Social Brands 100 Youth Ranking is here!

After many months of planning and analysing, we are excited to announce that the first Social Brands 100 ranking on Youth Brands, is officially live.  You can download the white paper report and infographic from www.socialbrands100.com ; we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it. Also feel free to tweet us with any questions @socialbrands100.

2014 is the 4th year that we’ve benchmarked how top brands perform in social spaces – and this year we’ve focused on specialist rankings instead of one big list, which means that the launch of The Youth Ranking, is just the first part of the Social Brands 100 of 2014.

We had two partners for this report: Voxburners, an insight company who provided us with the source list of the 100 Youth Brands from their research into this market, and Socialbakers who provided the data that enabled us to rank the brand’s engagement. We examined three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. These platforms were chosen as they are the ones that generate the most engagement. We looked at data from a four week period in order to rank the brands. For more on the methodology please click here.

The #1 brand was Pizza Hut UK, who scored particularly highly on Twitter and Google +. They also came top out of the 11 other hospitality brands in the ranking. Next were Greggs, followed by Play.com and Waterstones. Other brands who featured in the top ten and scored highly on Twitter were Warburton’s (8), Play.com (3) and Pepsi Max (6).

Facebook remains the biggest platform for brands, even though some consumers are turning to other platforms in order to engage. The brands that performed best on Facebook were Pepsi Max, Comic Relief, Movember and Cancer Research UK. Content is a key factor in developing and maintaining a Facebook page, where successful engagement relies on creating relevant and timely content for the community.

The need for brands to create successful content strategies across all three platforms and not just Facebook is important. Never more, have brands needed to be flexible in their approach to social, to remain on top of trends.

The ranking showed us that Twitter is a tool used successfully by brands for engagement, whilst Facebook is more content driven. Google+ remains in the shadow of Facebook with only 53% of brands having a Google+ page.

A selection of the top five brands very kindly spoke to us about their winning social strategies, and how they manage to deliver engaging content on social channels.

For our no. 1 brand Pizza Hut, it’s not surprising that social media is extremely important to them. Amy Mahalla, the brand’s digital marketing manager says ‘it is a means for communicating and listening to consumers, testing new product ideas and offering consumers added value.’ Pizza Hut tries to keep their platforms, as social as the pastime of ordering pizza with friends. They say that ‘people get together to share their pizza and their stories with friends and family. Pizza Hut wants to ensure that we are creating memorable happy pizza moments for our customers.’

Pizza hut have an ‘integrated approach to social media’ and they understand the rate that social is growing, and have adapted their channels to keep in line with evolving social trends to market their products to consumers. Amy explains how they have ‘explored new areas of social, developing even richer, more valuable campaigns for our customers.’

Greggs, who may be better known for their pasties, are becoming increasingly popular on social media. Coming in at  #2 in the Social Brands 100 Youth ranking, we spoke to Neil Knowles who is Greggs Digital Brand Manager, who said “it’s definitely a main factor, in anything we do as it one of, if not the most important channels we have in reaching out to our customers. We want to make sure our content is as engaging as possible, that’s probably the first step for our audience.” Using a friendly informal tone of voice, Greggs have managed to capture the youth audience with humour and banter with their responses to customers. Creative campaigns such as #PastySanta have also captured the youth’s attention, turning Greggs into must follow platform. Their low cost value and friendly approach, means that social has worked wonder for brand awareness for Greggs. We also spoke to Play.com who ranked #3 in our top 100, Carol Dray, marketing director said they ‘make posts visual and exciting; funny photos or videos are much more likely to be shared amongst their wider network than content that is just a sales plug. We make sure all content is worthy of sharing and don’t post if it’s not”. From the ranking and speaking to the top brands, it’s easy to see that engaging content isn’t always content that is 100% relevant to your brand; it’s about getting your brand out there and being approachable to customers. You can read more from the in-depth case studies from top brands, in the report which you can download from http://www.socialbrands100.com.

