& brand engagement
White paper 1: Brand Connections
‘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
‘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.
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
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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
Social media is emerging
as a preferred channel for
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?”
30% 28% 24% 23% 33%
Email newsletter 31% 17% 16% 15% 13%
Via a Facebook
status update /
17% 11% 8% 9% 14%
Via their web
12% 28% 28% 27% 25%
10% 12% 10% 10% 14%
Via Twitter /
<2% <2% <2% <2% <2%
Other / don’t
28% 30% 36% 37% 32%
‘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.
‘Always On’ White Paper 1: Brand Connections, February 2013 | 6
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
24% 17% 6% 11%
Ask questions / get help 23% 23% 4% 11%
Complain / give feedback 21% 17% 6% 7%
Shop for / research products /
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
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
Connecting with brands also plays a part, although
to a lesser degree.
Motivations for using
social media does include
connecting with brands
‘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
But when users
prioritise, the importance
of brands diminishes Facebook
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.
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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
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?”
10 or less
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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
I think carefully before I ‘like’ a brand on
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
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?”
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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
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
Success on social media requires brands to make a
dramatic shift from the product and sales centricity
of traditional advertising.
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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.
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 /
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
7% 13% 16% 9%
Ideas / inspiration 7% 12% 20% 10%
Work there / invested in the
3% 4% 6% 11%
Promote my business 4% 8% 7% 10%
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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
“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.
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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
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.?”
Have ditched a
‘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
No longer interested in the products / services31%
Did something I did not like /
Did not want others to associate me with
Why brands get shown the door:
‘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)
content’ (STC) should be a
While above the line advertising theory
advocates staying top of mind with a high
presence strategy, social media demands a
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.
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Together with The Social Hatch, Latitude Insights
understands what the social media user wants
Moving on from just demographics we have
developed key targets based on attitudes to social
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
Contact us to find out more.
We can help you build a
successful social media
Dianne Gardiner, CEO
t. +61 3 9571 1199
Kristen Boschma, General Manager
t. + 61 3 9693 6427