Marketers, take note: Social engagement is not about the quantity of followers, but the quality and timing of your interactions with them. That's a few of the findings from Yesmail Interactive's new report, "Using Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success." The email services provider used proprietary software to collect, track, and analyze all digital campaigns deployed through email, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for 20 leading retailers, including Ralph Lauren, The Gap, Ann Taylor, J Crew, and Old Navy.
Some of the report’s key takeaways:
- Facebook campaigns receive the highest level of activity on Tuesdays, yet that day is fourth in terms of when campaigns are deployed.
- Twitter campaigns generally take place on Fridays, which is the least engaging day in terms of retweets.
- Most of the interaction on YouTube occurs on Mondays, but it is the least-used weekday for campaigns.
- Campaigns deployed between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. ET are an “engagement goldmine.” Based on volume, however, the report found this time slot was the least used for deployment.
“If you look at a particular segment of customers, you may find that 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning is a good time to interact with them, and when you use this information it’s critical to understanding … your customer is a mom and may be running an errand [then],” which would be a better time to talk to her, said Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail, in an interview with CMO.com.
Companies should make sure their communication efforts are similar and coordinated around the various formats they’re using, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or email, Fisher said. “When you’re coordinated, it delivers better and more results,’’ he said. “You should take into account the format and shouldn’t be competing [against it] and delivering a conflicting message.”
This shows the level of engagement a retailer has and when it is overstimulating customers, he explained. “Format does matter, and your message, your creative, should be bulletproof," Fisher said. "Social is here to stay, it’s mobile, and it should be rendered appropriately. Whatever message I sent you should be consistent when I post to Facebook [and] when I open it on my phone. It should be consistent with what’s happening when I open it on my iPad and my PC.”
The reason, Fisher said, is that customers interact with messages at different times and places and want the same experience. One of the surprising findings of the report is uncoordinated messaging remains prevalent. If customers get a competing offer in an email as opposed to what they see on Facebook, then “they won’t interact with it,’’ he said. “When people are confused, they look for clarity. There’s too much noise in the market, and if they have to decipher what you’re trying to say in your marketing message, they’ll go somewhere where the message is clear.”
The report notes that while it’s no surprise the highest volume of Twitter and Facebook interactions are based on the sheer size, popularity, and marketing resources of the retailers, things change when interactions are tracked by volume versus actual social-channel engagement. For example, in volume, clothing retailer Forever 21 ranked highest among the 20 retailers in engagement, and Eddie Bauer the lowest.
“There is a valuable lesson to be learned from insights from volume-based and actual engagement,’’ the report states. “On one hand, volume-based engagement is representative of a brand’s prominence within its industry. It also provides a great way to effectively track follower growth over any specific time frame and thus allows marketers to assess the effectiveness of a brand’s marketing efforts and the customer’s overall satisfaction with its product.”
But on the flip side, in terms of actual engagement on Facebook and Twitter, the “true engagement champions” were Abercrombie & Fitch and The Limited, the report found.
Fisher also advised companies to “take a step back” to see how channels integrate and “work to embrace the customer, instead of an ‘I don’t care about the customer, only about the revenue I general per channel’ [attitude].”
“More campaigns and more messages delivered to inbox don’t necessarily mean more embracement and better brand image and engagement from consumer,’’ Fisher notes.