These Brands are Great Storytellers and Excel at Social Customer Care

We track and analyze over 60,000 Facebook brands. It may seem shocking, but of the 1,723 brands that met our Smart Storytellers benchmark, only 144 of them were Socially Devoted - that’s just 8%!

These Brands are Great Storytellers and Excel at Social Customer Care

Achieving Socially Devoted or Smart Storyteller status is tough, and for good reason.

It’s extremely difficult to excel at both customer care and producing top-notch, engaging content, frequently.

Our recently-launched Smart Storytellers benchmark measures content performance by industry and page size that perform in the top 25% against the competition; the Socially Devoted benchmark recognizes the top brands in every industry that are dedicated to Social Customer Care by responding to at least 65% of questions posted by Fans. The Q3 results are in and we wanted to recognize some of the best of the best – the ultimate achievers. We looked at six of the world’s best brands from three page size categories: fewer than 100,000 Fans, 100,000 to 500,000 Fans, and Pages with 500,000+ Fans.

We’ve combined the Smart Storytellers and Socially Devoted graphs below to show how Applebee’s and H&M performed on both benchmarks. They occupy different industries, the first is a U.S. family restaurant chain and H&M is global retail brand, but they both are part of the largest page size category on Facebook.

As you can see on the graph, Applebee’s posted about half as much as H&M, but gained far more interactions. H&M could benefit from posting less often, analyzing their most effective posts and adopting a strategy that would have these patterns in mind. On the other hand, H&M had a weaker Question Response Rate than Applebee’s, but comparatively speaking, H&M experienced 5 times more demand. Applebee’s is the Smart Storyteller winner and H&M the Socially Devoted master.

During Q3, they did a fantastic job at capturing new Fans – H&M gained over 1.2 million new Fans and Applebee’s got over 200,150! Applebee’s most successful post garnered nearly 125, 000 interactions with a picture of a bacon sandwich and an invented hashtag celebrating #BaconDay. They’ve also created a Mad Libs-like campaign, posting a picture with an incomplete sentence, asking Fans to fill in the blanks around a certain theme.

H&M’s best-performing post got 58,409 interactions celebrated the new opening of the store in the Philippines. It was a great marketing technique to build hype around the opening and gave an opportunity to interact with Fans and show off their customer care by answering questions like those about hiring. They did a similar campaign around an opening in New York and it helped them to gain roughly 9,000 new Fans.

These two brands are in the second page size category – Maybelline has over 492, 200

Facebook Fans and Tesco has about 442,00, and were able to capture more than 50,000 new Fans in Q3. It’s interesting to note that these are local pages and they did exceptionally well in both benchmarks. Tesco in particular had the best Question Response Rate compared to the best global page – H&M.Their content is used mainly to inform and get their audience excited about new products, as well as trying to stimulate real engagement through competitions like sweepstakes. Both brands had the same amount of Average Posts per Day and garnered a similar amount of Interactions.

When it comes to Social Customer Care, Tesco remains in the lead with a 15 point better Question Response Rate than Maybelline. Maybelline experienced 261 fewer questions than Tesco – so the reality is this: the more focused on social customer care you become, the more your fans will engage with you, leading to more Interactions and better Organic Reach. Socially Devoted brands have 3.5 times more interactions than non-Socially Devoted brands – care is the gift that keeps on giving.

These two brands are in the smallest size page category and were able to gain approximately 10,000 new Fans. However, this Burger King is a regional brand and is competitive to Land O’Lakes – a U.S. firm. These Smart Storytellers posted roughly the same number of Average Posts per Day, yet Land O’Lakes gained just a few more interactions. Both could benefit from posting more frequently. These Socially Devoted brands interestingly received almost the same amount of questions and had nearly the same Question Response Rate. The correlation could very well stem from that.

The Takeaway

Gone are the days of solely increasing the fanbase on brand profiles across social platforms. As audience habits and demand change and social continues its evolution, the world’s best brands know that they need to use insights to adapt – usually in near real-time.

Content is king, but Social Customer Care breeds loyalty.

The greatest challenge for brands lay in creating a unique content strategy; the chosen approach is determined by what you want to achieve in social. Note there is not a one-size-fits-all strategy and it depends on the industry you’re in. For example, Telcos or Airlines tend to focus on real-time customer care, increasing brand awareness and informing their audience about new products to drive sales. In Q3, Telcos experienced the most questions and had highest Question Response Rate than any other vertical – nearly 445, 000 questions and 87%. Airlines are also another vertical that received the largest volume of questions – more than 80, 250 and responded to 86% of them. These numbers illustrate that being Socially Devoted is a core element of their social strategy.

In general, Socially Devoted brands on Facebook received 3.5 times more Post Interactions than non-Socially Devoted brands. This means that by being dedicated to Social Customer Care, brands experience more interactions which leads to increasing brand awareness – as demonstrated by the Maybelline and Tesco example.

With both these standards, Socialbakers has been the first one to ever monitor both social customer care (Socially Devoted), and the consistency of storytelling (Smart Storytellers). We are always open to feedback to all our methodology – and try to keep it public at the respective sites.

Next, brands should monitor and report their performance to understand what content is resonating with their audience. Once you’ve concluded the patterns of the best content, work towards building a smarter social marketing strategy by incorporating these data-driven insights to produce more effective posts. Brands should go beyond analyzing themselves and measure against the competition and wider industry and geographical benchmarks. Benchmarking illuminates weaknesses to help gain a competitive advantage and ultimately differentiate your brand. Our Socialbakers Analytics is the best place to start doing that measurement.

Global Editor

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