Hello, we are social. We’re a global conversation agency with offices in Sydney, New York, London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Singapore & São Paulo. We help brands to listen, understand and engage in conversations in social media.
We’re a new kind of agency, but conversations between people are nothing new. Neither is the idea that ‘markets are conversations’.

We’re already helping Optus, eBay, Kia Automotive, Nivea, Expedia, Sony, Roadshow Films, Seven Network, Open Universities Australia & Adidas.

If you’d like to chat about us helping you too, then give us a call on (02) 9046-3700 or drop us an email.

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #150

by Gillian Collison

‘Symbol of Peace’ goes viral

As violence continues between Israeli forces and Hamas, a selfie taken by Sulome Anderson has gone viral on Twitter, sparking a symbol of peace in the Middle East. The photograph shows Arab-American journalist Anderson and her Israeli-American boyfriend kissing while Anderson holds a piece of paper reading “Jews and Arabs Refuse To Be Enemies.”

The statement has now become a hashtag and resulted in thousands of tweets and retweets from around the globe calling for peace. Anderson states in  NY Mag essay they “posted the picture without a second thought” to support a then little-known Facebook page. She admits now that the response is “scary and overwhelming. But we both know that afraid is the wrong way to feel about it.”

 

David Jones launches collection via YouTube

In a move from the retailer who is usually behind competitors in the digital space, David Jones has kicked off its new spring and summer collection with a 90-second video piece via it’s Youtube channel.  The highly stylised video titled ‘Explore S/S14 David Jones Film’ features Jessica Gomes, Montana Cox and other models on a playful journey through cities, beaches and forests as directed by Jeffrey Darling. The video can be seen on David Jones’ newly launched Youtube channel which coincides with the launch of  content environment website ‘Style HQ’.

Mobile social users engage more with brands

Mobile social users are more likely than their desktop-only equivalents to ‘like’ branded content, according to a survey of 37,000 US online adults. The study asked recipients if they liked something a company posted at least once per week; 49% of tablet users and 46% of those using smartphones said that they did, compared to 37% of desktop/PC-only users. Meanwhile, 64% of US online adults access social media through desktops/laptops, 45% on smartphones and 25% tablets.

Facebook releases Q2 results

Facebook released its Q2 results last week and they contained some impressive numbers. Monthly active users (MAUs) have grown to over 1.3 billion, up from 1.276 billion in Q1, while mobile MAUs now total 1.07 billion (vs. 1.008 billion last quarter).

Screen-Shot-2014-07-23-at-1.24.45-PM

Screen-Shot-2014-07-23-at-1.24.54-PM

The real success, though, is financial. Total revenue has increased to $2.9bn, the company’s biggest quarterly total, up from $2.5bn in Q1.

Screen-Shot-2014-07-23-at-1.25.20-PM

Ad revenue for the quarter amounted to $2.68bn, of which 62% came through mobile. Indeed 30% of the network’s MAUs access it solely through mobiles or tablets, leading to discussion about the potential for a mobile-only version of Facebook. Ad prices more than doubled last quarter, too, allowing Facebook to increase its revenue while reducing the number of total ads. These figures combined have led to a valuation of $192bn, more than Disney or Toyota, which is 128 times its profits for the whole of last year.

LinkedIn adds new ad capabilities

LinkedIn has launched ‘Direct Sponsored Content’, a new ad format that will allow advertisers to test, tailor and target content, much like they do on Facebook. The new system will compliment ‘Sponsored Stories’, the main difference being the ability to target different messages at specific audiences.

linkin-sponsored-update-hed-2014

LinkedIn buys Bizo

Some more big ad news from LinkedIn: the network has purchased business-to-business digital advertising company, Bizo, for $175m. Deep Nishar, LinkedIn SVP of product and user experience, said of the move:

Our ability to integrate [Bizo's] b-to-b solutions with our content marketing products will enable us to become the most effective platform for b-to-b marketers to engage professionals.

Foursquare sheds check-ins

Foursquare has launched the latest version of its main app, through which you can longer check in. To do so, users will now need to use ‘Swarm’ – the main Foursquare app is being reinvented as a discovery service, similar to the likes of Yelp.

