Last week, research from WPP Plc’s Social@Ogilvy Agency and Survey Monkey was presented at the Cannes Lions Advertising gathering regarding the brands and networks taking the social media world by storm.
Lucky for us, Bloomberg Business shared results from that research for those of us not in Cannes (which unfortunately includes me…maybe next year, right?). There are a few interesting notes about branding, quality, and followers that tell a pretty clear story about what Americans are looking for in their social media these days.
First and foremost, the quality of a brand was found to be paramount among U.S. users: 93% cited it as the reason to recommend a particular name or product to friends or colleagues. No matter how good your social media is, if the product is of poor-quality or doesn’t fit a certain niche in the market, it won’t be shared.
Social media is important, but isn’t a life raft for a product or service that isn’t really successful in the first place. Make sure that you aren’t looking at social media as a Band-Aid for a larger problem. “Companies need to move beyond collecting likes and retweets with meaningless content,” said Thomas Crampton, the global managing director of Social@Ogilvy, to Bloomberg Business. “Through genuine interaction and content designed to connect with true advocates, companies can drive forward their brand, business, and reputation in ways not possible before this era of social media.”
In other words, your followers aren’t stupid. They know what’s clickbait, they know what’s genuinely produced and thoughtful content, and they will act accordingly.
The study also found that L’Oreal, Nivea, Dove, and Chanel are among brands most likely to be recommended by social media users, and McDonald’s and Monsanto rank near the bottom of the referral list. These stats were combed down from answers by 5,600 people in 11 countries who use networks like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. 84% of users reported “liking” or following a brand, but only 58% said they were willing to share good and bad experiences.
In the United States, social media fans felt the most passionate about Costco, Nike, and Samsung, while Bank of America, Comcast, and Pepsi were the least liked. In the U.K., Marks & Spencer, Aldi, John Lewis, and Amazon took the lead while Tesco, Primark, Sky, and BT were among the least favored.
These companies are all in different industries, but it brings up an interesting idea Stop, and take a minute to collect some anecdotal evidence from people who follow you on social media: would they share your posts or brand page with another person? If not, why? If so, what do they like (or what’s useful)?
The sooner you ask that question, whether internally or externally, the sooner you can work on creating content designed to connect with your brand’s “true advocates”—your biggest fans that will share you with everyone they know. And that, my friends, is how social media success stories are made.
Image Credit: CC by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York