Facebook Analytics Exercise: “XYZ Company” and IMC

This week in Intro to Multimedia, we’re examining data derived from Facebook analytics regarding a company we’re calling “XYZ”, which is a heating and cooling company in Western Massachusetts. XYZ provides installations, maintenance, and repair services. The company currently has a Facebook page, a website, a Twitter account, a Yelp page, and Google+ page, and sends emails to recipients within a thirty-mile radius of the business.

Data Insights

Screenshots of data provided by Facebook analytics, which cover both monthly (summer to fall) and recently weekly page activity is rather telling. For example, Facebook ads and paid reach are driving most of XYZ’s likes and other engagement. Summer months tend to drive interest in product and service related posts, likely because of greater need for cooling in hotter months. Judging by the provided data, there’s no particularly advantageous day to run an ad, but between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM is when the company should run ads, as the people they reach are most accessible during the evening hours. Pictures of unit models actually being installed in real locations tend to see lots of post clicks and shares. Also, posts about special offers on services and products appear to drive a lot of clicks and shares.

ads and likes

The most receptive crowd are English speakers in the Springfield, MA area. Those most likely to “like” the page and become followers are younger men age 25-34 and women age 35-44. Depending on marketing goals, posts are being served a little off-target if the company desires more “likes”, as men age 35-44 are being targeted, but are not the most likely to “like” the page. However, if the company desires more shares, the male, 35-44 group is the best target, as that demographic shares more posts than any other.

who is targeted

Posts are being served less efficiently to women. In the past week, ads have heavily targeted women age 18-24, one of the most marginal demographics who historically “like” the page. Women age 45-54, who are most likely to share page content and are fairly likely to “like” the page are not being targeted nearly as much as less reliable groups.

who likes the page

Using Insights and IMC

One of the most important aspects of good IMC is consistency. XYZ Company does appear to practice consistency in its voice and post content, but its consumer targeting would benefit from some fine tuning, and the application of some marketing goals.

XYZ Company would do well to focus on page likes as a first priority. Being a small, local business, whose service and sales reach is currently around thirty miles in radius, XYZ will want to focus on keeping in touch with its past, current, and prospective customers, establishing a loyal customer base. Shares and awareness are important, but their organic reach can’t be controlled or predicted. To be more specific, XYZ would benefit more from word-of-mouth recommendations that reach other locals, rather than organic reach that may extend to people outside of XYZ’s service and sales area. Collecting local followers will support building a repeat customer base, and local word-of-mouth may prove to create awareness in a more optimal service and sales range.

To achieve more likes, and thereby, more loyal, local customers, XYZ should try and create a Facebook ad, on-the-job photo post, or featured product photo / offer post, and fine tune the targeting parameters within Facebook ads. Using the insights gleaned from Facebook analytics, the best way to gain the most page likes would be to target women age 35-54 and men age 25-44. Running the ad during peak hours, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, and manually pausing before and after this block of time may further help to achieve more likes per dollar spent.

follower activity

To lend more strength to such a campaign, XYZ Company should invest some effort on other social media channels where their brand lives. When examining the data and insights provided via Facebook analytics, it appears that XYZ’s Facebook page sees clicks and engagement with its timeline most, but its info tab, reviews, and photos tab also see some engagement. The company website ought to serve as a bank of even more photos, product and service descriptions, contact info, and other company information, should the Facebook page lead a customer to further research and inquiry. This information and imagery should be consistent with the info posted to Facebook.

The company Yelp page is another great resource for past, current, and potential customers to learn more about the business, its products and services, and, most importantly on this channel, customer reviews and company feedback. Yelp, like Facebook, is a great place for the company to gain consumer insight, and it’s also a great channel for responding to publicly posted comments regarding XYZ. Such responses should echo the company’s persona, and strive to be informative, professional, and friendly.

