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2011 Facebook Engagement Report


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Created for eyefortravel, this white paper examines Facebook adoption and usage patterns for the Top 20 Asian Travel brands. Data includes number of profiles, number of fans and tabs employed. The information in this Report was gathered in April of 2011. The Report also looks at change in the past 12 months, contrasted the data gathered this year with that gathered in April of 2010.

Published in: Travel
  • This white paper, originally created for eyefortravel, examines the Facebook usage and adoption patterns in the Asian Travel Industry. The Report looks at the Top 20 Asia Travel brands in an attempt to glean intelligence relating to how those brands have deployed on Facebook and how they are faring with their efforts.

    Data in this Report includes: number of profiles maintained by each brand, number of fans, default tabs used and custom tabs used. The paper examines content strategies and investigates how the brands are using custom tabs and applications.

    The data for this white paper was gathered in April 2011. The Report contrasts the results of this year's research with that gathered in April 2010 as a means of providing trend analysis.

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2011 Facebook Engagement Report

  1. 1. THE 2011FACEBOOKENGAGEMENTREPORTA Snapshot Of The Asia TravelIndustry’s Market Leaders
  2. 2. Table of ContentsExecu&ve  Summary                    2Preliminary  Ma4ers                    3The  Rise  of  the  Big  Brands                  4 A  Year  of  Spectacular  Growth                  5 Number  of  Fans                      6Fan  Page  Content  Strategy                  7 How  Many  Fan  Pages?                    7 Facebook  Applica&ons  Usage  Pa4erns                8          Default  Facebook  Tab  Usage                  8          Custom  Tab  Usage  Pa4erns                  9          Leveraging  Social  Media               10          Use  of  Interac&ve  Promo&ons               11The  Top  20                     12About  the  Publisher                   13About  the  Author                   13
  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYOverviewThis report assesses 20 Asian Travel Brands on a variety of metrics related to activity and engagement on thesocial networking site, Facebook. The analysis looks at the number of Fan Pages maintained by each brand,the fan counts for those Pages, the tabs used on the Pages and the content approach employed, with the goalof synthesizing trends and patterns that define the market leaders’ use of this influential social media channel.Principal ConclusionsThe most significant conclusions: • The last 12 months have provided huge growth in Facebook usage and Fan Base for the large brands. • Use of custom tabs is still at relatively low levels. • Brands are largely failing to leverage their social media efforts. • Very few brands are taking advantage of the full interactive potential of the Facebook platform. facebook users in Asia Indonesia 38,475,320 Philippines 21,523,360 Malaysia 10,508,200 Taiwan 9,168,620 Australia 9,721,920 Thailand 8,510,740 Hong Kong 3,658,020 South Korea 3,733,280 Japan 3,170,620 Singapore 2,483,640 New Zealand 1,894,720 Vietnam 1,351,8402011 Facebook Engagement Report | 2
  4. 4. PRELIMINARY MATTERSThe 20 Most Active Brands The Market Leaders(listed in alphabetical order) This is the second year we have undertaken an assessment of social• AirAsia media engagement by Asian Travel Brands. The selection process for this year’s report began by looking at 35 Asian travel brands active• Air New Zealand on Facebook. Based upon the data collected, the list was narrowed to a final set of 20 that we believe accurately represents the Top 20• Anantara most active Asian travel brands on Facebook. The list of the final• Asiana companies selected can be seen at left. 1• Cathay Pacific• Dusit Thani Who’s Included?• HPL Hotels In terms of selection criteria, all the brands are based in Asia, though many have properties elsewhere in the world. The selection critera is• Jetstar broad enough to cover groups that control or manage multiple• Karma Resorts brands, for example, HPL Hotels, an umbrella group that includes various branded properties.