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Edelman 2013 Social Media Trends White Paper

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Edelman 2013 Social Media Trends White Paper

  1. 1. 10 ESSENTIALS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2013Monte Lutz,EVP Social Strategy and Programming@montelutz
  2. 2. MORE FRIENDS,MORE FANS,MORE BRANDS,MORE STORIES.More people are using social media than ever before – andfor longer, on an increasingly diverse array of devices.As a result, newsfeeds are cluttered, and fans are moredistracted and discerning. In order to succeed, brands willincreasingly turn to real-time creative, analytics and paidmedia to ensure that high-performing content reaches asmany people as possible, at the moment they are mostinterested, to spark conversations and deepen customerrelationships. As media converges, brands will invest inways to complement original, visual content with fan-sourced creative.Promoting high-performing content that aligns with new“real content” search drivers will become essential. Brandswill host epic social events to excite the base and invest intools that help them target and engage one-on-one moreefficiently. And brands will have a little fun in the process,remembering that brandplay can go a long way to tellingtheir story. There are 10 social media essentials that canhelp guide brands to achieve success in 2013. We explorethese essentials and case studies of brands in action. 1
  3. 3. 1. Mobile First 32. Converged Media 43. Amplifying Sourced Content 64. Visual Storytelling Comes into Focus 75. Creative Newsroom 96. Many Lightweight Interactions Over Time 137. Social Events Drive Excitement 148. One-to-One Social Engagement 159. The Search Game Just Changed –Again 1610. Brandplay 18 2
  4. 4. 1. MOBILE FIRST 1. CONSIDER MOBILE FIRST Mobile technology and behavior is at the center of the digital ecosystem, including web, social and search activities. 61% of smartphone users access social media on their mobile devices, and the number is growing. of smartphone users According to eMarketer, access social media on the use of social on their mobile device. mobile is expected to grow by 43% this year. New research has shown that nearly one-third of all time spent on smartphones is on social sites and apps, compared to only 20% of time on PCs. Mark Zuckerberg has insisted that every new feature for Facebook be developed for mobile first. This makes sense: 69% of Facebook’s active user base will be accessing Facebook on mobile this year. But it’s not just Facebook that is benefitting from the surge in mobile social. You should be thinking the same way. In 2013, companies should be thinking about how they are connecting to consumers across content channels. 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially, starting a task on a smartphone and then finishing the task on a PC or tablet. Second screen behaviors are becoming normal for many consumers. eMarketer reports that 85% of people use a second screen device while watching TV. Extending the experience beyond the primary screen will drive deeper engagement with the original content and the brand. Brands such as Starbucks have purposefully placed mobile at the heart of their experience, telling stories through the apps that embody the brands character. Whether it’s paying with your digital wallet, redeeming your Starbucks Rewards or accessing the Starbucks network to download a song or read the latest news, the content, payment and social experience delivered by Starbucks embodies the spirit of Starbucks as a connected place. As brands continue to focus on stories and experiences, not just ads and messaging, they will continue to create opportunities for customers and fans to engage with them intuitively through mobile. Are you?   3
  5. 5. 2. CONVERGED MEDIA 2. LEVERAGE CONVERGED MEDIA Fifty years ago, David Ogilvy asked: “Are your ads looking more like magazine spreads yet?” He challenged ad men to design spreads that looked like editorial because he understood that people read articles, not advertisements. The ad world listened, introducing infomercials, advertorials, product placement, sponsored programming and brand journalism as incarnations of this idea. Today, the convergence of paid, owned and earned media has blurred the distinctions between each. You don’t need to design ads that look like editorial content. Great content is your most compelling advertisement. Paid, owned and earned media have converged, providing brands with the opportunity to achieve earned Promoted media at scale. The convergence ad PAID MEDIA Brand OWNED MEDIA Traditional Ads Content Corporate Content model recognizes that the content is the ad. Instead of buying an ad CONVERGED in the right rail, Sponsored Posts MEDIA boost the reach of editorial content Sponsored Branded Content within the newsfeed