Ford's Facebook page clearly shows where they've come from and their history and it goes to show in their comments, where readers upload pictures of their Ford's. Many of the pictures are of 20+ year old cars of the past.
Encouraging people to think about how long your brand has been part of their lives reminds them of its role in their personal history. Shared memories can spark conversations between fans, strengthening the community.
Chevrolet, an obvious direct competitor, takes a modern approach appealing to the younger generation. Their page mostly focuses on small talk with their tweet stream. According to Facebook statistics, Ford's tactics pull in a larger crowd.
This week's highlighted topics include Invisible Children, Politics and Phones.
Invisible Children's Facebook page showed enormous growth in the last week. Gaining millions of fans and tens of thousands of posts, a number of the topics come from their page.
Politics continues as a strong topic. With Obama and Santorum continuing to be highlighted as top topics.
The final topic we're highlighting this week is phone, with phone manufacturer pages continuing to drive a great deal of discussion.
You can see our weekly email sent out from Campaign Monitor (which is awesome) here.
What you can see below is a massive spike in conversation engagement on the Sleep Number Facebook page, of all places. At the time of writing this, Sleep Number's fan page is just under 65,000 fans and it appears that half of those may be in response to the recent Rush Limbaugh outburst. Think Progress tried to comment on the number of advertisers who left but advertisers are dropping so fast it can be hard to keep count.
The interesting thing to note here is how popular a medium Facebook has become when it comes time to state an opinion or start a conversation with a corporation. Sleep Number practically doubled their like count over night, more than likely a response from users liking their page in order to show disinterest in their current relationship with Rush Limbaugh. What happens shortly after is no surprise.
"Due to recent commentary by Rush Limbaugh that does not align with our values, we’ve made the decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program."
Stranger still, when looking at the emotional context of the conversation over the past few weeks, some followers thought the decision to pull the advertisement was a week careless decision.
"I will never buy your product if you pull your ads from Rush. I don't even listen to Rush, but I despise companies like yours who will pander to hysteria and political correctness and through your actions try to suppress free speech."
Which only furthers the saying, "you can't win'em all."
While a lot of companies are already aware of the importance of social media and the way that followers have grown to use this medium to their advantage and reach out to otherwise distant corporations, I think it's helpful for brands with a smaller presence to recognize the spontaneity of social media and the viral snowball phenomenon.
Sleep Number doubled their 30,000 like count over night because of someone else's opinions and actions. What are you doing to monitor your social media efforts?
We can use Fathom Analytics for Facebook to understand how bike companies engage with their customers on Facebook.
First we loaded all of the brands into Fathom Analytics, we used our new bookmarklet tool to add the brands. Just go to facebook and then add the page you’re currently on by using the bookmarklet.
Looking at the score for major bike manufacturers we can see that there is a pretty wide range of scores but Trek, Specialized and Giant emerge as 3 leaders to watch and learn from.
Using our landscape tool we can see the number of fan likes and posting activity for the various brands. While Trek has a huge lead in likes ~230k, Specialized is the leader in posting activity.
Specialized shows posting activity of 30 to more than a hundred per day. Using our conversation topics tool we can get a quick read on that conversation.
Posting activity on Specialized’s page shows lots of conversation on bike (obviously) but also team and race. Reading through some sample posts shows that a lot of the posts are about Specialized’s racing team and the Facebook page serves as a place to talk about the latest happenings for the team. Looking at Giant and Trek’s pages shows a similar pattern with lots of team and race discussions.
Finally we can compare the emotional context of the 3 major brands. We see very similar shapes for each brand however Specialized shows a peak around frustration. By clicking on the peak in the chart we can see some of the top liked posts around frustration have to do with the brake components.
Wrapping it all up
Using fathom analytics for Facebook we can quickly see the competitive landscape of bike manufacturers and easily understand what topics are discussed. There’s clearly an opportunity for these pages to broaden their fan appeal by reaching out beyond hard core race fans (see our 20 tips on increasing engagement).
Also, we can see that Fathom Analytics can be used to understand emotions and identify problems and solutions to common frustrations.