‘The Giver’ produces Kik campaign

A new film for young adults, named ‘The Giver’, is launching a campaign on messaging app, Kik. The film’s promoters have created a card that contains a trailer, trivia and film-branded stickers, all of which can be shared with other users within the app.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 13.50.45

Applebee’s looks for Instagram ‘Fantographers’

Over the next year, US restaurant chain, Applebee’s, is to populate its Instagram feed with content from ‘Fantographers’. First, users opt in for a microsite, then anything shared using #Applebees or #Fantographer is eligible to be posted by the brand. Each image will have a border added, like so:

applebees-iphone-hed-2014

adidas and Champs Sports launch #adicolorTV

adidas has joined up with Champs Sports to produce a set of four online shows hosted on Instagram. The campaign, dubbed #adicolorTV, is being run through the Champs Sports page.

Expedia wants throwback photos

Expedia is looking to tap into the ‘Throwback Thursday’ trend on Instagram and Twitter by asking users to tweet such photos @Expedia using #ThrowMeBack. Each week, one winner is selected to receive a voucher, so that they can revisit the site of their photo.

Prime TV to reveal everyone’s favourite child

A new season of Modern Family is set to premiere on New Zealand’s Prime TV, which has created a Facebook app for the occasion. The ‘Favourite Child Detector’ analyses your Facebook history and ranks you and your siblings based on interactions from your parents.

Screen-Shot-2014-07-25-at-11.56.03-AM

Michelle Phan being sued over music licensing

Here’s a cautionary tale to any brands and content creators using other people’s music or images withour permission. YouTube star, Michelle Phan, is being sued by electronic dance music label, Ultra, for allegedly using its music without the proper permissions. Phan sells adverts against her channel, and also uses it to promote her makeup line.

Captain Morgan made to remove Facebook post by ASA

Diageo-owned rum brand, Captain Morgan, was forced to remove a Facebook post, after the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority ruled that it implied alcohol helps conquer boredom. The text read “Wednesday. I’m declaring war on mid-week boredom”, so you can sort of see where they’re coming from.

David Mitchell writes a short story on Twitter

David Mitchell, author of ‘Cloud Atlas’, has released a short story piece-by-piece on Twitter. It’s taken 280 tweets – here’s how it starts:

 

tagged: , , , , ,

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #149

by Amaury Tréguer in News

Universal Channel recently used a prank campaign to promote the release of their new comedy-drama series Devious Maids.

Imagine being asked by a girl dressed-up as a maid to move a safe full of jewellery or even a guitar case with a body in it. This is what a few people have recently experienced in the streets of Sydney.

From the creator of Desperate Housewives, this new series is about five Latina maids living in Beverly Hills. Check out the prank video below and raise your hand if you would have offered your help or not?

Holden, Barinas have never been this sexy…

Wondering how to create a viral sensation when selling your old car? The recipe is pretty simple: make a slick video out of it and wait for the offers to come in. At least that’s what David Johns did when he decided to sell his old Barina.

The video has already received more than a million views in the past 9 days.

You can tweet an offer using the hashtag ‪#buymybarina. So far, David has already been offered 40 gallons of unicorn tears, a half eaten Mars bar as well as some more serious offers AUD $7.31 or even a crisp $20 note with 3 mint Tic Tacs.

David also created a website to explain that the proceeds from this sale will actually go to the Cancer Council Australia.

Facebook ad cost-per-views increase

Two Q2 reports from Facebook’s Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers were released last week. Nanigans noted an increase of 47% in click-through-rates since Q1, or 146% year-on-year, coupled with a 57% quarter-on-quarter increase on the cost-per-thousand-views (218% year-on-year). Kenshoo, meanwhile, reported a 21% increase in ad spend for the quarter (51% year-on-year).

Facebook regains number one spot for social logins

After six straight quarters of falling behind, Facebook is now the number one site for social logins, according to tech company Janrain. Aided by its new anonymous login feature, Facebook regained first place with 44%, followed by Google with 37%.

