After being asked by several friends and clients on the latest country data for social media in Portugal, and realizing there was no shared information or interest by platforms on sharing the stats, the best thing to do is to post some information here. Please note that this is a first draft, based on data i had readily available, and hopefully more people can contribute to this resource.
66.2% of Internet users follow brands or companies on Social Networks (source: Marktest)
85% have used social networks on mobile (source: Marktest)
36% of organizations use at least one form of social media (source: Eurostat, 2013)
9% of organizations have a formal social media policyÂ Â (source:Â Eurostat, 2013)
6%Â Â of organizations have a blog or microblog Â (source:Â Eurostat, 2013)
How do you end a Facebook Page with over 800k fans?
This was the challenge faced by Fullsix when TMN,Â the largest carrier brand in Portugal, merged into MEO, the main brand of Portugal Telecom group. With the campaign message â€œMEO the other life of tmnâ€, all TMN social presences had to be either migrated Â or closed.
TMN went a little further and invited each fan to claim and remove one of the 4000+ posts published since 2009, with the chance to win a smartphone for each 250 posts removed. Fans then visited MEOâ€™s Facebook Page, where once all TMN posts are gone, Â they could Â become part of another life as MEO fans!
Disclaimer: TMN is a client
Agency: Fullsix Portugal
Creative Direction: Armando Alves
Copywriter: Mafalda Quintela
Art Director: Francisco Chatimsky
Designer: JoÃ£o Travessa
Multimedia Direction: Francisco Coelho
Developer: Paulo LagoÃ¡
Thereâ€™s a silent David vs Goliath battle going on the past few months. Itâ€™s something that was given as a fact to many brand managers on local markets, and few voices have spoken about.
With Facebook reaching 1 billion, some brands took notice of the audience available when adding all the numbers from local markets , deciding it was best to migrate these local presences into one big global one. Examples include Heineken or Martini, that recently consolidated their Facebook presence.
Usually this process a brand representative with a large media budget negotiating with Facebook for a gradual migration of fans that previously followed the local brand Page (e.g. Heineken UK or LÃ¢ncome Brasil).
Migration is usually smooth with fans unaware of it, which if I find not very transparent and trustworthy. If someone follows a local Page, they should be allowed to know of the change and whether they would like to keep the affiliation on a global level.
Before the migration happens, local teams (clients and agencies) are usually trained on a social media management service that allows them to localize content for their countries. Popular enterprise solutions include BuddyMedia (recently acquired by Salesforce), Vitrue (recently acquired by Oracle), Syncapse, Lithium, Shoutlet or Adobe Social (formerly Context Optional).
Which bring us to the big question: is a global presence better than a local one?
Local beats global
Being from a small country, I could advocate for global presence if resources and experience actually became available going global. Which almost never happens. It often happens that local markets are much more advanced in regards to content production and community management, and even if local teams are briefed initially on social media best practices and guidelines, itâ€™s rather superficial and condescending. Global has perhaps more resources (or deeper pockets) in analytics or social business, but thatâ€™s not what weâ€™re really discussing here, is it?
Itâ€™s not even for debate if community management should be done globally (can you picture the cultural clash of someone who doesnâ€™t live the culture of the country daily), as the social media management solutions at least allow wall publishing, localized per country.
These are harsh criticisms, but Iâ€™m not alone. Brian Solis previously adressed the subject, claiming that â€œin 2012 and over the next few years, going local will only improve engagement, resonance, and ultimately commerce in the last mileâ€, after looking at the data from T-Index that shows how the US will no longer be the center of the social media world, or at least English is not necessarily the language of a global presence.
The relevance of local pages is even more striking through the lens of community management. As Sarah Hansson of Dannish agency Mindjumpers states, â€œfor international brands, tactics should include to leverage local community management in order to connect and engage local markets with authenticity.â€
And it’s not only opinion, but also data showing that staying local pays off:
Hearsay Social reports â€œfive times more reach and eight times more engagement per fan reached â€ on a local level.
Disclaimer: Fullsix is a SocialBakers Trusted Agency Partner. Which actually makes it much harder to ignore the data.
Federated Or Distributed
Currently, we have two major models of managing a Facebook presences globally, which I caracterize as Federated and Distributed. I) Federated or Global
Local markets are managed from a single global presence, using geolocated wall posts on Facebook, respecting global social media guidelines.
Global content can sometimes be reviewed by local markets, with vendor solutions providing editorial roles for local markets and corresponding publishing permissions.
Examples include Heineken or Martini.
Local markets have their own presences, with access to complete set of Facebook features, respecting global social media guidelines.
Global content can be distributed to local markets with vendor solution, with local review and translation, published on scheduled date by global.
Examples include Ben&Jerry’s (disclaimer: client) and Starbucks.
From my experience of managing over 30 brand pages in Portugal, I’ve found some serious problems when using a Federated approach:
a) Reduced scope of native Facebook features: Album, notes and event creation not possible but only wall posts.
b) Rollback not possible: one cannot decouple after going global
c) Customer service hell: if someone comments in portuguese on a global post, local markets can’t reply.
d) Severe limitations regarding the use of Facebook Platform: tabs are usually limited by country (if even possible), with reduced visibility and usually confusing users
e) Economies of scale don’t work on people: Resources and setup for coordination between global and local markets actually increase
If you’re trying to convince global headquarters to stay local, if showing the problems above is not enough, there’s still Facebook. The rumours of Facebook testing the feature to keep local pages, while aggregating the fan count and insights and management on a global level, might just save brands that kept local presences.
