The popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has grown exponentially over the last five years. Having been adopted by the masses, social media has inevitably become the promotional playground for marketing teams big and small; a staple in any marketing mix worth its salt. So now that it’s become an established marketing norm, we decided to see how New Zealand brands are actually performing on social media.

Social Media Stars

Earlier this year we pulled 19 New Zealand B2C brands out of a hat, a hat which only contained those brands we had no affiliation with (at the time of research) and therefore no access to insights/analytics. We then recorded social media data for each brand over a three month period (ending March 2015). The lucky brands were:

 

Youi Insurance

Whittaker’s

Z Energy

Pak ‘N’ Save

Farmers

Mitre 10

Burger Fuel

 

Toyota

Purina

ASB Bank

St John

ANZ

Wattie’s

AMP Scholarships

 

Coca Cola

Air New Zealand

NZ Tax Refunds

Xero

Fisher & Paykel

 

*Note some of these brands are global or have foreign ownership, but all have a unique New Zealand presence.

Our basket of data was bulging at the seams and the job ahead seemed quite daunting at that point, so we decided to set some finite parameters around:

01/ Assessment Criteria

02/ Social Media Platforms

 

But if you want to skip the nerdy stuff, you can head straight to:

03/ The Results

04/ The Conclusion

 

01/ Assessment Criteria

 

Community size refers to the number of people who, for example, like, follow or subscribe to the platform.

Volume of content refers to the average number of times a brand posts per month on a given platform. This often indicates the size of the investment the brand is making into social media, where their resources (such as time, money and knowledge) are being focused and whether in fact the brand even has a strategy.

Engagement refers to how a brand and consumer interact and connect within their networks of relevance. The platforms each have a number of measures of engagement such as likes, comments, re-tweets and video views. We’ve used these to determine what is considered a good, average or poor engagement rate and therefore the quality of content being posted by these brands. Note that engagement refers to organic engagement.

We then gave an overall rating out of ten for the brand.

02/ The Platforms

Facebook

Facebook is used by around 2.8 million New Zealanders, ranging from 13 to 65+ years. The largest percentage of Facebook users are aged 18 – 29, with a skew toward females. Without context or knowing how long the Facebook account has been active, it is difficult to determine what a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ community size is.

With regards to volume of content, a good number of times for a brand to post is approximately two to four times a week, or 12-17 times a month on average. Once a day is considered an upper limit. Posting more than once a day can annoy Facebook users, reducing potential engagement. Posting at least once per week is a lower limit and posting less than this on average per week (while remaining active on the platform) is considered to be poor.

‘Interactions’ are used to measure engagement. On Facebook, interactions translate into likes, comments and shares on posts made by the brand. Pre-timeline, the average lifetime of a post on Facebook was 22 hours. Research now suggests that the average lifetime is just three hours. This presents a challenge for organisations in being able to create content that will be made available to their audience, while staying true to their objectives, purpose, and brand DNA. Therefore, success lies largely in the content. Facebook doesn’t show all posts made by a brand to each and every one of their followers, however the more interactions a post receives, the more likely that post is to be shown to other followers of the brand, therefore increasing engagement.

To be considered engaging, content must either add value (educate the audience), be fun or interactive (such as asking the audience for their opinion), or incentivised (for example: comment on this post and go in to the draw to win) while relating to the target audience and purpose of the brand.

Engagement will vary depending on community size, post frequency, how long the brand has been active on the platform and the industry that the brand operates within. This can be said for engagement across all social media platforms. Engagement rate per community member is calculated by dividing the engagement rate per published item (engagement/average publishing frequency) by the community size. According to Michael Leander, above 1% engagement is considered to be good, while 0.5% – 0.99% is considered average and below 0.5% considered poor.

Average Facebook Engagement Rates

Guide for average Facebook engagement rates

Source: Michael Leander

Twitter

Twitter also has a large target audience, with users ranging in age from 13 to 65+. The majority of Twitter users are young adults, particularly female, aged 15 – 24.

Unlike Facebook (where posts that receive more interactions are more likely to be shown to followers), Twitter shows every Tweet made by a brand to every one of that brand’s followers. However, unless a follower is constantly watching their Twitter feed, they’re most likely to miss a lot of the content being posted by that brand. Therefore, the average lifetime of a Tweet is a lot shorter than that of a Facebook post and the average number of Tweets per week/month should be higher.

