There’s a lot of talk about the varying levels of social media marketing maturity round the world. The consensus (perhaps assumption?) is that North America has matured the fastest, followed closely by the UK.When it comes to sectors, technology, telecoms, fashion and e-commerce brands are widely recognised as the most progressive.
So, when I got back to Australia recently, I was really interested to see where Australia was at in relation to maturity levels and which sectors were performing the strongest. In didn’t take me long to work out that the sector which seems to struggle with social media the most in Australia, is the one that is most challenging for brands operating in North America and the UK too. Yep, that sector is FMCG.
FMCG and Facebook pages in Australia
There are a lot of reasons why FMCG brands find social media more challenging than many other sectors. One of the main reasons is how they have historically behaved (primarily powered by price-led advertising strategies). Their other big challenge is their inherent ‘narrowness.’ This is not a criticism, it’s a fact. FMCG products just aren’t as complex or diverse as technology, telecoms, fashion and e-commerce brands, and as a result, they find it harder to naturally participate in a broad range of online conversations.
Before we take a look at how the 10 most popular Australian FMCG brands are performing on Facebook, let’s just quickly remind ourselves of why people like / follow brands on that platform.
* Stats courtesy of Get Satisfaction and Column Five Media (July 2011)
The description boxes are split into two colours for a reason (customer service in black versus customer / stakeholder engagement in blue). The brief but important point to make here is that people want more from brands via social platforms than they traditionally have wanted via non-participatory media. In short, they want brands to add value to their online life by being entertaining or by being useful.
I took these ‘follow factors’ into consideration when I broke down the performance of Australia’s top FMCG brands on Facebook.
Key: PTA (People Talking About This), AWPPW (Average Wall Posts Per Week), APER (Average Post Engagement Rate).
|Brand||Likes||PTA||AWPPW||APER||Content Approach Conclusions|
|Bubble O’Bill Ice Creams||4,682||1 – 3||0.074%||Predominantly product focused posts / content although semi-regular ‘blast from the past’ posts buck that trend and generate high levels of engagement.Additional data available here.|
|Pringles Australia||14,136||3 – 5||0.024% to 0.52%||Almost entirely product-based posts, which although delivered cleverly, just don’t explore or address the shared interests and passions of the Pringles community.Additional data available here.|
|Coca-Cola Australia||4,188||3 – 5||0.019%||Surprisingly, Coca-Cola Australia’s page is a little product-centric, even though the brand is renowned for extending its online presence beyond the fizzy product in that can. Expect this page to liven up over the Olympics as the brand’s global sponsorship is leveraged across all platforms.Additional data available here.|
|V Energy Drink Australia||3,155||3 – 5||0.058%||This is the type of page that could benefit from a series of apps to encourage repeat visits, followed by a change to its content posting strategy (3-5 product-centric posts per week just won’t trigger enough engagement).Additional data available here.|
|Vegemite||5,876||3 – 5||0.143%||See above (seriously).Additional data available here.|
*PTA, AWPPW and APER figures based on publicly available data from 9 – 15 July 2012.
The Lynx Australia page is an example of an FMCG that is bucking the trend in comparison to the brands featured in the table above and generating high levels of engagement (Lynx’s average PTA rate is five times higher than the five brands featured in the table above).
And, it goes beyond product-centric updates and focuses on the common shared passions of its community. Each of the brands listed above could do the same thing too.
Let’s take V Energy Drinks as an example. The most obvious conversation space V could take part in is ANYTHING that involves ENERGY and LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL. YouTube is LOADED with clips of people doing things characterised by energy and living life to the full. Great content that would appeal to their community and could be featured regularly.
Quotes are another form of content ripe for the V page, raging from the inspirational to motivational, which would could generate likes, comments and re-shares.
An ideal post frequency is approx 2-3 wall posts per day (supported by relevant apps and use of other Facebook features) which is significantly higher than the average frequency of the brands featured here.
For some more ideas on what to share on Facebook besides product updates, check out this post.
Well-rounded Facebook content plans
Regular readers of this blog will know I bang on about smart use of digital assets and content, especially in relation to the content model featured below.
There us no reason why Australia’s FMCG brands can’t adopt this model more. But, it requires adopting a more long-term approach to community management than many are doing at present.