The story of what brands were in 2012 and what they became in 2013
Social media has come a long way in the last few years. What was once thought to be a medium for connecting with family and friends, soon became a channel for brands and businesses to connect with consumers. The transition, while at times bumpy as brands learned the limitations the new medium has, matured over the years. Today, social media is the easiest method for brands to have a one-on-one conversation with the masses. Brands have become more accessible as more people are associating themselves with their favorite brands.
As each social network keeps changing and evolves with new dimensions, Unmetric conducted a study on the top 100 US brands across sectors to see if there has been any fundamental shifts in the way brands are using social media over the last two years. This is what we found on Facebook and Twitter.
An average brand had 7.3 million fans on Facebook in 2012 which went up to 10.7 million in one year. However, fan growth slowed down and went downhill to 0.39%from 0.71%. A brand used to post 11 updates in a week in 2012, and though this number did not change considerably, it was found that brands did begin to receive lower engagement in 2013. Interestingly, a brand from the luxury sector posts as often as an average brand yet it receives twice the engagement. Though the number of fan posts did not witness a big change, brands gravitated towards replying and answered twice as many fan posts.
On Twitter in 2013, we were taken aback when we found that every metric had virtually doubled. Brands doubled their follower base, the frequency of their tweets and the number of tweets they reply to. What’s more remarkable is that brands added five times the new followers as they did in the previous year. While all metrics shot up, the time they took to reply to follower mentions went down. In short, brands replied to more queries and answered them faster than before demonstrating how important Twitter became for brands in 2013.
The total number of views on a brand’s channel on YouTube went up from 20 million views in 2012 to 36 million views in 2013. Though the subscribers’ growth rate went down, the subscriber base quadrupled in a year’s time. Most brands continued to add only 3-4 videos in a week, except for brands from the Consumer Electronics sector, which added 11 videos in 2013.
This data points to an obvious plateauing of effort on Facebook and a new focus on Twitter while activity on YouTube remains unchanged. 2013 was the year when focus shifted to Customer Service; the number of consumer questions answered shot up, and the time taken to answer them went down. YouTube gave us proof that social media has nurtured our short attention spans with videos getting shorter by the day, becoming 50 seconds shorter. Plenty has changed in 2013 and 2014 is going to be no different now that brands are racing to implement real time marketing and Instagram in to their marketing budgets. While we wait for the changes the rest of the year has in store for us, let’s not forget how much changed in the last year.