LÃ¢ncome was the only presence I could find that indicates this is going forward (drop a comment if you know more), showing that brands that took the risky dive of merging all the local markets, no longer have the chance to rollback. Those who were keen to see the value of local markets can now benefit the best from both worlds: globally aware but locally engaged.
Recognizing this problem is one thing, more difficult is to actually try to find a solution that solves the current situation. From loss aversion to the invested resources, thereâ€™s not much interest on changing things as they are, but we can at least could avoid doing the same mistakes on brands that havenâ€™t decided yet to take the leap to global social media management.
For those lucky ones, thereâ€™s hope on what we learned so far:
Start by organizing globally but gathering feedback from the more advanced markets. They have a lot to contribute and a more tactical approach that usually provides valuable feedback on practical problems.
Build a global content hub. Not mandatory, but rather based on assets legally approved and with localized permissions (e.g. accessing marketing materials for products that arenâ€™t available in local markets)
Keep content and creative local. It shows when you just craft global content that means nothing to local markets. This is specially relevant for sponsored posts and Facebook ads, which are the least practical thing to do globally, except for worldwide events such as the Olympics.
Facilitate knowledge sharing, either formally (wiki or intranet) or informally (email). Global management can audit and analyze best practices, sharing them to all markets.
This discussion should involve clients and agencies, and not so much vendors that are keen to push their solutions despite having no control over the platforms where brands are. Watching their recent rush on being acquired, Iâ€™m rather suspicious if their commercial interests are in line with what brands really need. In the end, brands and agencies should be having this discussion with Facebook, finding solutions that would benefit both parties.
One of my core beliefs in social media marketing is â€œmaking your customers feel awesomeâ€. I see no evidence of how having a global presence managed with a social media service helps me do it better. Discuss.
â€œShare this chair if you think 1 billion people are on Facebook.â€
It’s the kind of update one gets used to when you’re dealing with Facebook for a while.
The social network celebrated 1 billion members with this video, and while it some find it inspiring, the chair metaphor has a more depressing feeling for me, as it represents the state of conformity, of not moving on and being satisfied with the current state of social media.
Because you can be one amongst one billion that uses the cognitive surplus only to share kittens or you can be a part of other forms of participatory culture by writing your own blog, being an editor on Wikipedia or remixing from the Creative Commons.
Stand up from the chair, leave the walled garden, and find all the other things that are much better than Facebook at connecting people.
Last August, Coke shared a glimpse of their creative agenda, toward content excellence. Have a look at part 1 and part 2, if not for the visual mapping.
Besides the marketing lingo, there’s one part that interested me the most: Liquid Content, or how content can be apart but share the same molecular brand DNA. Liquid content assumes the brand acts as a catalyst for play and takes risks in a culture of creativity.
On the same presentation, Coke shared their 70/20/10 principles of Liquid Content, where 70% of investiment is dedicated to low risk content, 20% to innovation and 10% to high risk / prepare to fail content.
No surprise then that Coke is launching simple initiatives such as Falling Dominoes, with a Coke Bottle on a digital Rube Goldberg animation.
The site was revealed as part of exclusive “liquid content” for Coke’s Facebook page, with a new riddle revealing a new microsite every day, such as BlowingBubblesinthesky.com.
One of the best examples i’ve seen that fully understands the importance of exclusive content on Facebook (specially on the new Timeline).
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
ECDs: Eric Quennoy, Mark Bernath
Creatives: Daniel Maxwell, Nacho Guijarro, Ivan Cash
Digital production: Random, Amsterdam
Great idea (and partnership with Facebook) by print-on-demand service Moo.com, using the new Timeline view to create business cards.
Using your Cover Photo, Timeline layout and typography, Moo’s application can turn your Timeline into a pack of business card with your primary details using Facebook’s API. On the back, you can add your own quotation or sentence about yourself.
To make your own Facebook cards just go to your http://www.facebook.com/yourfacebookusername/info and hover on the business card on your contact info – the first 50000 ones get printed for free 🙂
We’re still seeing the fans and followers arms race â€” businesses trying to gather as many fans as possible. But I think that’s fundamentally wrong. It’s more important to focus on quality, not quantity, of connections.
For example, many brands run competitions on social media platforms. You have to “Like” or “Follow” that business to enter. So the question is whether they are making connections with advocates of their brand, or with people who simply love competitions. If it’s the latter, then they’re filling their social media interactions and data with noise.
As I mentioned earlier, people are often most influenced by their closest friends. So only make connections with true advocates of your brand, and market to the friends of those fans.
â€” Paul Adams, Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook
One of my favorite bloggers, Jonathan MacDonald, has a regular category on the subject of fallacies. While not half as smart, I’ll try to write about a question posted on Quora, a common trap some marketers are prone to believe in: that what matters on Facebook is the number of fans (or more awkwardly, likes).
“If numbers are your strategy to win at this thing, you’ve already lost. This thing is not a game. There is no winning. There is only mattering. If you don’t understand that, you aren’t making a difference.” â€”Â Jeffrey Zeldman
Zeldman puts it best, it’s the relationship that matters. The amount of influence you can have on your fans, the power to affect their behavior, and ultimately drive their purchase intentions, are achieved when you care about your fans and not by a shallow, quick fix numbers race. Continue reading The Facebook Fans Fallacy