Janrain-Q2-2014-Social-Login-Preferences-1024x535

Facebook is trying out a ‘buy’ button

Facebook is testing a ‘buy’ button on certain ads and page product posts from a limited number of small/medium-sized businesses in the US, which allows users to purchase goods directly through a Facebook post. It’s not yet confirmed if/when it will be generally released, but we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled.

fd60950b-0569-47d6-8f4a-131a540d9978-204x420

Facebook creates ‘Save’

Facebook has added a new feature to its web and mobile versions, named ‘Save’, which allows users to save items, such as links, places, movies, TV and music, from Facebook to be explored later. It’s also possible to set reminders about content, all of which will remain private, unless you choose to save it.

Facebook launches ‘Mentions’ app

Facebook has a new app, designed specifically for public figures: Mentions. It’s available on the US app store for verified pages only, and looks to make mobile page management easier, allowing users to see the conversation about their page, post updates or host Q&As, join popular conversations and get notifications about any posts from influencers.

introducingmentions_2

Twitter buys CardSpring

Twitter has purchased CardSpring, looking to enable “in-the-moment commerce experiences”. CardSpring is a tool that allows developers to create various features that work with credit card payments. For example, in future a user may be able to claim a discount from a Twitter account by entering his or her credit card details; when that user makes a purchase from that vendor at a later point using that same card, the discount will be automatically applied.

cardspring_slide2

Twitter planning new research tool

In the coming weeks, Twitter will release a new research tool for brands, which it hopes will display the buzz that can be created around everyday moments. Brands can select keywords relating to themselves and analyse conversations around those terms in a weeklong period. The data will be presented in a set of different visualisations – Twitter hopes that these will make it sufficiently easy to use. It is currently unclear whether the new tool will be released globally or in the UK only.

LinkedIn launches Connected, acquires Newsle

LinkedIn has created a new app for the iPhone, named ‘Connected’. It attempts to encourage interaction on the network, with a series of social features, for example offering prompts to get in touch with your connections on their birthdays, or when they change jobs. It has also acquired Newsle, the machine-learning startup that scans the web for news stories and articles that mention specific individuals.

Google drops ‘real name’ rule

Google will allow users to use whatever name they choose on Google+ and linked YouTube comments, after three years of insisting that everybody on the platform be known by their real name. An official statement has said that there are now “no more restrictions on what name you can use”.

Snapchat adds Geofilters

Snapchat has announced the launch of ‘Geofilters’, a set of filters that are only enabled when a user is in a certain city or location. For example, a user gains access to the below filter only when they’re at Disneyland.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 18.43.40

The below video displays how Geofilters look and work in more detail.

The feature may be of interest to brands, but at the moment it’s up for debate just how useful it is. We Are Social’s own Grace Gordon told MediaPost:

For brands, while it’s still a fairly shallow way to engage with the program … the opportunity to position a logo on snaps taking place at a retail or event location is of course an attractive prospect

Pinterest adds related Category pages

Pinterest is adding a selection of specialised interests to each Category page, allowing users to more easily browse their key interests. Below, for example, you can see a variety of activities, each related to ‘Hiking’.

2014071701

Who won the social World Cup?

The World Cup may seem like a distant memory, but there’s still plenty of information coming out around social media. First of all, there’s this infographic, displaying how the World Cup was the biggest event in Facebook history.

world-cup-infographic-01-2014

It was huge on Tumblr, too; the event led to 662,300 posts (of which 55,200 referred to Brazil vs. Germany) and 17.8m notes.

Across social media in general, Lionel Messi was the most talked-about player (363,000 mentions in total), followed by Neymar (316,000). We Are Social’s work for adidas proved hugely successful, too, according to Hootsuite’s analytics tool UberVu – the brand was mentioned 2.1m times throughout the tournament, the joint-most of any World Cup partner, alongside Sony. Indeed, Adobe found that the sports brand received 71% more tournament-related social media buzz than main rival, Nike. Research by SocialBakers found that adidas saw the largest increase in Twitter followers of any partner brand, followed by Sony and Coca-Cola. Sysomos found that the sports brand received 1.59m total brand mentions on Twitter, of which 917,000 used the #allin hashtag.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 16.35.14

Another successful partner brand was Hyundai, which used a mixture of paid and free posts on Tumblr to encourage people to share football images using #becausefutbol. Tumblr users who viewed and shared a #becausefutbol post sponsored by the brand were 31% more likely to recognise the brand as a sponsor, a figure that jumped to 176% for unpaid posts.

