The Social Brands 100 Youth Ranking survey 2014, recently released by brand agency Headstream, said the power of social media lies with those doing the listening not the talking. Brands that are most socially successful are the ones that understand their consumer – their interests, behaviours and rituals and deliver relevant, valuable content to that target audience.
The survey of 18-24 year olds revealed that ‘value’ content was a big factor in driving engagement with this generation. The young connected millennials are ready to engage provided brands have something of value to offer in return. In a world where “Likes” and “Shares” are hard won and easily lost brands that created content that their consumers can relate to and share with their peers - be it entertainment, information or something that made their life easier/better – were out performing those that weren’t.
For this generation of young people, who have heavily invested in their social identity - by sharing photos, status updates and videos, social media is an integral part of their day. They post, share and comment on social platforms throughout the day, every day. They are emotionally and personally involved with social media, especially Facebook. They may be quick to like a brand – but are equally fast at ‘unliking’ them too if they feel value isn’t there.
The top social brands, that included Krispy Kreme, The Body Shop, LoveFilm and Sony, have 5 things in common, they:
- Create content that is relevant and means something to their consumers
- React in a timely, spontaneous and relevant way outside of a ‘strategy’ or ‘plan’
- Adopt an informal and relevant tone
- Embrace both positive and negative conversations
- Invite feedback and discussions within their communities
Here we take a look at two of the most social brands in the UK (as voted for by Social Brands 100 Youth ranking 2014) and find out what we can learn from them.
Ranked at #No1, Pizza Hut places social at the heart of its marketing strategy. Its main aim is to allow its fans to have a say in what the business is doing – regularly asking its consumers for opinions that provide it with key insights to inspire new ideas – especially when it comes to menu changes. It is also using geo-targeting to create localised and relevant content – such as restaurant-specific promotions and discounts. It has aligned itself with like-minded gaming brands to offer money can’t buy prizes – as a way of rewarding engaged fans. Its tone of voice is approachable, funny and relevant – making it popular with the youth market. The viral videos, fan deals and quirky pictures have contributed to its rapid growth in Facebook fans – taking it from 500,000 to more than 1 million in just a year. Its Twitter followers have grown to more than 15,000 within two years too.
What we’ve learnt: By consulting their fans and using their feedback Pizza Hut has won loyalty and support. It regularly rewards fans with entertaining videos and relevant promotions to keep them coming back for more.
The much loved charity and its spin offs – Red Nose Day and Sport Relief – was ranked #7th in the Social Brands 100 Youth ranking survey. It has dominated our TV screens since its inception on Christmas day back in 1985 winning our hearts and minds ever since. Its social story is one of humour, exclusive content and community involvement. Its strategy is to use journalism, creative, filmmaking, PR and photography as well as content created in collaboration with the BBC to feature on its social channels to drive social engagement. Its content is news-worthy, emotive or entertaining bound together by humour. Of course the charity plays on its collaboration with celebrity endorsers – that bring with them their huge social followings which boosts the charity’s fan base. Its Twitter strategy is to stay silent which is “infinitely preferable to posting content which is neither valuable or engaging”.
What we’ve learnt: It creates honest, relevant and exclusive social content that is true to the brand. It only posts or tweets links that are valuable or engaging making it a trust-worthy brand to follow.