itself. The Customer That is Shared “ad” isn’t distinct, pre-fabricated creative. It is the content. Content developed by the brand is shared EARNED MEDIA organically by friends and fans to Organic their own networks, and paid media can boost the reach further. The same thinking has led to the recent surge in “native media,” Who wants to a new name for an old tactic – the advertorial. Sites such as settle for the Buzzfeed and Crave are capitalizing on the opportunity to right rail, when mobilize their lean but hungry editorial departments to create you can be front paid content for brands that lives alongside the site’s original content. Who wants to settle for the right rail, when you can be and center? front and center? It works. According to a February 2013 eMarketer report, sponsored content displayed in the newsfeed has 46 times the click-through rate of ads in the right-hand column. Since the mobile Facebook experience is ONLY the newsfeed, sponsored content is even more important in mobile. Engagement on mobile newsfeed ads is twice that of newsfeed on PC. In order to capitalize on these opportunities, brands should be focused first and foremost on creating compelling content that is visual, relevant, tailored and actionable. Aligning content and community management with real-time analytics gives brands the ability to deliver real-time actionable insights based on performance of content and behaviors of communities. Incorporating paid media in the mix turns these insights about what is resonating with an audience into an opportunity to quickly 4
  6. 6. boost this high-performing content with Promoted Posts and Tweets as well as2. CONVERGED MEDIA Featured Videos, further increasing the likelihood that the best stories reach the most people. Edelman Digital has developed an approach for evaluating which content to boost through paid media in real time, identifying “high-performing content” based on the level of engagement, quality of sentiment, relevance of content to company priorities and geographic priority (where appropriate). Additionally, we consider who we should target the promoted content to, based on the topical relevance to specific audiences. Recognizing the half-life of social content – even high-performing social content – is limited, we apply a factor of content decay to determine whether content should continue to be promoted or whether promotion should be focused on a different piece of content. 5
  7. 7. 3. AMPLIFYING SOURCED CONTENT 3. AMPLIFY SOURCED CONTENT Telling your brand’s story day in and day out through social media isn’t easy. Community managers and creative teams need to generate hundreds of original stories per year. However, brands have learned that some of the best visual content and most compelling stories about a company and its products come from fans and enthusiasts who are sharing great stories about the brand each and every day. Brands are increasingly supplementing engaging original content with compelling content from fans, bloggers and influencers. Curation is an important part of brands’ content strategy. By actively monitoring online conversations, brands can identify original fan-generated content that can be cross-posted on owned channels. High-performing posts that resonate with the community can then be boosted through promoted posts. Seeing the success of such efforts, the brand can further develop a relationship with the author or creator and explore opportunities to work together more formally. Each element is tracked for ROI from the paid, owned and earned efforts. It works for Volkswagen. VW regularly repins awesome fan pictures on Pinterest. Those that generate the most love on Pinterest or Instagram are shared on to the brand’s 1.5 million Facebook fans. VW even launched a website, Why VW, that celebrates fan pictures and stories side-by-side original VW content, so that the brands and enthusiasts share the love.   6
  8. 8. 4. VISUAL STORYTELLING COMES INTO FOCUS 4. FOCUS ON VISUAL STORYTELLING 300 million photos are posted to Facebook every day. 5 billion photos have been shared on Instagram. Visual sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest have surged in interest, with 23 million unique visitors per month. Consumers aren’t just visiting visual sites, they are interacting more with visual content. According to Simply Measured, visual content generates 5x more engagement than non-visual content on Facebook. Since the launch of Timeline in 2012, engagement with visual content has increased 52%. Brands are taking note. When Johnnie Walker launched on Instagram, they handed the reins of their new channel to three established Instagram influencers who posted their own Johnnie Walker inspired photos for the first month. Simlutaneously, Johnnie Walker evolved its Facebook presence to tell a more visual story, featuring fan- generated