Heineken creates @wherenext

Heineken has created a Twitter service, named @wherenext, which aims to help people discover the ‘secrets’ of their cities by offering suggestions based on location. Interestingly, the brand name is not included anywhere – Heineken hopes this will provide increased credibility.

GE launches on Snapchat for moon landing anniversary

General Electronic posted its first ever Snapchat messages last week, each on a space-travel theme. It turned out that these were teasers for a new, limited edition shoe, called ‘The Missions’, which celebrates the 65th anniversary of the first ever manned moon landing.

ge-snapchat-hed-2014

Johnson’s Baby launches ‘cake smash’

Johnson’s Baby has created a campaign around Prince George’s first birthday, which takes place tomorrow (July 22nd). Dubbed #Babycakesmash, the brand will encourage Instagram users to share pictures of their babies’ first birthday cakes.

Barbour illustrates summer stories

Fashion brand, Barbour, is asking Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users to share their summer stories using #BarbourSummer. A set of winners will be selected to have their tales illustrated and used as part of an animated film.

Marc Jacobs finds models on Instagram

Another story from the world of fashion – Marc Jacobs has sourced the models for its latest campaign through an Instagram competition, using the hashtag #CastMeMarc. The nine winners were selected from 35,000 entries.

MTV announces VMA nominees on Snapchat

Last year, MTV announced the nominees for its Video Music Awards via Vine and Instagram videos. This year, they were revealed on Snapchat before anywhere else, showing the extent to which the platform has risen as a tool for brands.

Shakira passes 100 million Facebook fans

More celeb news: Shakira has become the first celebrity to reach 100 million Facebook likes. In doing so, she’s become the most-liked celebrity on the network, ahead of Eminem and Rihanna, who have 91.9 million and 89 million fans respectively.

The Social World Cup Winners

by John Crozier in News

Germany were crowned champions of the world on Sunday night after facing Argentina in the World Cup Final in the Maracana. Unbeknownst to the football pundits and players there was a completely different World Cup going on at the same time – the social World Cup.

We’ve spoken to our scouts, done the post-match analysis and checked the sound bites from the last five weeks to find out who has raised their social profile ahead of a frantic summer transfer window.

SOCIAL SUPERSTARS

A number of players at the tournament grew their communities by more than a million new followers: Neymar Jr by 2.1 million, David Luiz 1.6m, Cristiano Ronaldo 1.5m, Mesut Ozil 1.3m and James Rodriguez 1.3m.

Those are impressive figures that were helped by high-profile performances at the tournament. While these hard numbers are certainly powerful when you look at growth, in terms of a percentage we see a completely different result.

Paul Pogba – a man on the cusp of football superstardom and taking to the field for his first major tournament – grew his community by 584%. He added 959,067 new followers.

With France hosting the European Championships in 2016 he’s the one we are tipping as our social super star from this World Cup and for the future. Of course though there was another, less homo sapien, star of the World Cup: @Brazuca added over 2.98m followers during the tournament and grew 1,044%. Not bad for an inanimate object…

 

INSTAGRATIFICATION

Back in the realm of the animate, our research shows that the biggest community growth of all wasn’t on Twitter at all. Neymar’s Instagram following grew by 3.8 million, significantly higher than even his increase on Twitter.

James Rodriguez added 2.3m on Instagram, again bigger than both his and Neymar’s growth on Twitter. The trophy-winning goalscorer, Mario Gotze, also grew his community more on Instagram than Twitter.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie, meanwhile, added more followers on Twitter than Instagram; are these up-and-coming youngsters more savvy when it comes to the platform du jour?

Judging by their World Cup content, the young players have a better grip on those fun, authentic, natural Instagram moments.

SELFIE PROMOTION

The ease and simplicity of photo sharing platforms mean that this World Cup has been inundated with player, pundit and celebrity selfies; from Angela Merkel to the Mexican national team everyone is having a go.

The best though were probably from the winning finalists:

FAN FICTION

It wasn’t all selfies and superstars though. The social landscape is awash with creators and the members of the public thrive on creating memes around key moments from the games.

