How Successful Australian Brands Use Facebook
In a recent report – How The Largest Australian Organisation Use Social Media – we studied 500 of Australia’s largest organisations. One of our key findings was that Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform when measured by number of followers. The organisations we studied had a total of 4.4 million followers, more than three times the following of Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.
When we looked further into the details of the large following on Facebook we discovered that a very small number of companies account for almost half of these followers, in fact 2% of the companies studied account for 49% of the following.
Our analysis found a number of similarities in the companies with the largest numbers of followers, some specific uses of Facebook were found to be the biggest difference between the companies with the largest following and the remaining organisations. These methods can be used by any business that wants to use Facebook effectively.
Video is used by 81% of the companies with the highest following on Facebook, this compares to 29% of all companies. So those with higher followings use video more than others. The companies with the highest following also provide exclusive video that may not be seen elsewhere. For example, Bonds provide behind the scenes exclusives to the making of their popular ads, Foxtel provide sneak previews of up and coming popular shows such as Mad Men, and Westfield provide seasonal fashion trends and customer makeover videos. This air of exclusivity captures the audience attention by giving them something that they don’t see elsewhere, the exclusivity also increases the likelihood of the content being shared, increasing the overall reach of the brand.
A high number of the successful organisations answer consumer questions or provide customer service directly through Facebook. A good example of answering consumer questions directly is Westfield. Westfield followers will post questions about fashion, Westfield’s responses include posting links to their website or directing to specific retailers.
Westfield questions are almost exclusively about ladies fashion, Westfield answer every question and often provide links to examples or direct the consumer to retailers in a specific Westfield outlet. They are providing a great service to their followers by answering individual fashion questions and to the retailers, by pointing the consumers towards their products, either online or at specific shops.
One of the strengths of Facebook is its broad range of possible ways to engage followers, whether through video, questions, answers, polls, locations, events, competitions or promotions, all within the Facebook portal. It makes sense that the more diverse ways you have to engage your followers, the more likely you are to engage a broader range of people.
The research found that the companies with the highest following also use the broadest range of ways to engage followers. For example McDonald’s Australia, Westfield and Bonds all use Facebook for promotions, competitions, video, answering questions, and get feedback through asking customer questions and running polls. Using a broad range of the possible activities also helps companies understand what engages their followers so that they can learn and adapt how they engage over time.
Companies that want to build their Facebook following can look to those companies that are successful on Facebook to learn what works. Our research has shown that the companies with high numbers of followers understand that they need to engage their audience and answer questions directly – social media offers two way communication and followers understand and expect this. Also, offering exclusive video is a key method to engaging your audience and the exclusivity increases the likelihood of sharing and the extension this brings to the company’s reach. Finally, all followers are different and are attracted by different things, using the broadest range of possible ways to engage followers will increase the likelihood of engagement and sharing.