Instagram photos in its cover photo and posts. Interactions on Facebook surged, and fans flocked to Instagram. Recognizing the innovative campaign, Instagram took featured Johnnie Walker in its own feed and on the Instagram blog. As with the Johnnie Walker example, brands who build relationships with established influencers on a platform can build a base of fans quickly and effectively. Visual storytelling is also driving a surge in consumption of mobile video, with significant increases in mobile video views. Over the last two years, the audience for mobile video in the US has increased by 77% to 36 million people. This will continue to increase as the smartphone revolution expands and tablet sales explode. We are already seeing some client video campaigns generate 25-30% of all video views on mobile devices. 7
  9. 9. Twitter’s purchase of social video service Vine is driving a renewed interest in bite-4. VISUAL STORYTELLING COMES INTO FOCUS sized video that is deeply integrated into social platforms. Look for brands, social platforms, and startups to focus increasing attention on social video in the coming year. Lessons from brand experiments with Tout, and early experiments with Vine, will continue to draw attention. McDonald’s. Skylanders and Toyota have each jumped in with games, fans and a stop motion ad to start. 8
  10. 10. 5. CREATIVE NEWSROOM 5. LAUNCH A CREATIVE NEWSROOM There are 1 billion Facebook posts and 400 million tweets per day. There are 200 million emails 5.6 million texts and 2.1 million Google searches – every minute. The amount of content we see grows exponentially, but our time to consume it stays the same. In order to cope with this constant stream of information, people filter how they consume content based on time, platform and medium. First and foremost, people filter content based on time. They are either online or not. This is critically important for brands to consider, because the half-life of social content can be measured in hours. 90% of Facebook engagement happens in the first three hours; 92% of retweets occur within the first hour. If you post when people are paying attention, nobody will see it. If you talk about something after people have lost interest, fewer people will share it. of Facebook engage- retweets within the ment in first 3 hours first hour of post People also filter content based on the medium. Visual content is far more engaging than simple text content. Pictures are easier to identify and digest in the newsfeed. They stand out and call for attention. As a result, Facebook posts that contain photos have 5x more engagement than those that do not. The platforms themselves – particularly Facebook – are also filtering the content that you see. Over the last year, as the number of people actively using Facebook has surpassed one billion, and as the number of brands who are actively posting on Facebook continues to increase, Facebook has continued to update its algorithm to better filter the exponential increase in content on the platform. As a result, brands are seeing their content reach only 8 percent of their audience members on average. 9
  11. 11. This is not an absolute number. Brands with higher engagement are rewarded with5. CREATIVE NEWSROOM greater organic reach. Conversely, brands that post content that doesn’t resonate with their fan base are seeing their reach continue to shrink. These changes are leading to a real-time, creative content revolution for brands. In order to break through the clutter, brands must be able to create engaging, visual content that connects with consumers about the things they are thinking and talking about in near real-time. Transforming a trending conversation into a brand-relevant visual that resonates with your audience in hours instead of days is a radical shift in marketing and communications. Brands were put to the test recently when the Superdome power outage caused half the stadium to go dark and the world’s most watched TV event come to a grinding halt. Oreo, Audi, Volkswagen and Tide rose to the occasion, developing timely, engaging, visual content that capturing audience attention and changed the storyline about which marketers won the Super Bowl. Oreo was able to capitalize on the opportunity because they had a creative newsroom process already in place. In honor of OREO’s 100th anniversary, the brand launched the Daily Twist, featuring images of OREOs reimagined to reflect breaking news, Hallmark holidays, milestones and events. Even though the topics changed each day, the cookie was the centerpiece of every image. Other brands have begun to experimenting with the real-time creative as well. Captain Morgan uses custom meme-style cards to tell topical brand-themed stories daily. For example, when Prince Harry was photographed in the buff, they had a little fun, making sure that they royal family knew it wasn’t the Captain’s fault. Similarly, Volkswagen, Adobe and Microsoft employed these principles to generate conversation around the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final flight. Each channel approached the same story in a unique manner, befitting its brand and community. Transforming a trending conversation into a brand-relevant visual that resonates with your audience in hours instead of days is a radical shift in marketing and communications. 10