• Korean Air Our definition of “Asia” includes Australia, New Zealand, Korea and• Malaysia Airlines Japan, but does not include India. The focus is on English language pages.2• Mandarin Oriental• Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts Representativeness• Qantas Despite our best efforts, the data set suffers from several limitations:• Shangri-La • China - As Facebook is blocked in China, this report provides no meaningful insights into what is happening in that market. While• Six Senses some properties inside the PRC are represented (e.g., Mandarin• Thai Airlines Oriental Sanya), many are not.• Tiger Airways • Japan - As Facebook is not the dominant social network in Japan, Japanese firms may be under-represented. Additionally, local brands• Tune Hotels who engage primarily in Japanese, not English, were not included.• Wotif • Korea - Korean firms are also likely to be under-represented for the same reasons we state regarding Japan, above.1 A complete list of all the brands in this report, with URLs to their primary Facebook Fan Page, can be found at the end ofthis paper.2 Where a brand maintains multiple Fan Pages in multiple languages we have included in the count the non-English Pages.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 3
  5. 5. The Rise of the Big BrandsWhere last year’s survey of the market leaders included a number of smaller, single property firms, this year’sTop 20 is dominated by the big brands. As we observed last year, it was still early days. This year thecompetitive landscape has shifted; the big brands have woken up and mobilized their significant resources andit shows in our results.Among the properties listed last year that were not included this year: • Alila • Bangkok Airways • Aman Resorts • Contiki Holidays • Angkor Palace • Maldives Dive Travel • Ayana Resort & Spa • Singapore Airlines • Bali Individual Tour & Travel • Zuji • Bali Safari & Marine ParkOf that group, many are smaller firms, or companies with only one property. The smaller firms, though moreagile in developing their Facebook presence, were not able to keep pace with the larger brands in the long run.3New to the leader board this year are: • Asiana • Korean Air Travel Agents • Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts 5% • Tune HotelsThe shift in the leaders has narrowed therange of business categories represented in Accommodationsthe Top 20. Where last year the selection 45%set was both more diverse and more Airlinesbalanced, as the chart at right shows themajor players in 2011 come from two 50%sectors: Accommodations and Airlines.The sole company outside those sectorswas travel agent Wotif, who also appearedin last year’s report.3 It’s worth noting that two previous participants were excluded for reasons not related to their engagement levels: Zuji isowned by US-based Travelocity and therefore not eligible for inclusion, and Bangkok Airways ceased operations since thelast report. Additionally, note that last year’s report identified 25 market leaders, where this year we have narrowed toselection set to only 20.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 4
  6. 6. A Year of Spectacular Growth2011 was a huge growth year for our market leaders. In every metric measured, we saw significant growth foralmost every brand we examined. If 2010 was the year the Asian travel industry woke up to social media, 2011is the year the industry embraced it. Since we last looked in-depth at Facebook in 2010, Asian travel companieshave continued to expand their presence on the social network. The chart at left provides a snapshot 2010 2011 of some of the key figures. The number of Facebook Fan Pages Average # (median) 8 11 maintained by the leading brands Fan Pages per Brand increased for the second year in a row. In 2011, the average number of Most Common # (mode) 2 6 Fan Pages maintained by the market Fan Pages per Brand leaders increased from 8 to 11, with 6 being the most common number of Average # (median) 24,656 147,547 Fan Pages maintained.4 Fans per Brand The most dramatic growth numbers, however, relate to the number of fanseach of our brands enjoys. The average growth across the group was a remarkable 498%.Key findings include: • 50% of the group achieved more than 500% growth in their Facebook Fan base since our last report in April of 2010. • Four of our top 20 -- Cathay Pacific, Dusit Thani, Jetstar and Wotif -- managed growth in excess of 1,000%! • In terms of fan count, the leader last year and this year remains the same: AirAsia. Last year, AirAsia was the only company in the group with more than 100,000 fans. This year, AirAsia is the only company to break the landmark 1,000,000 fans barrier, exhibiting a growth rate of 682%. • Malaysia Airlines came in second both this year and last, with 355,073 fans -- a growth rate of 537%. 