As the head of marketing, do small beads of perspiration break out on your forehead when you hear the dreaded phrase: “It’s time to redesign our website?”
A new report into the annual Facebook performance of more than 2500 Australian brands has highlighted the rising demand from consumers to engage with brands socially.
According to the new Annual Facebook Performance Report for Australia, the country's leading Facebook page by engagement this year was Australia.com, following by Babyology, Fifi and Jules.
In terms of industry, radio proved the most engaging area for consumers on social, taking four of the top 10 spots overall and gaining an average of nearly 24,000 engagements on Facebook on a weekly basis.
Other sectors leading the way in terms of engagement were TV shows, airlines, travel and tourism, sporting clubs, news and magazines, retail and fashion, department and online stores, and FMCG snackfoods.
In terms of fan growth, airlines, travel and tourism topped the industry list, while TV shows retained the highest number of fans in 2013. The Social Pulse brand lists were based on tallying up the amount of actions, likes, comments and shared links across a brand’s Facebook presence.
MD of research author Social Pulse, Lucio Ribeiro, told CMO the report indicated four key areas where Facebook’s dominance is increasing as a communications and engagement channel.
The first is its growing influence as a news and events sharing portal. This growth was led by sharing and engagement around TV shows, as well as sporting events.
The second trend Ribeiro identified was increased activity around sports, with cricket as one of the top three topics for the year. “We’re seeing activity pre, during and post-game,” he commented.
The third trend is the increase in people connecting with brands via Facebook, he said. This was led not only by the rising number of brands choosing to set-up a Facebook presence, but also ever-growing numbers of social media users, Ribeiro said.
The fourth trend was the increase in engagement around politics, activity that is arguably unsurprising given the lead-up to this year’s Australian Federal Election. During the year, politics and government represented five of the 10 most talked about topics, Ribeiro said. “The key will be how this comes out in 2014,” he said.
Ribeiro also noted more than 80 per cent of Australians used their mobile to connect to Facebook this year, highlighting yet again mobile’s dominance in consumer engagement. Online Circle Digital’s figures showed that the time spent by consumers on Facebook via their mobile is also increasing.
The report pointed out Facebook has undergone several changes this year including the adoption of hashtags, significant updates to Facebook advertisements and modifications to contest rules. “All of these changes have both directly and indirectly influenced the success of Australia’s brand pages, with those adapting their digital strategies due to the platform’s changes generally thriving more in the social space,” the report stated.
“Facebook in 2014 is showing no signs of going down as a communications channel; if anything, adoption by consumers and brands is going up,” Ribeiro continued. “The brands that haven’t performance well still have a lot of ground to cover and more to do.
“For those marketers that haven’t taken Facebook seriously, it’s time you did. Social shouldn’t be on page 100 of the strategy document, it should be considered in totality as part of your brand strategy.
“Whether you like it or not, users are using these channels more and more to connect to brands. At a minimum, they expect you to be on Facebook, promoting your brand and servicing customers.”
Earlier this week, Facebook also released a year in review report looking at key topics and activities undertaken by consumers on the site this year. The top 10 list of topics favoured by the 12 million Australians now on Facebook was led by ‘vote’, followed by ‘Princess Kate’, ‘cricket’, ‘Kevin Rudd’ and ‘grand final’.
The year in review report also showed Australians were more interested in politics than entertainment this year, while the top major life event was adding a relationship, getting engaged or married.
The Social Pulse report was based on analysing 2500 Australian branded pages on Facebook, along with 119 million Facebook fans, 118,000 posts, 13.7 million shares, 11 million comments, 130 million likes and related data from 1 January to 1 December 2013.
Top 10 Facebook pages by engagement in 2013
- Fifi and Jules
- 9 news
- Black Milk Clothing
- Hungry Jack’s
Top 30 Facebook pages by fans for 2013
- Bananas in Pyjamas
- Hamish and Andy
- Bubble O’Bill Ice Creams
- Home and Away
- MasterChef Australia
- yellow tail
- Visit Queensland, Australia
- Coca-Cola Australia
- Domino’s Pizza – Australia