Overall, it’s not as complicated as you may think to attract a youth audience to your brand. Whilst Facebook may still be the overall primary social platform, its growth is slowing, showing that fans may be turning to other platforms to connect with their favourite brands. Successful Facebook pages boast engagement with their fans, replying to customers and joining in with positive and negative conversations. But the key is posting relevant engaging content, that is structured but also has the ability to be flexible and on trend, something which is a must for capturing the attention of a youth audience.

Twitter is a tool that is growing for consumer communication, with many brands using the platform as a chance to communicate with customers and engage in conversation. Adapting the right tone of voice is essential and something that the top youth brands have managed successfully.

Google+ is a growing platform and something that we predict will grow with time, from this ranking we also predict that other platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine are also platforms where youth users are heading, and are a place where brands can jump on board.

Ultimately, content is the winning element for any successful social network, and at Headstream, we firmly believe in carefully planned content strategies that can also be agile and flexible. We work with a content marketing strategy framework, which helps brands create bespoke user journeys to simulate each customer phase. This enables us to work out what content is relevant for each phase of the journey and tailor our strategies accordingly.

If you’d like any more information on the content marketing strategy framework or how Headstream could help your brand, don’t hesitate to contact Tom.chapman@headsteam.com or give us a call on 02380 828 525. For any more questions or info about Social Brands 100, you can either see our report, methodology or give us a tweet on @socialbrands100.

9 Things That Wowed Us This Week In Social Media..

  1. ‘That Selfie’ Ellen DeGeneres Oscars Selfie

This week seems to have been the week of the selfie. The 86th Academy Awards took place on Sunday evening, but come Monday morning what were we talking about in the office? The winners? Discussing the outfits? Hmm no. It was all about host Ellen DeGeneres’s selfie. We won’t go into too much detail as we’re sure like us; you’ve seen more of that selfie this week than you have of your Mum. With over 3.2 million retweets, it’s become the most retweeted tweet EVER! It even broke Twitter, it really shows just how much we love a selfie.

Of course we have seen many parody selfies over the week, The Simpsons one is up there as our favourite but it seems that Ellen’s selfie has inspired many others to jump on the selfie bandwagon.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic took a selfie mid way through playing in a exhibition match at Madison Square Garden’s to celebrate #WorldTennisDay on Tuesday. Whilst Andy opted for a standard selfie, Novak went for a slightly more playful approach. We love these selfies from two of the world’s best tennis players, but lads, an in focus photo never hurt anyone. #justsaying

We are big fans of Ellen DeGeneres, she even featured in our Social Brands 100 2013 list. Ranking 4 in our entertainment category, and we know why. With her amusing, endearing tweets, and well those hilarious manip’s she creates, just why wouldn’t you follow her?

2. Is Twitter The New Must Have TV Companion?

Whilst the Ellen selfie was the main talking point of the Oscars, we can’t forget the ceremony itself. Twitter released stats this week, revealing that there were an incredible 3.3 billion impressions of Oscars tweets worldwide. During the ceremony, 19.1 million tweets were sent out and 37 million people viewed those tweets though Twitter’s mobile and desktop applications. This almost matches to the 42 million people who actually watched the Oscars. With stats like this it really does reinforce how differently we watch television these days. In January it was reported that 60% of Twitter users are watching TV at the same time.

 3. SXSWI

This weekend Austin, Texas sees the annual SXSW Interactive festival roll into town. In previous years, big names in social media such as Twitter and Foursquare have come out of SXSW. This year, it seems that E-commerce apps, wearables and apps from across the globe are set to be this year’s success startup stories. We’re intrigued and excited to see what comes from this year’s SXSWi, check next week’s 9 things to see what wowed us from the festival.

  4. Getty Opens Its Image Library To Bloggers

Getty Images announced this week that they are making 35 million (!) of their images free for non commercial use. Disrupting the photographic industry, bloggers will now be able to embed Getty Images into their posts for no cost at all. This not only benefits online users, but also Getty themselves. They hope that embedding photos for free will bring them traffic to their site, image attribution and provide them with analytics of how and where images are being used to use for their advantage. We think this is a great opportunity for Getty and social media users.