The objective of the platform and how active a brand is on Twitter will largely determine what a good, average or poor number of Tweets per week is. According to marketingland.com, brands that tweet two to three times a day will typically reach approximately 30% of their followers in one week. Therefore, the engagement rates (good, average, and poor) for Twitter are roughly half that of Facebook engagement rates. A study conducted by Social Bakers found that three tweets per day is where the highest amount of engagement can be seen. On Twitter, engagement refers to replies, retweets, and favourites on Tweets made by the brand.

Average Twitter Engagement Rates

Guide for average Twitter engagement rates

Source: Marketingland.com

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the third-fastest growing social network. Its users range from the age of 14 to 65+, however it is the network of choice for graduates and educated professionals with higher than average incomes. Males aged 25 – 54 comprise the largest percentage of users in New Zealand, however there is a relatively even ratio of men and women users. LinkedIn is also the principal platform for business-to-business communications.

According to Buffer Social, the most in-demand content among LinkedIn members is industry insights, followed by company news and updates regarding new products and services. Therefore useful, informative updates receive the highest engagement rates. Interaction (used to measure engagement) on LinkedIn refers to likes, comments, and shares. A report orchestrated by LinkedIn found that 20 posts per month reached approximately 60 percent of a brand’s LinkedIn audience and is the ideal posting frequency, while a single update reaches approximately 20 percent. The best-in-class marketers posted three to four times a day, or 80 posts per month. The average engagement rate on LinkedIn for all business pages is between 0.3-0.5%. Below this or above this rate is considered poor or good respectively.

YouTube

YouTube is the top online destination for those wanting to view videos. While the video network is considered to be dominated by a younger demographic, the largest percentage (approximately two-thirds) of YouTube users are aged 18 to 34 years old. Users however range in age from 13 to 65+.

Due to the nature of YouTube, we refer to consumption (video views) relative to the number of subscribers to a channel rather than engagement. However, a study by Brendan Gahan shows that YouTube’s average engagement rate is roughly 20 times more than that of Facebook. This data was collected using the top five brands from around the world on each platform; therefore it may not align with the research we’ve collected. Nonetheless, we can assume that the average consumption on YouTube is much higher than that of Facebook. This could largely be due to the fact that Facebook’s business model is changing to favour advertising and are aiming to drive organic reach down to 0%.

Because YouTube posts require somewhat more effort than posts on other social media platforms, the average number of posts per week/month tends to be less. Brands should be posting fresh content on the platform regularly – even once or twice a month is good. Many brands simply post two or three videos of their TVCs at one time and not post again for a while. If the brand is not posting regular content, they’re not using the platform well. More than once a month is considered good, while once a month is considered average and less than this poor.

We therefore measure ‘engagement’ by the percentage of channel subscribers who have watched the video. For example, a channel has 100 subscribers. A particular video had 5 views – therefore the ‘engagement’ is 5%. Because the data was collected from a period of three months, we’ve taken the average consumption rate from these videos over the period of three months.

Google+

According to Business Insider, only nine percent of Google+’s 2.2 billion users actively post content. Although it is the second largest social network, it isn’t as popular or highly engaged as the other platforms, having the lowest percentage of active users.

The largest proportion of Google+ users are men, aged 25 to 34. Of all the major social networks, it is the most male-orientated (71%) and used predominantly by the technologically savvy: early adopters, engineers, developers and designers. Due to the nature of the platform, content needs to be “smart”: information that typically originates in “unstructured” formats that can be found and reused, making it profitable for the creator and useful for the consumer.

Engagement is calculated as the sum of +1’s, shares and comments on each branded post on Google+, as a percentage of the brand’s total number of followers. Unlike some of the other more popular and active social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, not much research (such as the optimum number of times to post on the platform each week/month) on Google+ has been done. Facebook resembles the Google+ model the closest; therefore the optimal volume of content can be taken from that and used as a guideline (such as a one post per day upper limit) when posting on Google+.

Content posted on Google+ impacts results in Google’s search engine, thus content posted on the platform should be optimised to take advantage of this. Because content posted on social media has a relatively short shelf life it won’t thrive organically for long. Repurposing Facebook content for Google+ is a good way to increase its shelf life, while increasing the brand’s ranking on Google – the world’s most popular search engine.

In 2014, a Forrester Research study of more than three million user interactions on 2,500 brand posts across seven social networks found that Google+ posts generated almost as much engagement as their respective Facebook posts. While this may not hold true for these platforms in New Zealand, it shows the potential that Google+ had as a social media platform.

Flickr

Flickr’s user demographic is typically individuals aged 30+ who are passionate about photography. Photo researchers and bloggers also frequent the site.

