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Social Media Report: Ice Creams Q2 2016

Darsana Vijay

It’s ice cream month! American Presidents have a very curious relationship with ice cream. As you may or may not know, Regan proclaimed July as ice cream month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. Ben & Jerry’s dedicated an ice cream flavour for Obama after his 2008 election victory – the, wait for it, Yes Pecan (geddit?). George Washington is a man after my own heart. Apparently, he’d spent $200 only on ice creams during the summer of 1790. If all this isn’t proof enough that American Presidents are ice cream nuts, see this link for Jefferson’s recipe for vanilla ice cream.

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As a way of saying thanks for all the good times Ben, Jerry, Baskin, Robbins and I have had together, I’ve used Analyze to compare the social media performance of top ice cream brands. I looked at Haagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s, Baskin & Robbins, Carvel, Breyers, Edy’s, Jeni’s Splendid, Talenti, Cold Stone and Dreyers.

Here are the highlights :

  • Baskin-Robbins has the most Fans while Häagen-Dazs had the highest Fan growth.
  • Carvel Ice Cream had the most number of People Talking About them, as a percentage of Fans.
  • Carvel Ice Cream published the most Brand Posts while Baskin-Robbins posted the least.
  • Breyers published the most User Posts and Häagen-Dazs the least.
  • Cold Stone Creamery received the most Likes but Breyers reached a wider audience with the most Shares
  • Edy’s responded to the most User Posts and had the best Average Response Time.
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams received the highest percentage of positive Sentiment

These are three of the most engaging Posts:
(The Unmetric Engagement Score is an estimate of the engagement a particular Post receives on Social Media. It takes into account Likes, Comments and Shares as well as the total number of Fans likely to see the Post.)

Breyers

Engagement Score: 1,000

Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto

Engagement Score: 1,000

Carvel Ice Cream

Engagement Score: 1,000

Who’s more engaging Carvel or Breyers?

As I was gathering data to write this (or rather, asking Analyze to do that for me), I noticed something weird. Breyers topped the tables when it came to average engagement. This is calculated as a sum of engagement scores received by all Brand Posts, divided by the number of Posts. Carvel, however, is miles ahead of Breyers in terms of engagement received over time.

There’s a very simple reason here. Breyers published only 5 Posts in the entire quarter, whereas Carvel put out 88. Greater the denominator, smaller the fraction. Basic math, right? This is where it got curious. Breyers managed to get more comments and shares than any other brand. The average number of Posts published by the ten brands under study is slightly below 30. And a brand with just five Posts gets the most Comments and Shares?

It’s a pretty safe bet that there was money behind at least some of these Posts. I went to the Promoted/Organic tab under Analyze and focused on just these two brands. The chart below shows the engagement each Brand Post received. Hint: The ones with the ‘$’ sign are promoted.

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Carvel Ice Cream had the most Promoted Posts as well as the most Organic Posts. Three out of Breyers’ five Posts were promoted. All three scored 1,000 or very close to that in engagement.

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Breyers’ Promoted Posts had the highest engagement, while Carvel Ice Cream had the most engaging Organic Posts.

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Breyers experienced the biggest surge in engagement from their Promoted Posts.

This leads us to ask if brands should adopt a paid strategy, putting out a few good posts or should they consistently publish content? It is quite clear that Breyers’ paid content strategy has paid off in terms of engagement. Carvel Ice Creams’ promoted plus organic strategy is not far off a perfect engagement score of 1,000 either. They have, however, failed to capitalize on their promotions. Their promoted posts haven’t brought in a surge in engagement. Breyers’ also received more positive sentiment from their Fans than Carvel.

If promoted posts were not in the picture, it would have made sense to post frequently and do a good job at it. With the recent Newsfeed algorithm change, it is imperative that brands explore promotion strategies while upping their copy game. Getting your Fans to see your Post has become a hurdle in itself. With organic content, consistency is key. Unless your content resonates with your Fans and they actively engage with it, it will be challenging to get your Fans’ attention.

You’d think that ice cream brands will have a, *ahem*, cakewalk on social media. I, for one, can watch ice cream being made, served, and eaten for hours on end.

Wondering how brands can stay ahead in the game? Monitor your social media metrics, tally it with your competitors’ efforts, and revise your strategy. Does that sound like an uphill task? Try Analyze for free. Go get an ice cream. All’s well.