50% of our • While many of the leading firms turned in impressive growth figures, the brands saw their laggard in the group was Six Senses, who’s fan base grew by on 72% fan base grow over last year. more than 500% • The second slowest growth rate came from Qantas, which still turned in a very respectable 233% rate of growth.4This number is largely influenced by the engagement strategy employed by the brand; those brands allowing individualproperties to maintain their own Fan Pages have considerably larger numbers than those brands that centralize their socialmedia efforts.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 5
  7. 7. Number of Fans (“Likes”) AirAsia 1,322,243 Malaysia Airlines 355,073 Cathay Pacific 204,920 HPL Hotels 185,629 Air New Zealand 166,703 Shangri-La 142,291 Tiger Airways 85,466 Jetstar 83,790 Mandarin Oriental 82,821 Wotif 56,511 Qantas 46,839 Thai Airlines 40,875 Karma Resorts 30,932 Asiana 30,835 Dusit Thani 29,630 Tune Hotels 28,159 Korean Air 21,806 Six Senses 17,860 Pan Pacific 9,948 Anantara 8,591As you can see in the chart above, when it comes to fans, airline brands dominate the group. Four of our topfive brands are airlines. Going a bit further, six of the top eight are from the airline sector. Given the airlines’exposure to large numbers of clients, the dominance of the airline brands is probably no surprise.The leading accommodation brand, HPL Hotels, draws it’s strength almost exclusively from the popularity of it’sflagship Hard Rock Hotels operations in the region. Both the Penang and the Bali branches of the Hard Rockhave Fan Pages with over 75,000 fans each. The second place accommodations firm, Shangri-La 5 , maintainsa large number of Fan Pages, but the real strength in fan numbers resides in the group’s primary Facebook FanPage, which boasts more than 100,000 fans.At the bottom end of this metric, the laggards are Pan Pacific and Anantara. If we look at the numbers interms of the average fans per Fan Page (as opposed to looking at total fans, shown above), Pan Pacificactually finishes behind Anantara; Anantara averages 1,227 fans per Page, where Pan Pacific comes in atless than half that amount, averaging 552 fans per Fan Page.65 The Shangri-La numbers also include the Traders Hotel brand.6Taking this one step further, if we look at the statistics in terms of average number of fans per Fan Page, Six Senses alsofinishes behind Anantara, with an average of 638 fans per Fan Page.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 6
  8. 8. Fan Page Content StrategyThe market leaders exhibit a great deal of variety in their approach to the management of Facebook Fan Pages.As the chart below shows, the number of pages owned by each brand ranges from 28 at the high end (SixSenses), all the way down to 1 (Tiger Airways).As a general rule, the accommodations brands in our survey maintained significantly higher numbers of FanPages. Of the six brands maintaining the fewest Fan Pages, five are from the airlines category. There are,however exceptions: three of our airline brands, Air New Zealand, AirAsia and Cathay Pacfic, maintain morethan 10 Fan Pages each.Our research shows that the large number of accommodation brand Pages are the result of the creation ofindividual Pages for the various hotel/resort/spa/restaurant properties under the brand umbrella. For the airlines,in contrast, multiple Pages typically result from the creation of different Pages aimed at different geographicmarkets.How Many Fan Pages? Six Senses 28Mandarin Oriental 25 Shangri-La 23 Pan Pacific 18 Dusit Thani 17 Air New Zealand 16 HPL Hotels 14 AirAsia 12 Cathay Pacific 12 Thai Airlines 9 Anantara 7 Korean Air 7 Tune Hotels 6 Karma Resorts 6 Qantas 6 Jetstar 5 Malaysia Airlines 5 Asiana 2 Wotif 2 Tiger Airways 1 6 12 18 24 30The total number of Fan Pages maintained by our group was 221. That total also shows significant growth overthe numbers for 2010.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 7