  12. 12. Volkswagen imagined that the 747 could just5. CREATIVE NEWSROOM as easily be transporting a “VW Shuttlebug,” so they substituted a Beetle convertible in place of Endeavour. Adobe Lightroom chose to tell its story though stunning, original photography taken by the team as the Endeavour flew near its offices in the Bay Area. Microsoft’s social team channeled the classic Clippie helper to ask if the 747 pilot needed a helping hand to guide the Shuttle home. As a result, each brand saw a 400-600% increase in engagement, compared to other visual content on the pages. These campaigns have each been successful. But the real-time creative process doesn’t happen by accident. It is a purposeful, and challenging, undertaking. In order to be successful, brands must be able to align community management, analytics, creative, and paid media in real time. Community managers and trendspotters actively monitor the conversation for opportunities. Aligning analytics with community management delivers real-time actionable insights based on behaviors of communities and the social conversation at large. Using a mix of proprietary resources and social trending tools, they sort through potential opportunities to identify the ones that would resonate the most with the particular community based on demographic, psychographic and behavioral insights about the community. Teams coordinate with a newsroom editor and studio designers to turn the idea into creative reality within a few hours. Analysts also provide real-time performance metrics 11
  13. 13. 5. CREATIVE NEWSROOM to adjust the creative approach and content selection, as well as to determine whether high-performing content should be promoted in order to reach more people. Edelman has developed a real-time creative process to help brands incorporate the Creative Newsroom into their campaigns. There are a number of models for how the Creative Newsroom can work for a brand. Trendspotter programs are designed to help brands be more interesting and more relevant in the newsfeed. The Creative Newsroom team actively monitors the online conversation for stories and trends that have reached a tipping point and are relevant to the brand’s audience. We pick the best and create original, real-time content to keep your community engaged. Newsroom Campaign is your opportunity to turn a launch into a cultural milestone. The Campaign approach helps to ensure that conversation about launches and milestones don’t end with your announcement. The Newsroom Campaign extends the conversation about you by demonstrating relevance to the trends and topics that people are already talking about. For example, OREOs Daily Twist turned the 100th anniversary of the brand into a 100-day celebration made newly relevant to the news of the day. The Daily Desk is the most ambitious offering. The Daily Desk is designed to ensure that a brand isn’t just catching trends, but defining them, as a trendmaker. While the conversation changes every day, with new stories, new trends and new ideas, the Daily Desk helps companies spot and jump on them quickly – every day. Each morning, the Newsroom team meets to debate the stories of the day and pick the surging conversations that are most relevant to the brand. Within hours, the team has developed a creative response that helps to demonstrate that you are the most relevant brand in the feed by connecting with your audience about the things they’re talking about today, or the fascinating things they have yet to discover. It is designed to help you spot a trend, create a meme, and become the next cultural guidepost. 12
  14. 14. 6. MANY LIGHTWEIGHT INTERACTIONS OVER TIME 6. NSPIRE MANY LIGHTWEIGHT I INTERACTIONS OVER TIME Most social interactions are lightweight. They are quick and snackable. We glance at a picture, scroll through a post or dive into a video, and then move on. These are small, but important engagement activities. The interaction refreshes connections with friends or deepens affinities for brands, through simple interactions. Paul Adams, the Global Head of Brand Design for Facebook, has articulated his insights about his process into a phrase: “many lightweight interactions over time.” Witnessing the best (and worst) practices on Facebook, Adams has discovered that the companies who invest in deepening relationships with fans one interaction at a time are far more effective than overwhelming