If 2014 taught social marketers anything, it’s that brands should be focused on gaining more interactions, and respond effectively to those interactions.
Social engagement drives site visits. There are two ways to stimulate engagement – creative storytelling, and being dedicated to social customer care. When a brand answers their Fan/Follower’s questions they experience more interactions which leads to more opportunities for site conversions. The same is true for content – the more engaging, the higher the reach, the higher probability for more interactions.
Social customer care is one of the core pillars of an effective social media strategy, and brands have got to track it. At Socialbakers, we continuously strive to set the industry standard for social media success in every category – social customer care (Socially Devoted), and our recently launched benchmark for content performance (Smart Storytellers). Smart Storytellers enables marketers to understand which brands perform in the top 25% on interactions against the competition by industry and page size.
We took a look at how brands brands performed on these benchmarks for the whole of 2014 and the end of Q4.
Get this, in 2014, brands were asked nearly 22 million questions on Facebook and Twitter combined. Now, that’s an enormous number, but the end of Q4 truly demonstrated how these brands stacked up across the board. Fans want to interact with brands – Socially Devoted brands on Facebook received a 5% increase in the volume of questions. Of the 1.6+ million questions that were asked on Facebook in Q4, 69% were addressed. Whereas on Twitter 6.6 million questions were asked and a whopping 4.8 million were left ignored! Socially Devoted brands get 3× the interactions compared to their non-Socially Devoted counterparts – it pays to engage.
When it comes to making stellar content, brands have got to measure their performance and implement best practices to make the most of their posts. Let’s take a look at the global performance of industries on Facebook.
Take notice of Telecom, in general they are posting quite a lot – second only to E-commerce – yet they are only garnering a medium level of interactions (the goal is to ultimately be in the upper right-hand corner of the graph). We then took a look at the brands that made both of our benchmarks. It turns out, only 1 Socially Devoted telcom brand – Banglalink Mela – hit the Smart Storytellers benchmark. Globally on average, telecoms respond to 84% of customer questions on Facebook.
Western Union comes at #1 for the Smart Smart Storytellers benchmark in the finance industry and the largest page size category (500,000+), and as a Socially Devoted brand they responded to 79% of customer queries. Despite the fact that Finance is one of the worst industries among the Smart Storytellers benchmark, they do outperform on social customer care with an industry QRR of 80%.
In the chart below, we can see the total volume of questions brands receive per industry on Facebook and Twitter for all of 2014. Telecoms are experiencing 3× the amount of questions than electronics. In fact, the industry is asked more questions than electronics, services, and e-commerce combined.
Customer support teams work 24/7 – especially now that people increasingly pose their questions on brand profiles, usually from a mobile device. Gone are the days customers were limited to hotlines while queued with obnoxious elevator music blasting in their ears as they waited for someone to pick up the receiver. Duh, social networks have become a tool both satisfied and disgruntled customers alike use to wield praise, the opposite of praise, and questions on these very public forums. Brands need to be ready to address the consumer demand that continues to rise every quarter.
Why is that a good thing?
We designed our Socially Devoted benchmark because it’s obvious that having a strong customer service on social can help business development 1) establish brand affinity and loyalty; 2) boost digital word-of-mouth; and more importantly 3) increase interactions.
Achieving Socially Devoted and Smart Storyteller status is extremely difficult – and for good reason. It’s hard to excel at both customer care and producing top-notch, engaging content, frequently. It’s impossible without using a tool like Social Media Analytics! Don’t take our word for it, look at how Nestle is gaining actionable insights to take decisions in real-time.
Brands looking for inspiration and best practices to make the most engaging content should look through our Smart Storytellers. Then, after you have your house in order, start looking beyond your own social media efforts, and start monitoring the competition today.
Understand your audience, create more effective content to engage and grow your customer base, and measure social media’s impact on your business goals.