We’ve picked out top three World Cup content pieces from the public:

 

PROPER PUNDITRY

This World Cup was a tough one for the UK commentators. They’ve been lambasted by the wider media and have faced some pretty harsh criticism from fans online.

In social they haven’t fared much better and a certain Bajan popstar completely outstripped Gary Lineker and co. That’s right Rude Boy, Rihanna was the go-to social commentator for this World Cup. She put out over 150 World Cup tweets. Prolific!

 

 

 

In this period she has been retweeted 2,277,348 times, more than the combined total of football pundits Lineker, Phil Neville, Ian Wright. A lot more.

What’s more embarrassing for the broadcast boys is that they have each tweeted more frequently than Rihanna. She’s certainly shown she can Talk That Talk when it comes to the World Cup…

So, there we have it. It’s been the first truly World Cup and we’ve loved every moment. Roll on 2018.

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #148

by Adam Hairston

Virgin Mobile Australia launches #mealforameal campaign

As part of their major integrated marketing campaign ‘Making Mobile Better,’ Virgin Mobile Australia has partnered with OzHarvest to turn the act of taking pictures of food into something beneficial for Australians. With the #mealforameal initiative, every time someone posts a picture of their food to social media and includes the hashtag, Virgin Mobile will donate to OzHarvest so they can provide a real meal to someone in need.

Jägermeister is ‘Strange But True’

Over the past month, premium spirits brand Jägermeister has been delivering their new ‘Strange But True’ positioning on Facebook. The campaign uses illustrations to depict the various characters that males identify with in their social groups. One of the main actions for social sharing is having friends “tag their mate” that identifies with one of the characters – a frugal Fox, a noble Stag, an Owl who loves to party, a Wingman or a Snow Leopard who spends too much time in his man cave. The campaign is designed to shift the thinking of Jägermeister from a drink for the end of the night to a drink made for the beginning.

10298219_10152448415223630_4528414838719321038_o

Anonymous app Secret moves away from anonymity

The popular anonymous app Secret has teamed up with Facebook to make it easier for people to view popular secrets shared by their friends. In a shift that moves the app away from anonymity, Secret is rolling out two new features this week to both their Android and iOS apps called Facebook Login and Collections. Facebook Login will let users see secrets from friends, while Collections will offer a curated stream of popular secrets.

 

Mobile social use is up, desktop slightly down

A new comScore report has explored the growth of mobile use in social, arguing that it does not come at the expense of desktop use. Between May 2013 and May 2014, the total number of minutes spent using mobile to access social media grew from 479bn to 687bn. You might expect to see a similar drop in desktop use, but you’d be mistaken: total desktop time did fall, but only from 477bn to 466bn.

Time_Spent_Mobile_Desktop_May_2013-2014_reference

Mobile and digital budgets are up

Digital advertising budgets will this year rise 16.7% to $140.15bn, according to eMarketer predictions. Spend on mobile/tablets will see the most signficant jump, up 84.7% to $32.71bn. By 2018, digital will account for a third of global ad spend, while mobile will be 70.4% of UK digital budgets, and 67.8% in the US.

Facebook adds ‘suggested videos’ to mobile

If you watch a friend’s video in your mobile News Feed, Facebook will show you a set of suggested videos, much like the ‘Related News’ feature. This is the latest Facebook update that seeks to encourage people to share and watch videos, and TechCrunch has accordingly likened it to a TV channel.

facebook-video-player

Facebook creates ‘Out-App Purchase’ ad

Facebook has launched a new ad type: the ‘Out-App Purchase’ ad, which allows those who develop Facebook games to sell virtual goods directly through the News Feed. Currently, the unit is only available for desktop, but, should it prove effective, we may well see a move in the lucrative mobile market.

Facebook_OutAppPurchaseAds

Twitter goes all out on organic reach

Twitter is backing itself as the social destination for organic reach, telling brands that they can be seen by 30% of their followers for free by tweeting 2-3 times per day. Not only that, but it has released a set of organic tweet analytics, so that brands can now see how many users viewed or engaged with organic tweets.