fans with overly-promotional asks that require deep commitment and investment from the outset. Brands have 50 A little math tells us why. On average, fans will see 50 posts and 50 tweets per year from a brand (based on chances to make 1-2 Facebook posts per day with a 8-10% attention rate an impression with on Facebook and 4-5 tweets per day with a 3% attention each fan each year. rate). In other words, brands have 50 chances to make an impression with each fan each year. If the first five times you talk to a fan, you ask them to BUY, BUY, BUY or DOWNLOAD, INSTALL, MARRY ME, fans will be turned off and turned away. You need to earn their trust over time, by mixing lightweight content about the issues they care about with brand and product-specific information. That way, when you go for the big ask, they are ready to say YES! As engagement with the brand increases over time and attention, the depth of the emotional engagement increases as well. As you take fans through the social sales funnel, from awareness through mass media to engagement in social media, through consideration and to purchase, this approach will help to ensure that more people stay engaged, becoming not just customers, but advocates for the brand. 13
  15. 15. 7. SOCIAL EVENTS DRIVE EXCITEMENT 7. RIVE EXCITEMENT THROUGH D SOCIAL EVENTS While lightweight interactions help build a community over time, brands have the opportunity to offer unique, socially-powered events to their fans in order to a surge in attention and engagement that serves as both a reward for participation in the community and an opportunity for fans to evangelize what is awesome about developing a relationship with the brand. These epic events transcend space, time and media. The combination of breaking news, exclusive access and competition is a winning formula driving excitement, attention and conversation. Few brands have been able to build their own epic memes better than Red Bull. Red Bull doesn’t just put up a banner at the X Games, they built a snow ramp for Shaun White. They don’t just sponsor a music festival, they launched a record label. And when that’s not enough, they break a world record by helping someone sky dive from space. RedBull Stratos was an epic marketing win. 8 million people watched the Livestream; seven million people engaged in social. And Red Bull was everywhere. For the month following the space jump, anytime someone talked about space, the conversation invariably included a mention of Red Bull. The brand jumped on the association, engaging people and brands that were doing cool things that were space-related. For example, when a dad launched his son’s Skylanders Tree Rex figure into space onboard a high altitude balloon, @SkylandersGame celebrated the epic achievement by a Skylanders fan on the Skylander social channels. Red Bull also jumped into the conversation. @RedBullStratos spotted the conversation on Twitter and joined in the celebration, tweeting that “Tree Rex needs his wings too.” Red Bull owned space, and didn’t let it go. Syncing social events with TV and IRL activations drives a surge in conversation around each. For the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Activision and Treyarch partnered with Spike’s GTTV for a live midnight launch show, featuring tweets, photos and stories from fans around the world. All in all, there were nearly 2 million tweets, posts, photos and videos about Black Ops II on launch day. Call of Duty was a global trend on Twitter more than 9 times. 14
  16. 16. 8. ONE-TO-ONE SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT 8. OSTER ONE-TO-ONE F SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT One of the stories being written in the analysis of digital and social media of 2012 focuses on the role of Big Data in the latest presidential campaign. Best use of Big Data helped the Obama campaign segment, target, mobilize and turn out supporters more effectively than the Romney campaign. But the most important part of the Big Data story isn’t about data, it’s about people. By combining databases and overlaying social profiles against such data, brands (and campaigns) are able to connect with people as people, not unique identifiers. Knowing who they really are enables brands to turn the data into prescriptive actions, syncing online with people in the real world. Brands are moving beyond simple demographic and psychographic data to ever-more sophisticated ways to understand, target and engage customers. Service providers such as Adobe and Salesforce are helping brands better merge, align and act based on data drawn from all of their available digital, CRM, social, psychographic, behavioral, partner and customer databases. Similarly, tools offered by companies such as Micro Strategy, as well as native and rapidly evolving Facebook targeting tools, allow you to develop significantly more sophisticated clusters based on brand affinities drawn from millions of data profile inputs. As Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms continue to improve tracking and conversion and metrics, brands will be able to better and uniquely understand the engagement and purchase cycles through social. Look for increasing requirements on the marketing and operational sides of the business this year. 15
