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The entertainment industry can teach marketers a lot about incorporating fandom into a company’s strategy.
From Beliebers to Kardashian followers, America is the land of the superfan. Diehard aficionados are the first ones to download a new album, tune in to the latest episode, or buy a concert ticket.
While we may refer to them as brand advocates, those people who support a brand especially when it’s facing some kind of crisis, are really just passionate fans.
Fans who are willing and able to dedicate their own time to support a brand online, or in person.
This weekend sees the first ever YouTube Video Music Awards streamed online. In many ways, it’s like a lot of other music awards: there’s glitz, there’s glamour, and there’s Lady Gaga, One Direction and Rihanna (though Cher’s invite is presumably still in the post…).
However, the YouTube awards are different in one major way. Any videos shared across Facebook, Twitter or Google+ since September 2012 contribute to deciding the winner, alongside user votes.
Just over a year ago, in August 2012, Nielsen revealed some research that revealed YouTube as the number one music discovery source for under 18s – a figure that can only have grown in the past 12 months. Arguably, this makes these awards the most relevant of all.
Online electrical retailer Appliances Online (now rebranded as AO) has seen impressive growth on its Facebook page, recently hitting the milestone of 1m likes.
It has seen a 60% in branded search traffic, which has led to a 58% uplift in sales driven by brand terms.
To find out the secrets behind this growth, I've been asking AO Social Media Manager Yossi Erdman...
Social media, as a channel, is hard to hate, and despite the fact that companies are still grappling with ROI, brands continue to pour larger and larger sums into social media initiatives and industry observers continue to show the same interest in highlighting and analyzing them as they did when social media first started to go mainstream.
But don't let any of this fool you. Investment and attention don't mean that social media initiatives are effective, or serve a useful purpose. In fact, many of them are arguably downright pointless.
2012 has been an interesting year for brand marketers active on Facebook. The world's social network went public and as a result, has more aggressively moved to monetize its massive audience. That in turn has introduced some new dynamics to the Facebook-brand relationship.
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz around changes Facebook has apparently made to its Edgerank algorithm. The theory: Facebook is making it more difficult for brands to reach their fans organically in an effort to promote use of its Promoted Posts ad product.
For businesses trying to reach customers and potential customers online, Facebook, with its more than 1bn users, has become a platform that can't be ignored.
And what's better than a platform with 1bn users? A platform that, up until now, has been largely 'free' to market on.
When you work with brands using channels like Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis, you become very familiar with some of the pitfalls companies can fall into - and what results they seem to generate.
I've never been one of those people who likes to kick-up a stink when a brand makes a mistake but I like to keep a close eye on what trends seem to annoy customers most, if only to learn from them for the future.
As well as my own experience, I decided to do a bit of amateur research this week. I asked people to reveal what they find most annoying about brand behaviour on social media platforms, with a particular focus on Facebook and Twitter. Below is the culmination of that research.
TopShop remains the most popular UK retailer on Facebook, with more than 1.5m fans, while ASOS is one of the fastest growing, adding around 400,000 new followers since April.
The Social Media Benchmark study by eDigital Research (registration/survey required), looks at follower numbers and growth on Facebook and Twitter.
Here are some highlights from the study...
Facebook is an increasingly important tool for marketers, many of whom are purchasing ads on Facebook to drive consumers to their Facebook Pages.
Qualitatively, Facebook's importance is hard to deny, but plenty marketers have largely struggled to quantify the costs and ROI associated with their Facebook marketing efforts.
By now most people will have adopted Facebook’s new profile format. Unfortunately one of these recent changes showcases a pretty big flaw in Facebook’s connectivity, and unhappily for the social networking giant, it’s one that impacts businesses directly.
By now most users will be aware of which changes they will need to make (if any) to optimise the new profile, but there are now a few sections which are unfortunately beyond your control, chiefly the way your ‘Employer Information’ is displayed.