The community refers to the number of members a group has on Flickr. There is no research or evidence to suggest what a ‘good’ sized community is on Flickr, nor what a good/poor number of times to post each week/month is. Most companies don’t have an official Flickr account; many of the groups are created and run by avid consumers of the brand. Therefore there can be a large number of contributors to the group, posting anywhere between one to hundreds of photos per day. Engagement on Flickr refers to favourites, comments, and shares on photos.

Pinterest

Pinterest has the heaviest gender imbalance of all the social media platforms (approximately eighty percent), with those aged 35 and older being the most frequent users. Pinterest’s user demographic is largely interested in crafts, interior design, fashion and D.I.Y. The largest percentage of users also tend to have higher than average incomes ($65,000 – $125,000).

On Pinterest, the community size refers to number of followers a brand has. According to Adweek.com, brands should add new pins to their boards between four and ten times per day, with five said to be the “sweet spot”.  Pinterest is a high-volume network, therefore posting only a couple of times each week will not receive high levels of engagement. However, with Pinterest it’s more about quality rather than quantity. Vertical photos are also proven to have higher engagement as they take up more of the screen. Engagement refers to the number of re-pins and likes on pins (posts) made by the brand. 

Due to a lack of research on Pinterest, it’s difficult to determine what percentage of engagement is considered good, average, or poor. We’ve looked at the engagement rates across all brands on this platform and compared them to one another to determine how well they’re performing.

Instagram

Instagram’s audience is typically younger. The largest percentage of Instagram users are aged between 13 and 34 (90%) and typically own their own smartphone. There’s a skew toward women (68%) and those living in urban areas.

Every industry is different and therefore so is the number of times a brand should post, including the time(s) of day they post. The optimal number of times to post per week/month will also depend on what specific purpose the Instagram account serves. With Instagram, there’s an unspoken rule that brands shouldn’t post multiple times in one day. Although it’s not “forbidden,” one post a day seems to be the norm. Between five and seven times a week is considered a good number as Instagram posts have a longer shelf life than posts on other social media channels.

Of all the social media platforms, Instagram has by far the highest brand engagement. New York based research firm L2 has found that the top brands’ posts on Instagram generate an engagement rate of 120 times higher than that of their Twitter posts and 58 times higher than that of their Facebook posts. Likes and comments are used to measure engagement on Instagram. Analytics service Totem discovered that the average distribution of engagement on an Instagram post is 1 comment for every 100 likes, while a report regarding benchmark engagement rates for Instagram curated by Sabel Harris of Track Maven, a company that offers intelligence for digital markets, notes that on average brands receive 37 likes and comments on average for every 1,000 followers. These numbers can be extrapolated to fit any company’s number of followers by multiplying that number by 0.037. For example, for every 500 followers a brand should aim for at least 19 likes and comments (in total); and for every 5,000 followers a brand should aim for at least 185 likes and comments in total. If a company has 723 followers, they should use 27 likes and comments as a benchmark for which to assess engagement (723 x 0.037).

Blog

A corporate blogs’ audience usually consists of business professionals and those who are highly educated. The average age of a blog reader is 41 years of age and is predominantly male.

Corporate blogs don’t tend to have communities or followers; therefore it’s difficult to measure the engagement rate per community member. Instead, we measure consumption, which is the number of comments or shares to a social media platform on the brand’s blog post.  An engagement rate per published item (total engagement divided by the publishing frequency) can be calculated, however. Blog posts have the longest lifespan of all the social media platforms – approximately two to three years, and will keep working for a company long after they’ve been published. Therefore, one new blog post a week if it’s short, or one a month if it’s long is sufficient.

Once again we’ve looked at the engagement rates across all brands on this platform and compared them to one another to determine how well they’re performing.


 

03/ Results: So how are these 19 New Zealand brands performing on social media…

 

Youi

Across five platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+) and two countries (Australia and New Zealand) Youi have 5,239 followers. Considering they’ve been on social media since November 2009, this number is pretty average. However, they post good quality content: it adds value, is often interactive and incentivised and relates to the target audience. The frequency with which they post on the different platforms is also good with the exception of LinkedIn and Google+ – they should look in to posting more often on this platform. They appear to have a clear content strategy and allocate the largest amount of resources where they will get the best results; the platforms they use are appropriate based on their assumed target market.