  9. 9. Facebook Application Usage PatternsWe looked at all 221 Fan Pages maintained by the leading brands in an attempt to gain some insight into thetab usage patterns. The analysis revealed less variety than we expected. Not only were most brands using onlythe default tab options, but also relatively few employed advanced interactive content applications. Moreover,almost no Fan Pages were exploiting fully the possibilities offered by the use of iFrames in Fan Pages.The default Facebook Fan Page offers a stock set of tabs. The default set can include7: • Info • Photos • Discussions • Notes • Events • Video • Reviews • LinksDefault Facebook Tab Usage Photos 98% Discussions 57% Notes 50% Events 47% Video 33% Links 20%Polls/Questions 14% Reviews 12% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%Of the default tab options, only the Info tab is required and cannot be deleted or hidden. We found the Photostab to be nearly ubiquitous, with 98% of the pages employing the tab in some fashion; thereafter, however, wesaw a great deal of diversity. The Discussions and Notes tabs were the only other tabs to be employed by at7 The exact contents of the default set depends on when the Page was created, as Facebook has made changes to thisfunctionality over time.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 8
  10. 10. least 50% of the pages8 . The Events tab was also seen in nearly half of the cases (47%). The other default tabswere significantly less common, with the Polls, Questions and Reviews tabs being the least popular, as seen inthe chart, above.Custom Tab Usage PatternsIn addition to the default tabs offered to everyone by Facebook, Page owners also have the option to addcustom tabs to their Fan Pages. Custom pages come in many forms, from ready-to-use third party applicationsyou simply plug in, to fully customized tabs employing iFrames. Given the flexibility that custom tabs add to FanPages, you might expect them to be widely employed. The numbers however, are surprising: Slightly less thanhalf (48%) of the pages from our Top 20 brands included custom tabs.The custom tabs we saw were used for a variety of purposes. The most common Less thanusage was simply to display text or promotional graphics. Many sites employed“Welcome” pages, that is, custom tabs built to greet visitors on arrival to the Page. 50%While the Welcome page technique appeared frequently, surprisingly few of the of PagesFan Pages went further to employ the “reveal” feature, which is used to encourage surveyed employvisitors to “like” the Page. custom tabs. Two Pages that use the reveal functionality well are the AirAsia Australia Page and the Jetstar New Zealand8Sadly, though, the Discussions tab was empty as often as not! The tab is published by default, indicating to us that somecompanies were unaware that the tab could be removed or hidden if unused.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 9
  11. 11. iFrames are an effective way to add rich content into a Fan Page without having to create multiple pages inside of Facebook itself. Additionally, with iFrames, the source HTML is kept on your server -- not on Facebook -- and this means you have not only full control of your own code, but also more flexibility in your design.Even rarer were custom pages thatemployed the iFrames option effectively;most tabs still appear to have beenexecuted using the older FBML approach to custom tab/page creation. One company making effective use ofiFrames was Air New Zealand. The Air New Zealand “Fanatical” tab, shown above, uses iFrames to display apage with multiple tabs that are linked to multiple pages of content. While the move from FBML to iFrames justoccurred in March of 2011, we would expect to see more of our market leaders employing this technique.Leveraging Social MediaOne of the issues we were interested in investigating was how well the leading brands were doing in terms ofthe integration of their social media efforts. We looked at the Fan Pages of the Top 20 brands and captured thenumber of Pages that included content on other social media channels, including Flickr, FourSquare, Twitter,YouTube and RSS. The chart below shows the percentage of Fan Pages that integrate the content from theseother channels. Twitter 6% YouTube 5% RSS 2% Flickr 1% FourSquare 1% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6%2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 10