TAD_Buzzfeed_Animated

Pinterest updates ‘Follow’ pin

Pinterest has developed a new, animated ‘Follow’ pin to be featured on websites outside of its network. Rather than simply linking to Pinterest, the button will launch a pop-up preview of the account, featuring a selection of its pins.

screen-shot-2014-07-08-at-22-12-09

WeChat launches ad platfrom

WeChat, the Chinese messaging service, has created an ad platform for brands with over 100,000 followers. Ads will only appear when users click on full-page posts from officials accounts that they already follow. Even then, the ad is not full screen, but shows up at the bottom of the page. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye on how WeChat’s advertising strategy grows in the future.

The World Cup breaks social records

The World Cup is over too quickly, once again. According to Facebook, the final was the most talked-about sporting event in the network’s history, amassing a total of 280m mentions. One semi-final also managed to inspire a huge social response, as Germany trashed hosts Brazil 7-1. This was the most discussed sports game ever on Twitter, with 35.6m tweets in total. Germany’s fifth goal broke the record for global tweets-per-minute at 580,166.

Unsurprisingly, brands wanted to get in on some of the action. Below you can see examples from a huge variety of companies, from Visa and the Seattle Seahawks to Sony, Paddy Power and adidas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sour Patch Kids on Snapchat
Sour Patch Kids is to become the first Mondelez brand using Snapchat when it enlists the help of Logan Paul to run a week-long campaign. The social media star will send out Snaps from the brand’s account, detailing pranks that range from ‘sweet’ to ‘sour’.

Mercedes-Benz targets millenials on Instagram
Mercedez-Benz has launched a campaign on Instagram, dubbed #GLApacked, intending to target a younger audience. The brand has got Instagram influencers on board, each of whom has been loaned a GLA for a cross-country trip and asked to document it on the network.

4Music is searching for a vlogger
British channel 4Music is searching for its next vlogger through an online ‘Vlogstar’ microsite, sponsored by O2. Entrants need to submit a YouTube video for their chance to be the winner, who will be allowed behind-the-scenes on 4Music shoots and at gigs, producing several videos every week for the channel.

The CIA and Twitter
Last week, the CIA used the hashtag #twitterversary to answer some of the ‘top questions’ it had been asked since its launch on Twitter.

 

 

The above and other tweets like it have led to a debate over what the CIA’s strategy is. The humour may lead to a number of RTs, but questions have been raised about whether this helps the CIA’s chief objective: gaining trust. Indeed, this may be all the more relevant in the week when it has come to light that the activities of Twitter users were analysed by the US military in an attempt to understand how to influence people. News like this is likely to lead to increased debate about privacy, in which the CIA may want to be a major player.

tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Measuring Facebook engagement

by Abrye Redeker

Written by Jamie Robinson of We Are Social’s London office.

Of all the social networking sites today, Facebook is without a doubt the one that continues to develop at a phenomenal rate. Yet, open discussions about how best to measure Facebook don’t seem to have evolved greatly.

Over the past couple of years there’s been much debate about the changes to Facebook’s content distribution engine. More brands are joining the social network, people are following more of these brands and competition to get a slot in people’s News feed is at a premium.

We all know that organic reach of Facebook posts has dropped. Depending on brand and industry our trackers put the organic reach of individual posts between 1% and 8% – with an average at ~3% for large pages (as a proportion of a page’s Facebook fan size).

As a result, if a brand wants to reach its community, and perhaps more importantly, if it wants to reach new audiences on Facebook, a paid media strategy is vital.

I’m not interested in fuelling the debate as to the reasons why Facebook organic reach has dropped. What I’m interested in is what this means from a measurement perspective.

Socialbakers has recently argued a shift away from the commonly used engagement rate methodology. It’s a pretty strong signal, considering this is what Socialbakers’ Analytics platform was built around. Also, with a large brand/agency client list (including We Are Social and our clients), it’s not unreasonable to suggest that this shift will influence how many marketers will be measuring their Facebook activity in the future.

To recap, the Socialbakers engagement methodology weighs post engagements (likes, comments & shares) by the number of fans of that page (they actually have two engagements rates; a post and a page engagement rate).

888d592171a458830f0f201f39b2fcd4

The rationale being that by dividing by the number of fans a page has to give you a percentage engagement figure, you are able to better compare pages of different fan sizes.