 5. Visify is acquired by Yahoo.

Social data website Visify has been bought out by internet giants Yahoo this week. Speaking in a statement on their website, Visify say how they are ‘sunsetting’ the website to create visual data for Yahoo. The website itself will be shut down and for current paid plan users; they’ll be given a full refund. Neither Visify nor Yahoo have yet revealed their plans for the future. We wait with baited breath.

 6. Blendle Set To Be The New iTunes For News.

 A Norwegian start-up is looking to change the way we read news online. Blendle is a new app that lets you read all the major newspapers and magazines in one place. Users will pay a single paywall and then by simply clicking they can pay for whatever articles they read. Not only can users read a plethora of articles, but they can also see what articles are trending and what stories friends/influencers have shared. There are many other functions to the app such as setting up email alerts for articles on specific subjects or keywords. The app launches in Holland in April, but the creators have promised other countries will be able to get the app soon. If it’s a success, Blendle could revolutionise the way that we read news online, and that is an exciting prospect.

 7. The Friday Read: UK Social Media Attitudes by Social Media London

UK Social Media Users Attitudes 

This week Social Media London released new statistics about the attitudes of UK Social Media users. How would you feel if you lost your Facebook account? 13% said they’d be devastated whilst 45% would be annoyed and the remaining 42% didn’t care. Which camp are you in? Among the statistics, Facebook ( 56%) and Twitter (23%) were revealed as the top two visited social networks in the past month. Definitely worth a look.

 8. The Weekly Chuckle: ‘Dave Calling’

We love twitter for many reasons. But on Wednesday evening, we were reminded of just how much. When David Cameron tweeted a very serious picture of himself ‘on the phone’ to Barack Obama, pretty soon Twitter, was full of viral parody photos. The most famous parodies were from comedian Rob Delaney, writer Michael Moreno and actor Patrick Stewart. It definitely brightened up our evening. The only question now is, was it really Barack on the other line?

9. Cool App of the Week: Wake Up and Smell The Bacon

If you’re anything like us, getting out of bed in the morning can be quite the struggle. However this new app developed by Oscar Mayer (an American meat and cold cut production company FYI) could mean you’re waking up to the smell (and sound) of bacon being cooked. Wake Up and Smell the Bacon, is a revolutionary app and iphone dongle, which when plugged into the headphone jack, the waft of bacon cooking is released as your alarm goes off. If this sounds up your street, we have bad news. Sadly it isn’t for general sale, but you can enter a quiz on the Oscar Mayer website where you’ll have the chance to win the exclusive app and dongle. The competition is running till the 4th of April, 2014.  We think this is an imaginative way to get people out of bed, but to be honest we’d rather be presented with an actual bacon sandwich on awaking from our slumber.

Social Brands 100 case study: Kiss FM

What is it about cats? According to Kiss FM Web Editor Karen Campbell, pictures of cats along with other funny pictures, competitions and funny games and tasks requiring listener response are the most engaging forms of content for its social media community. Continue reading

#TheStream – Issue 35

Google stock hit a near 52-week high following the first day of their annual I/O event in San Francisco last Wednesday – this week we’re dedicating #TheStream to brief summary of what was announced. Continue reading

From ASOS to Waitrose: Retail brands dominate Social Brands 100 shortlist

Retail brands make up a quarter of this year’s Social Brands 100 shortlist. Brands from sixteen industries appear on the list with Charity, Travel, FMCG and Publishing & Media the most represented after Retail – the same five industries that led the shortlist last year. Over 700 brands from 23 industries were included in Social Brands 100 this year, more than twice that of 2012. Continue reading

#The Stream – Issue 32

All kinds of interesting news this week – from Tumblr’s in-feed ads to the false tweet that sent the U.S. stocks into momentary free-fall; welcome to the #TheStream Issue 32. Continue reading

Social Brands 100 Q&A: Simplyhealth (part two)

Here’s part two of our conversation with Simplyhealth Social Media Manager Natalie Kitcher. Today we talk about the insurance provider’s partnership with Heart Research UK, trying out social TV, and engaging in social media in a regulated environment. Continue reading