This Week in Social Media-Audiences Own

On any given day, millions of people visit Facebook and Twitter to share their positive and negative experiences about products and companies. Social media has given them a voice and empowered them to redefine their relationship with brands.

The trend is not going anywhere. Consumers want to be heard. They want brands to pay attention. Unfortunately, a majority of them and marketers are still stuck in the old-fashioned way of doing business.

In this week’s roundup, we take a look at three reports that reveal why companies can no longer afford to overlook social media audiences.

Marketers: Time to Refocus on Your Websites

“Organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time,” Ogilvy’s Marshall Manson wrote in March of this year. At the time, average organic reach per Page was at 6.2%. The Pages that bore the brunt of it were those with more than 500,000 likes. Organic reach was at 2.11%.

Then, a month later, Forrester Research released a study on engagement rates on social networks. Facebook scored very low on the scale with 0.07%. Twitter was even worse (0.03%).

In last week’s roundup, we mentioned that, starting in January 2015, Facebook Pages that post excessively promotional content would see their reach “fall significantly” over time. While this latest tweak to the News Feed algorithm may not be the end of organic reach, it has left many wondering whether Facebook is still the best option around.

If you are part of that crowd, Forrester Research’s “Social Relationship Strategies That Work” will certainly provide some useful answers.

First, stop making Facebook or Twitter the center of your strategy. Your potential customers want to connect with you on your website. Forrester mentions, for example, that newsletter signups tend to happen more frequently than Facebook engagement.

“US online adults who want to stay in touch with your brand are almost twice as likely to sign up for your emails as to interact with you on Facebook,” says Vice President and Principal Analyst, Nate Elliot on the Forrester Blog. “Plus your emails get delivered more than 90% of the time, while your Facebook posts get delivered 2% of the time […]. If you have to choose between adding a subscriber to you (sic) email list or gaining a new Facebook fan, go for email every time.”

The solution is twofold: Leverage platforms with higher engagement prospects, such as Instagram and Pinterest, and bring the conversations to your website via community building tools.

A good example would be what Sony PlayStation did during the launch of the PS4 in 2013. The company partnered with Livefyre to create a social hub at www.greatnessawaits.com, which featured real-time content from Twitter, Vine, and Instagram.

PS4

Photo credit: Shorty Awards

The result?

“To date, GreatnessAwaits.com has earned 4.5 Million+ pageviews and curated over 3.3 Million pieces of social content, playing a central role in PS4 dominating XBox One in both sentiment and market share this holiday season.”

(Source: Shorty Awards)

Videos Sharing Habits around the World Revealed

Do you know that only 17.9% of Internet users account for more than 80% of all video shares? These super sharers are also very active on social networks.

The numbers come from Unruly’s latest report. Titled “The Geography of Sharing,” it reveals key online video sharing trends from around the world, with a particular focus on Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, South East Asia, Sweden, South Korea, the U.K., and U.S.

Facebook remains the platform of choice for video sharing (59.4%), especially in the U.S. (61.2%) and South Korea (55.4%). However, viewers also contribute on Twitter (13.8%), Google+ (9.3%), Tumblr (5.7%), and Pinterest (3.9%). The Swedes are the most balanced sharers.

With so much happening on social media platforms, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that only a quarter of views now take place on YouTube. At 19%, Japan is the lowest provider.

Sharing habits vary across locations. Within the first 24-hour range, South Koreans are the most active (20% of shares). They are also the most engaged. Norway is a close second: 57% of shares are triggered within the first three days.

Now, a logical question would be: What prompts people to share videos? If you answered ‘happiness’, well done! Globally, it is the most effective emotional trigger. However, culture also influences social motivations. For example, German users share to start conversations, while the British focus on social utility.

So, what does this report teach us? That limiting your reach to YouTube is not enough. Promotions on platforms like Facebook and Twitter is now a must. Tumblr and Google+ also seem to provide viable options.

Also, uplifting videos are more likely to go viral. However, caution is recommended with humor. International audiences are not uniform. Every market and demographic offers challenges and opportunities. Dig deeper to understand what works.

The full report is available for for free here.

Social Customer Care on Twitter

Earlier this month, Socialbakers released its latest Socially Devoted study. This quarterly look at social customer care always offer insightful information.

During Q3 2014, customers tweeted 3.2 million questions for brands. Last year, it was half that number!

Companies partly met that growing demand. They answered faster compared to Q2, but only addressed four in 10 questions.

“The average Question Response Time has decreased by seven hours since last quarter. is now much (QRT) for all brands has dropped from 16 hours to 9 hours quarter-to-quarter,” says Social Media Analyst Margareta Retsnik on the Socialbakers Blog. “The bad news is that the average Question Response Rate (QRR) has also dropped to only 40%. Statistically, this means that a user might get a relatively quick response on Twitter, but that’s only if they get a response at all.”

The good news is that some industries do better than others. Such is the case of Services brands. Their QRR stands at 56%. The Gambling industry also boasts the fastest response times (4 hours 40 minutes on average).

The worst offenders? Software brands, which only answer 18% of the questions coming their way. And patience is advised with the household goods industry. The QRT tends to be very slow.

Results also vary by country.

Things look a little better on Facebook, though. Out of 1.5 million customer inquiries, 70% received answers last quarter.

Key takeaway: There is an audience talking about you on Twitter right now. Social media monitoring is no longer an option!

Here are some tips to help you get started in the right way:

  • Fewer than 3% of customers directly mention companies in their Tweets. You will obviously miss a lot!
  • Go beyond monitoring your company’s name and website. Include your domain name too.
  • If your brand has a unique or unusual name, people will probably misspell it. Take advantage of it! For domain names, Domain Name Typo Generator will give you great ideas on what to monitor. Keyword Typo Generator is a solid option for personal names.
  • Negative mentions matter, too. Try combining keywords like “brand name + fail / bad / negative / unhappy.”

Also, don’t forget to leverage visual content when you post on Twitter. Tweets with photos trigger almost half of all engagement, followed by text (28%) and links (23%).

The size of your Twitter audience does not matter either. Photos win across the board.

“See” you next Monday for another roundup of social media news you shouldn’t miss!

Cendrine Marrouat
Paper.li Blog Staff Writer, Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born social media coach, curator, and author. She is the founder of Social Media Slant and the #smslantchat Twitter chat. Her latest e-book release, "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It and Win", is a comprehensive guide focusing on the four pillars of audience building. Follow her on Google+.

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