XYZ also has its own Google+ and Twitter accounts. While Google+ can act as a secondary channel on which to post content similar to that on Facebook, Twitter is a great place to both engage quick and simple customer tweets, and a great channel for XYZ to mention special offers or post eye-catching product pictures. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for XYZ to create a short, sweet company slogan–something catchy, easy to remember, and not too long to type, which can be used as a hashtag on Twitter and also on Facebook for duplicate posts, or posts regarding similar content. For example, in the summer months, while running a Facebook ad for cooling units, use the hashtag, “#XYZcooldeals”, and in the winter months, “#XYZhotdeals”.

A few final ideas…

IMC continues offline, and considering the company is targeting a thirty-mile emailing radius, it would be to their advantage to mention their company hashtags, social media pages, and/or website in any relevant special offers they place in emails, local newspapers, on billboards, or in physical handouts (anything from product and service pamphlets to business cards). The same rule applies to local radio ad spots.

Additionally, XYZ should follow companies in related industries on all channels, especially Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Keeping an eye on products, businesses, and services that other companies provide, and examining how they’re successfully engaging customers on social media can help inform XYZ’s social media marketing tactics going forward, and may result in valuable leads, or to professional networking, partnership, or contracting opportunities.

3 Brands and IMC: Wendy’s, Playstation, and Southwest Airlines

A few weeks ago I talked about three different brands’ blogs and why I thought they were successful based on content, features, design, how they were integrated with other channels, and so on. This week I’m going to do something a little similar and discuss three brands who are active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Youtube, and how they’re using IMC. Let’s start with…

Southwest Airlines

I’m going to start with the brand at the end of the list because as far as social media presence goes, frankly, it’s one of my favorite brands, and I think it sets an example to follow.

SW Air collage
Images from Southwest Airlines’s Facebook (left), Google+ (top right), and Instagram (bottom right), featuring the heart of its company–employees, customers, and their families.

The first two things I notice about Southwest Airlines’s social media presence is consistency, consistency, consistency…oh, and content galore. Southwest Air wastes no time letting consumers know it’s personable. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, or Youtube, the brand highlights the real, everyday people who give its company life–namely, its customers, its employees, and their families. Instagram is particularly abound with photos of the company’s planes, passengers, baggage handlers, flight attendants, pilots, and Facebook and Google+ even feature duplicated content highlighting celebrity fliers like Middleman Burr and Barenaked Ladies. If you don’t know of the latter, yes, the link is SFW.

SW twitter
#WineWednesday

You’ll find some of the same imagery across this brand’s channels, particularly photos and videos linked by hashtags like #Disneyland60, and the new, big one, #SouthWestHeart. However, the consistency isn’t cookie-cutter. Every channel does have unique content, such as a more spontaneous #WineWednesday post on Twitter. I think this balance between consistent and unique content is a great way to both link the company channels as well as drive consumers between them both ways.

Simple SW
The new Southwest Airlines tri-color heart, featured online, and now, onboard! (Photo and mention w/ permission).

That Southwest heart logo, before I forget, is a new, tri-color version of Southwest’s familiar, older one. It’s clearly central to their current look, as it appears on all of their media channels. The company has even begun to feature the logo onboard their planes, literally giving their machines a heart, as real-life Southwest Air flight attendant (and personal friend) Simple Flores demonstrated in her recent Instagram post (also pictured above/left).

Although Southwest Airlines’s Youtube and Google+ channels aren’t as frequently updated as their other sites but they do stay fresh, and the two do come together nicely to support the company’s video content, which is fantastic. Southwest Air uploads everything from company-wide service updates to more candid, on-the-ground employee and customer stories (see their “A Day In the Life” series), and customers contribute their own experiences such as entertaining vignettes like the one below:

SW listen team
The Southwest Airlines social media team (image source).

Before I move on, it’s also worth mentioning that there is an entire team dedicated to listening in on what consumers are saying about Southwest Air across all social media channels. This team doesn’t just watch, however, it’s tasked to providing as much real-time feedback to its audience as possible. Read more about it here on Southwest’s blog.

