male SM user, 45 – 54) More than other mediums, social media demands a compelling benefit to engage consumers; it’s their space you are requesting an invitation into.
  13. 13. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 13 As in any relationship there are behaviours that can cause the relationship to break down. The same is true in the social media space. Attention spans are overwhelmed, leaving little time for long term memory transfer. Social media users repeatedly indicated a sense of being overwhelmed with information. To cope, users flick through posts, speed read, etc. to deal with the volume of data. And brands may not even realise they have been shown the door because social media users react in different ways to manage their connections by e.g. by simply block posts, creating fake accounts, etc. without actually ‘un-liking’ a brand. If brands don’t deliver, they risk getting dumped Base: total, n=1057. “Have you ever „un-liked‟ / stopped following a brand? Have you ever removed a brand from your newsfeed / blocked their updates / tweets / etc.?” 44% Have ditched a brand on social media
  14. 14. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 14 Content that lacks quality or that there is simply too much of will turn social media users off. It is also clear that a purely transactional relationship is often ended. Once the discount / competition is over so is the relationship. Brands need to offer ongoing benefits & engage beyond pushing content Base: those who have blocked a brand on social media (n=466). “What made you unlike / block / remove a brand from your social networking site?” “I connected with Birdseye because they had a competition running to get free cleaning for a year. I then commented on a picture they posted of a „depressing‟ meal because I thought it looked condescending. I got lots of likes from fans which was funny but didn‟t hear from them. I didn‟t buy anything from them after.” Female, 25 – 34 “I disliked a brand [because] they started posting pics which I thought were inappropriate.” Female, 35 – 50 Too many posts / updates55% Content was not interesting36% Only liked to enter a competition / get a discount 36% No longer interested in the products / services31% Did something I did not like / behaved badly 19% Did not want others to associate me with that brand 12% Why brands get shown the door:
  15. 15. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 15 “Those products/companies were already things I bought/places I shopped. I like a lot of travel companies even those without competitions because I love everyone‟s gorgeous travel photos and they post them and I see them all in my newsfeed. Liking and in some case sharing those photos makes me feel happy.” (Female SM user, 18 – 24) ‘Socially transmitted content’ (STC) should be a brand’s goal While above the line advertising theory advocates staying top of mind with a high presence strategy, social media demands a different approach. Of high value to social media users is ‘STC’ (socially transmitted content): content that they want to hang on to, share, talk about and pass on to others.
  16. 16. ‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 16 Together with The Social Hatch, Latitude Insights understands what the social media user wants from brands. Moving on from just demographics we have developed key targets based on attitudes to social media. We have used our rich and deep understanding of social media users to offer your brand clear direction and do’s and don’ts in the social media space. Contact us to find out more. We can help you build a successful social media brand strategy
  17. 17. Dianne Gardiner, CEO e. dianne@latitudeinsights.com.au t. +61 3 9571 1199 Kristen Boschma, General Manager e. kristen.boschma@thesocialhatch.com.au t. + 61 3 9693 6427