  12. 12. The numbers are surprisingly low. Perhaps the most obvious example is Twitter. All of the Top 20 brandsmaintain at least one9 Twitter profile, yet only 6% of the Fan Pages integrate the brand’s Twitter stream. Thenumbers are even worse for other social media channels, from 5% for YouTube to a mere 1% for Flickr andFourSquare. Only one of our survey set incorporated a document sharing site (Scribd).Despite their sophistication in other areas of Facebook usage, brands still seem to be treating their social mediachannels as silos, as opposed to promoting engagement across channels. In this area at the very least, it seemsmany companies are missing clear opportunities for richer engagement with their fans.Use of Interactive PromotionsAnother area with surprisingly low numbers is the use of interactive promotions. As the chart below shows,relatively few of the Fan Pages employ tabs that contain interactive applications intended to directly promotesales or build brand loyalty. Contests 8% Bookings 8%Facebook Only Specials 4% Games 1% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8%While there are a number of Fan Pages that employ content pages containing promotional information, the useof Facebook purely for display advertising fails to take full advantage of the rich media and interactivepossibilities of the Facebook platform. The Facebook Only Specials category, indicated in the chart above,typically took the form of content pages that employ the reveal functionality; a simple mechanism, but effectivefor this limited purpose. • Of those Pages employing Contests or Games, the most common application provider was Wildfire10 , though several Pages appear to be using proprietary gaming platforms. • For those Fan Pages providing a Bookings and Reservations functionality, there does not yet appear to be a dominant provider. • Room bookings functionality came from a number of providers, including FastBooking.11 • Restaurant reservations were dominated by OpenTable.12 • Airfares and other more specialized bookings appear to rely on proprietary systems.139In most cases our Top 20 maintained multiple Twitter profiles. Five of our brands have more than 10 Twitter profiles. At theextreme top end of the scale, Mandarin Oriental has 19.10 http://www.wildfiregames.com11 http://www.fastbooking.com12 http://www.opentable.com13 The source of a number of the bookings systems was not reliably discernible from the code on the Page.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 11
  13. 13. The Top 20 Company/Brand Primary Fan Page AirAsia Air New Zealand Anantara Asiana Cathay Pacific Dusit Thani HPL Hotels n/a* Jetstar Karma Resorts Korean Air Malaysia Airlines Mandarin Oriental Pan Pacific Qantas Shangri-La Six Senses Thai Airlines Tiger Airways Tune Hotels Wotif * HPL Hotels does not maintain a Fan Page for their parent company; rather, their Fan Pages relate to the individual brands under their umbrella.2011 Facebook Engagement Report | 12
  14. 14. About the Publisher EyeforTravel is a media company specialising in business intelligence for the travel, hospitality and tourism industry. For 14 years, we have been conducting industry research and producing major industry events around the globe to unite the industry and share best-practices, trends and future forecasts. EyeforTravel also provides some of the most in-depth research into global online travel markets and trends. Our research site at is the information hub for the global travel and tourism industry and is an indispensable tool for anyone who is involved in online travel or travel distribution. We have a highly detailed Social Media case-study report coming out this June which will focus on Global trends and best-practices from the most innovative and successful social media brands in travel. For more info please email Contact  Details   EyeforTravel Ltd Web: 7-9 Fashion Street Twitter: London LinkedIn: Asia Travel Executives E1 6PX eMail: United Kingdom About the Author water&stone is a full service digital agency based in Bali, Indonesia. The firm provides interactive design, online marketing strategy and research services for companies around the world, including a number of travel and tourism companies in Asia Pacific. With a background in open source technology and an extensive track record in helping clients realize value from new media, water&stone is one of only a handful of companies in Asia-Pac that is able to deliver cutting edge strategy and design with world class quality. This report references data and conclusions published in April 2010 in the Asia Travel Engagement Report. That Report can be downloaded free of charge from the water&stone website by visiting: Contact  Details   23a Jalan Raya Semer Web: Kerobokan, Kuta Facebook: Bali, Indonesia Twitter: 80361 eMail: T 62 361 739 9692011 Facebook Engagement Report | 13