Battle of the Brands – A Sporting Engagement

After the success of the first Battle of the Brands post, I thought I would revisit the subject, but this time use the heavy weight of New Zealand, in terms of social media engagement.

The brand I am referring to, of course, is the All Blacks. With 1.87 million likes on Facebook and 170 thousand followers on Twitter, they are, by a long way, New Zealand’s most followed brand.
But how does their social media engagement stack up against some of the other top sporting brands in the world?

Step up to the plate, England Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys from the NFL. As we did last time, we will be looking at how these sporting brands engage with their huge number of followers/ likers and critiquing who does it best, as well as providing our suggestions for improvement along the way.

First up, The All Blacks:

All Blacks Cover Photo - Facebook

The All Blacks numbers speak for themselves, they are a head above any other NZ brand on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll start with Facebook.

Their Facebook page has just over 1.87 million followers (at time of writing) with an average of 50,000 Facebook users talking about it at any one time. They use the ‘favourites boxes’ in a basic but effective way, including; photos, videos, online store, E-calander, Youtube account, events, live streaming and an RSS blog feed.  Possible improvements here could be a competition box/giveaway box, or a Fan Photos box offering high quality All Blacks photos for fans to use as their own cover photo on Facebook.
They average 3 posts on any given day but this can change if events are happening or important news is being circulated. Every post includes a photo or video/news link as well as posting polls and finishing all posts with a question of sorts.
One of their most popular posts of late was ‘Who has the better signing pose, Ma’a or Dan?’ and includes a photo of the two players signing jerseys at school event. It is very simple, asks a question and has a photo. A great way to get involved and engage with their fans. The post received almost 3,000 likes and 400 comments.

The All Blacks Twitter account is also used in a very engaging way and has an impressive 175 thousand followers. They send regular tweets with news updates, promotional info, the live location of training’s and events and post twitpics of fans at the events. They use hash tags effectively and retweet mentions of the brand/messages of support.  A possible improvement for their Twitter engagement would be to tweet less (currently anywhere between 10 and 25 tweets a day) and mention fans as well as retweeting messages.  They could also start up hash tags that can reach certain players or coaches and think about a ‘Player Takeover’ – more on that soon. Read more

Fan Engagement – has a real ring to it doesn’t it?

Following up to yesterdays post, I’m now going to look at the top NZ brands on Facebook and compare them to our most engaging brands, our most trusted brands and the most engaging brands on Facebook in the US.

top NZ brands by number of fans  Top NZ brands by average engagement

Interesting side note: The All Blacks were left off this list despite have 1.8 million fans. I guess rugby teams aren’t brands??? More on this later.

As you can see, there are stark differences between the top brands by numbers and the top brands by engagement with only Air New Zealand and Nutella (Aus & NZ) truly engaging with their large number of fans.
What does this tell us? Numbers aren’t everything! Just ask Barack Obama.  If anyone figures out how to engage with fake Twitter and Facebook accounts , let us know.

To add a further factor of interest, not a single brand from New Zealand’s Most Trusted Brands list appears on either of these facebook lists. This shows us you don’t have to be the well known knight in shining armour to engage with people online, you just have to know how to do it right.

So lets focus on the most engaging brands on facebook as the more realist statistic on social media success. In the Top 10 most engaging brands in New Zealand we have four alcoholic drink companies, two foodstuff companies, two communication network providers, one airline and we can’t forget Persil NZ washing detergent.

Compare those brands to the most engaging facebook brands in the United States we see a huge difference. Leading the way are five television networks, followed by one sporting event (non US), one supermarket, one alcoholic drink company, one restaurant and one motorcycle manufacturer. Its safe to say that if Kiwis have a drinking problem then Americans have an even bigger television problem.

So we now know who is engaging the most with their fans. The  next question is, how are they doing it??

Tomorrow we will put two brands from each list head to head in our ‘Battle of the Brands’ feature to showcase different ways to engage with your fan base.  See you then.

Twitter competition ideas

There have been a few good quesitons around recently with Public Relations agencies in particular seeking ideas for competitions that can run on Twitter.

Running a competition is a good way of building new followers for social media communication channels – it also helps for brand awareness.  A contest doesn’t need to be expensive, or complex but the prize must fit the audience and be desirable.

Here are a few suggestions for Twitter contests:

  1. Short story – include an opening, middle and end in 140 characters
  2. Announce a photo theme and get uploaded photos on the theme
  3. Trivia question – allow funny, serious and absurd answers
  4. Buy a product and announce the invoice number on Twitter to enter a contest for a free prize
  5. Threadless tweet submisssion for printing on a t-shirt
  6. Collaborative songwriting / include your phrase or name in a song
  7. Joke sharing like the #bandfoodpuns on May 17th
  8. Munich beer contest to promote an expo – visit site and when the beer glass is empty the last person to RT the URL wins

Some marketing management suggestions

  1. Hashtag# the contest so you can track entrants
  2. Unique phrase with retweeting gets topics trending
  3. Contest entry added to follower request builds a following/community
  4. Use the contest to relaunch your twitter identity
  5. Frequent $100 prizes beat a big $500 prize
  6. Short deadline contests create urgency

Twitter competition prize ideas

  1. money
  2. music album downloads
  3. free product from your company
  4. a digital gadget – camera, phone, MP3 etc
  5. gift card from a recognised store
  6. a free service from your company
  7. a trip
  8. pay for a service for them from the winner’s favourite supplier (massage, haircut, car wash, online data backup, membership of a group / team fanclub)
  9. Music prizes – albums, concert tickets,

An example of a current twitter competition

Take a look a the Social Media Experiment at Glastonbury 2010 running now which I learnt about from the Chinwag group on LinkedIn.

The Social Media Experiment will take place on Friday the 25th June between 1pm & Midnight, and will feature a number of comedians, musicians, performance artists and live shows incorporating social media and interactive web technologies.  the prize is the chance to perform live on stage at Glastonbury

In order to win, visitors to the site are asked to join the competition group on Facebook and post a link to prove that they are a in a band, an artists etc. The winning act will then be chosen from the group at random in this ‘flash mob’ style competition.

Thanks to these people for providing me with ideas for the list above Trey Ratcliff, Alexandra Samuel, Internet marketing, Bob Baker, James Norris
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How do I charge clients for doing social media work?

This question is a great one and was prompted by a reader enquiry (thanks Kate).  Many agencies seeking to integrate social channels into their campaigns want to know whether they can charge their clients for the work.

Our view is that this should be a chargeable service that you can provide.

First check a couple of things

  1. Does the client have a PR agency?  (they may be better suited to doing the work)
  2. Is there anyone on the client side team who is already an active social media user? (Could you train them up)

And so here are a few things to think about when considering your proposal and pricing

  1. Social media coverage is often time intensive and so a per hour fee may make it look expensive, consider a retainer or success fee combined with per hour billing
  2. Learn how to use as many ‘time saving’ applications as possible (Google alerts, Tweetdeck, TweetLater) so you can cover several client social media brand accounts simultaneously
  3. Offer a strict time-limited service so staff don’t over-do the time spent on social media.  Set up alarms so they know when to stop work.
  4. Transfer your skills into the client organisation as ‘training’ – you can charge more for this
  5. Ensure you set the strategy for social media execution and specify this work separately and charge appropriately

Any other advice you can offer?

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Other resources

Five things to ask a social media agency before working with them (FreshNetworks)

Social Media Group has a template RFP for brands looking for a social media service partner (Social Media Group)

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