Let’s keep it weird, and continue moving through the list backwards, with…

Playstation

Playstation is one of the most prolific brands I can think of when it comes to social media and IMC. You can find the videogame giant just about everywhere. What strikes me about Playstation’s channels is the large amount of content. The company really loves to post images and videos–it makes up most of their overall content. In fact, their Google+ page, which is linked to Youtube, features so many video posts, it’s hard to tell apart from their Instagram.

Playstation collage
Playstation’s Google+ (left), Facebook (top right), and Instagram (bottom right) are all highly visual channels.

Like any brand with good IMC, Playstation is consistent. Its Twitter and Facebook pages are buddied up. They tend to stay updated with new, similar content such as release dates, previews, Playstation Network (PSN) coupons and offers, and the like. Meanwhile, it’s Google+ and Youtube channels tend to prioritize video sneak peaks and announcements. On Instagram, you’ll find more niche photos, such as Playstation products being showcased at big conventions like E3, or snapshots of product anniversaries and awards.

Playstation doesn’t seem to use as many hashtags as Southwest Air and other brands that I’ve seen. Perhaps the need is diminished by the company’s already-overwhelming presence in the gaming-focused corners of the social media world, or because Playstation’s content and posts contain a great variety of already highly-visible subjects whose tags are bringing in consumers as it is. High-profile, or “triple A”, titles like Star Wars Battlefront (see the preview trailer PS posted below) often already have followings so massive that extra effort just creates more meta tag clutter than anything.

Playstation complaintsMy one criticism of Playstation’s IMC isn’t that it’s not well-connected, or that it lacks content or cross-channel push and pull. The issue I see is that unlike other brands like Southwest Air, Shutterstock, Nike, or Starbucks, Playstation isn’t ranked among the “greats” of social media feedback and customer service. The company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are informative and fresh, but they tend to be ridden with unanswered comments and complaints. As popular as its products are, Playstation ought to invest some more effort in “being human” rather than risk applying old-fashioned “top-down” tactics to new media.

Wendy’s

Here’s a brand we all know, and one that I began paying more attention to while writing my blog post on Snapchat–Wendy’s.

Wendy's collage
Snippets from Wendy’s Google+ (left), Youtube (top right), and Instagram (bottom right).
Wendy's side by side
Wendy’s DTFA Coupon Books simultaneously posted on Twitter and Facebook, and check out that brand feedback! 

The way Wendy’s approaches its IMC is similar to the other two brands I’ve talked about in some topical ways. Consistency? Check. Content? Check. Hashtags and common videos and photos? Check. Wendy’s has the crucial basics, but I like some other things the brand throws into the spotlight. One is style. As you’d expect, the company’s Facebook and Twitter are content-sharing pals, as are its Google+ and Youtube accounts. I think we’ve established that as a popular big-brand tactic. And why not? It works well, and generates some push and pull. However, if you visit the Wendy’s Instagram you get something different…

Wendy's fries n frosty
Dipping fries in a Frosty–it’s like they know us.

There’s a noticeable interest in artistic depiction of Wendy’s food–not something you may expect from a place that serves up fast food, but hey, maybe I went in expecting too little. The photos are a cool mix of interesting, bird’s-eye-view shots of Wendy’s menu items and the hands of consumers holding and eating them. There are also some close-ups of employee uniforms and some homages to Dave Thomas. It’s a nice change-up, and it helps establish the brand’s Instagram as distinct from the others, rather than a “we-couldn’t-decide-exactly-what-to-put-here,” tag-along channel.

Wendy's twitter DTFA
Wendy’s tweets about their new cups supporting the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Something else I think works well for Wendy’s is that it doesn’t make excessive use of traditional hashtags in the headlines of tweets, or Facebook or Instagram posts. I think the company does well to use other key words and phrases to link its content together. Take Twitter, where it mentions @DTFA, or the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in tweets that feature stories of adopted children. These stories can also be found on a special Wendy’s Youtube playlist, “Adoption Stories – My First Family Memory“. The series uses multiple social channels to connect its audience animated short stories of real adoptees’ first family memories, such as the one below.

Well there you have it! What brands do you think are making the most of IMC? Visit the comments below and share your thoughts!