  17. 17. 9. THE SEARCH GAME JUST CHANGED – AGAIN 9. KEEP UP WITH THE CHANGING SEARCH GAME Since its Penguin release, Google has made it clear that traditional SEO methods will decline in efficacy, giving way to quality content as the paramount route to discoverability. The “rise of real content” means that brands can no longer seek quick SEO fixes to drive organic traffic to their owned properties. They must create real content that drives actual engagement in order to earn the Google juice. Google is also using social signals and context from content and engagement on Google+ to determine quality of content and AuthorRank as signals for which content to display. Similarly, Bing Social Search is now deeply integrated with Facebook. When you are logged into Facebook, your searches will also generate social context – displaying content, context and information from your Facebook friends in the right rail, next to organic search results. Social serves as a signal for context, delivering content that is most likely to resonate with you. As a result of these changes, social media and social for search are increasingly, mutually beneficial and essential elements of any integrated campaign. Social media content drives initial scale and engagement. Engagement triggers serve as a signal that boosts organic search results. Additionally, a robust and rich content strategy drives search results. If developed correctly, the content designed for search optimization also integrates with and amplifies social. Each drives click-throughs that can be tracked and optimized. Both content and search strategies should adjust accordingly. 16
  18. 18. 9. THE SEARCH GAME JUST CHANGED – AGAIN Brands are adjusting the balance of their content, developing a spectrum of content, from short-form content optimized for social, to long-form content optimized for search. 17
  19. 19. 10. BRANDPLAY 10. JOIN THE BRANDPLAY People may start following a brand because they like the product; but they continue to follow because they enjoy the conversation. For all of the serious insights and recommendations about social media essentials, we cannot forget to have a little fun. After all, according to Edelman’s 8095 survey, 8 in 10 millennials expect brands to entertain them. In fact, the 2012 Brand Engagement in the Era of Social Entertainment study found that people think social networking sites have the highest value as an entertainment source; higher than films, music and even TV. Social media is serious business. But it’s also personal and engaging. Taco Bell and Old Spice have learned the value of having a little fun with the brand in social. This has played out in popular campaigns such as the Old Spice Man, but the same attitude is also displayed in their daily interactions with fans and other brands. When @OldSpice asked @TacoBell “Why is it that “fire” sauce isn’t made with any real fire? Seems like false advertising,” @TacoBell responded with a quick retort, tweeting: “@OldSpice Is your deodorant made with really old spices?” Not to be outdone, @ OldSpice came back with a tweet of its own: “@TacoBell Depends. Do you consider volcanos, tanks and freedom to be spices?” The exchange generated hundreds of retweets and even some good ol’ fashioned media coverage. Not to be outdone by Taco Bell and Old Spice, OREO wanted to have a little fun by tweeting “Ever bring your own Oreo cookies to the movie theatre? #slicksnacker”. But the social media manager at @AMCTheatres was none too amused. He replied “NOT COOL, COOKIE.” Four hundred retweets later, @AMCTheatres had the last laugh, and a fair amount of respect. 18
  20. 20. 10. BRANDPLAY Brandplay isn’t just for consumer brands. Juniper, a B2B networking solutions provider, isn’t afraid to have a little fun with its Facebook fans. From IT-friendly ecards, to valentines and haikus embedded in lines of code, the brand is engaging its fans using the language, devices and humor that they enjoy. Sure, there are plenty of pictures of servers and certification quizzes, but there’s also good old fashioned, server fun. It works. The engagement rate on Juniper’s Facebook page is higher than Intel, Citrix, Zappos, Old Spice, Lady Gaga and Starbucks. Full disclosure: Starbucks, Activision (Call of Duty, Skylanders), Volkswagen, Microsoft, Adobe, Captain Morgan, Taco Bell, Juniper and Johnnie Walker are Edelman clients. While not clients, this post was fueled by an overconsumption of Oreos and Red Bull. 19