Now, Socialbakers is arguing that we should be concentrating on the raw number of engagements – i.e. no longer weighing these by the number of Facebook fans.

The reasoning? That with organic reach dropping and the rise of News Feed based advertising the playing field is no longer level, or to put it another way, that the number of Facebook fans isn’t a true reflection of the opportunity a post has to be engaged-upon. Therefore, from a measurement perspective, it’s no longer considered a good base to measure performance.

For people that rely heavily on this methodology, the concern might be the impact this change has when benchmarking pages of different sizes; i.e., a small page whose competitor has many more fans could move from a leading engagement rate position to a losing one.

For me, that’s the whole point. While I certainly subscribe to the view that your Facebook community is still very important, at the end of the day, any serious brand investing in Facebook isn’t there to only engage a small group of people, who let’s face it, are potentially already loyal advocates. In addition to engaging this loyal following, isn’t the Facebook opportunity also one of reaching and engaging new audiences?

So if your closest competitor is generating many more engagements than you, it’s fair to say they’re reaching more people with their content.

I’m not suggesting that it’s only about reach. Reach for reach’s sake isn’t the objective. We should be all aiming to reach the correct audience with great content. And a proxy for great content can be the engagements it receives.

  • Engaging content often results in a lift in viral reach
  • Engaging content is a signal that the reached audience had some form of emotional reaction to your content
  • Engaging content can have higher recall thanks to the social context displayed (ie. seeing that your friends have engaged with that content / page)

So, where does this leave us from a measurement perspective?

Reach & frequency

At We Are Social, before talking engagement we’d suggest that Reach and Frequency (the average number of times people have been reached) are two of the most important metrics to be measuring on your page.

While individual post reach/frequency is useful, it’s the weekly or monthly reach & frequency that’s important, i.e. how many people are seeing your content and how often. While everyone is fixated on the 1-3% organic reach that individual posts have dropped to it’s the total reach you’re getting at the end of the week/month that you should be focusing on.

Instead of viewing reach as a sub-set of the number of fans you have, approach reach as a market-size opportunity. Use Facebook Insights to gauge your potential market size and plan a paid-media strategy that enables you to reach this audience.

Also, as social media shifts to a more paid approach, brands should invest in research into the impact of “viewed” content and not just “engaged” content.

Business outcomes

This varies by industry / brand – but I’m talking things like click-throughs, conversions to sign-ups, conversions to sales etc. Sure – for many sectors Facebook is going to remain a top of the funnel marketing channel, but that’s no excuse to not track and optimise for business outcomes.

Engagement

Engagement rates shouldn’t be an objective in itself. We should be focusing on the quality and outcome of those engagements. For example, is the engagement positive or negative? What are the key audience takeouts from the engagement? Ultimately, what is the brand or business impact of these engagements (linked to the above).

With this in mind you can measure the engagements that matter and optimise around that.

To do this, engagements should be weighted by Reach (or impressions) – i.e. as a proportion of people who actually saw your content, what was the engagement rate? There are a raft of metrics to use, but using Facebook’s own terminology, at a page level we’re talking about Engaged users / Reach or Consumers / Reach – at a post level Post Engaged users / Reach and Post Likes+Comments+Shares / Impressions etc. Depending on your Facebook objectives you may wish to give higher value to specific interactions (eg – video plays over 95%, post shares etc).

Reach data is of course not public, so this way of calculating engagement rates is only possible for page administrators and can’t be compared to competitor pages. In order to benchmark engagement rates in this way, look to other brand, product or country pages within your organisations portfolio.

Benchmarking engagement vis-a-vis your competitors is where a tool such as Socialbakers will help you. However, it’s vital to understand that the Socialbakers engagement rate methodology isn’t necessarily showing you how engaging content is – it’s showing you how many engagements it’s receiving – which can be highly influenced by paid media.

In reality the change in methodology from Socialbakers only changes one thing – how brands rank against each other. Either methodology (as a % of fans or raw metrics) will still enable you to identify peaks and troughs of engagements. If you’re intent on benchmarking public data I’d suggest that ranking your activity versus your competitors in raw metrics is probably a better indicator of your impact on Facebook.

tagged: , , , , , ,