I Love Ugly are a men's fashion brand with a phenomenal Facebook fan base.
I Love Ugly have 106,759 fans and over the last 7 days 18,013 of them have engaged with their content on Facebook. That’s an engagement rate of almost 17%. That’s massive especially when you consider the very low Facebook budget required for promoting page posts.
Tapping into an ‘urban subculture’ they are unashamedly 100% on brand, fuelling their love for clothes, fashion and personal image.
I Love Ugly’s cult following is built on a strong emotional brand driven by beautiful photography, simple copy, great products and brilliant service.
The Warehouse [on the other hand] has 88,350 Facebook fans of which 3,615 have engaged in some way over the last 7 days. That’s an engagement rate of just 4%. Reviewing their recent posts you can easily spot why they’re performing so poorly. The most active page posts were related to the recent earthquakes. Previous to that they have just posted screenshots of their sales brochure, oh and they gave away a TV, which got a little interest. #yawn
In fact 14/19 page posts over a 2-week period were screen shots of their Red Alert brochure. For a major household brand this is very low quality, low engagement, low value stuff. I would have expected much more commitment from them given the size if their fan base.
Now take a look at Mitre10. These guys get it. They are investing in the platforms, content and story in meaningful, authentic ways. The proof is in their engagement rates.
Mitre10 have 64,235 Facebook fans. In the last 7 days 7,752 have engaged with them. That’s a fantastic engagement rate of 12%.
Their page is well branded, connects and engages people with the TV show Mitre10 Dream Home, deals, tips, advice and competitions. They want to be seen as the ‘good guys’, genuine helping hands. It’s good honest engagement.
To get a gauge on Mitre10’s attitude check out this post about the kid who asked for his school to get a discount on a new BBQ. They asked their fans what they should do.
One more: ITM Building supplies. They sponsor the ITM400 V8 car racing, the ITM Cup and the ITM Fishing Show. All except the ITM400 have a strong social media presence. Through traditional channels and their website ITM have a strong brand, great stories to tell, useful advice to share. But ITM has no social media presence of their own, none at all.
You can’t tell me tradies, DIY’ers and builders aren’t using Facebook and wouldn’t be interested in connecting with ITM’s content or sharing their stories.
Mitre10 are dominating the DIY sector in NZ, they have a major advantage. I’d bet that hardly anyone is talking about ITM online, but they are talking about Mitre10.
What’s going on? Why are some brands nailing social, converting conversations into sales while others are floundering or otherwise non-existent?
First of all let’s answer a simple question.
Why should we be using social media anyway?
92% of people trust peer recommendations. 18% of people trust adverts. That’s why you need to be on social networks, in conversations, being useful, building trust.
“A new survey by Nielsen on trust in advertising finds that peer recommendations (trusted by 92%) and consumer opinions posted online (trusted by 70%) rank as most reliable among global consumers.
In business, it’s never about you. It’s always about the customer – that mind shift is taking a long time to filter through leadership teams to public campaigns
Brands were once the cornerstones of consumer culture. With the ascendancy of social media, consumers increasingly subsume brands. They're now the producers and the consumers. Meanwhile brands are sidelined to serving "content." Which, sadly, makes marketers sound like caterers: ferrying drinks to VIPs at a cocktail party, desperately hoping everybody likes the appetizers. Source
Many brands have an inability or lack of willingness to get to know their audience, to truly understand what makes them tick. If you’re publishing content hoping and praying that your fan base will like it you haven’t done your homework.
Advertising – long acknowledged as both taste-maker and toastmaster in American culture – is now mostly a facilitator. It's the hired help. Let's face it, though: Brands are lucky consumers let them into the party in the first place. Rather than barring the door, they've brought brands into their social scene. They've taken us inside their houses, they've shared their thoughts and they've expressed sincere interest. We may be living in a nation of narcissists, but consumers are actually encouraging brands to behave more like people -- in other words, more like them. Source
This “more like them” attitude is both right and wrong. People want others to be interested in them, so do brands. To get customers on board, brands ought to be more interested in them, more interested in understanding and celebrating their brand experiences.
Consumers have let brands into their homes but many brands are still refusing to let consumers into their boardrooms.
Last summer, for example, a distraught woman tweeted her plans to have "head 2 toe" plastic surgery to resemble Kim Kardashian, hoping to please her star-struck husband. This prompted a quick response from @kimkardashian: "Pls don't. Ur husband should love u 4 who u are! Don't try 2 b someone else. Im sure u are beautiful inside and out! Just as u are." It's an extreme example – but a fascinating lesson: Celebrities are now supporting and cheering for their fans, rather than the other way around. Twitter is a social equalizer. Source
Many brand managers are asking “how can we get people talking about us?” That’s like asking “how can we get this hashtag trending?” Gary Vaynerchuk wrote about this problem on Medium. “Ride the hashtag, Don’t create it”. Asking how can we be a part of their conversations is more relevant. Conversations are already happening, it’s how you participate in those conversations that matters.
Brands need to take the time and make the effort to get to know their customers. All the research in the world highlighting global trends, best practice tactics and strategy won’t necessarily help your business. It won’t always be relevant.
At Aamplify one of the first pieces of the puzzle we help businesses put down is Buyer Behaviour Research. A buyers experience is totally different to a customers'. As soon as you buy that car and drive off the yard your brand experience completely changes based on actually using the car, its reliability, performance and the after sales service.
Once you understand the user experience for active considerers you can tailor your marketing. Your strategies and tactics become more refined, more personalised, more relevant and more convincing, significantly increasing sales conversion rates while reducing your costs.
Why brands continue to waste money on hit-and-hope content and digital marketing strategies in an age where data and knowledge is readily available is beyond me.
Brands that invest in the ‘thinking’ behind the strategy, the knowledge and the research are the same brands reaping the rewards. Paying for ‘smarts’ ultimately saves you money in the long term and increases the chances your campaign will succeed. Why? Because you have the data to make good decisions with and insights to generate ideas from.