Here are the engagement/consumption rates across the five platforms:
Facebook: 0.75%
Twitter: 0.03%
LinkedIn: 0.73%
YouTube: 397
Google+ 0.00% (currently inactive)

These engagement rates vary from good (Facebook) to bad (Twitter). We took a closer look at the engagement on Facebook and found that a lot of it was negative. Considering they’re an insurance company, we weren’t overly surprised. Their community management (responding to questions and comments) was pretty good: within 24 hours and personalised to each individual. So what’s working for them and what isn’t?

What’s working: Videos shared from YouTube and how they are helping their customers after natural disasters, such as the Brisbane storms.

Example of a good Facebook post 01

What isn’t: Sharing posts from other companies and not adding any value, as well as sharing posts from events which they did not sponsor.

Example of a poor Facebook post 01
We give Youi an overall rating of 6/10.

 

Whittakers

Whittakers have a community size of 407,305 across four platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Having been on social media since May 2010, this is a pretty good number. Whittakers are the 7th largest brand Facebook page in New Zealand (which includes both home-grown and localised versions of overseas brands), number 12 on Twitter and 51 on YouTube. The overall quality of content is good; they have a clear content strategy, their posts are relevant to the target audience and “on brand”. The platforms they used are appropriate and they allocate the largest amount of resources to where they’ll get the best results. Posting frequency is also good, however they could ‘Tweet’ more often to increase engagement on Twitter. Perhaps they should also consider utilising the Google+ platform, for which they have a page but are currently inactive on.

Their engagement rates are as follows:
Facebook: 0.27%
Twitter: 0.10%
YouTube: 27,771
Google+: 0.00%

The engagement is largely positive and comments/queries are responded to in a timely, professional and personalised manner. What’s working for Whittakers: Videos shared from their YouTube channel. In particular, videos about their involvement with, and sponsorship of, the Starship Foundation. Videos on Facebook tend to have higher rates of engagement.

Example of a good Facebook post 02

What isn’t working for Whittakers: It’s not that it’s necessarily “not working,” (it has an incentive) however in order to be in to win ‘likers’ have to click a link which takes them to a different webpage and this is why it doesn’t have as high engagement as some of their other competition posts.

Example of a poor Facebook post 02
Although Whittakers are doing a good job, there’s some room for improvement. We give them 8/10.

 

Z Energy

Z Energy has a total following of 270,234 across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, having entered the world of social media in May 2011. Z Energy are the 13th largest brand on Facebook in New Zealand, 52nd largest brand on Twitter and 13th largest on YouTube. Not bad. Z Energy appears to have a clear content strategy, allocate the largest amount of resources to where they’ll get the best results (the appropriateness of platforms used based on their target market is good) and the overall quality of their content is great. They have a good posting frequency, although they could tweet more often. Engagement is mostly positive, and their community management is also top notch.

The engagement rates on each of the platforms are:
Facebook: 0.27%
Twitter: 0.07%
LinkedIn: 0.38%
YouTube: 20,293

Posts about being a Kiwi company, focusing on the community and making a difference work well for Z Energy – here’s an example:

Example of a good LinkedIn post 01

Posts about job vacancies, on the other hand, tend not to do so well.

Example of a poor LinkedIn post 01
Z Energy gets an 8/10.

 

Pak’n Save

Pak’n Save’s online community consists of 215,027 fans over five platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. While they may have been on social media longer, the oldest post we could find dated back to September 2011. They have the 23rd largest Facebook page for a brand in New Zealand, and placing 84th on YouTube. Pak’n Save has a clear content strategy that they incorporate really well with their branding, i.e. Stickman. Their content is good quality and they have a good volume of content per month on Facebook, however they should be posting more frequently on Twitter. These platforms are appropriate based on the assumed target market and they appear to allocate the largest amount of their resources to where they will see the best results.

Engagement rates:
Facebook: 0.32%
Twitter: 0.00%
LinkedIn: 0.00%
YouTube: 625
Google+: 0.00%

This engagement is largely positive, however their community management is average: they don’t often engage with their followers by either liking or responding to questions and comments.

Posts relating to giveaways seem to always work well for Pak’n Save.

Example of a good Facebook post 03

While posts about specific Pak’n Save stores do not.

Example of a poor Facebook post 03
We give Pak’n Save a 6/10

 

Farmers

A total of 110,375 people like, subscribe to, and/or follow Farmers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Farmers’ began using social media in July 2010. They are the 70th largest brand on Facebook and 39th on Twitter in New Zealand. Farmers have a clear content strategy and the platforms they use are appropriate to their target market. The content is good quality and relevant to Farmers’ audience and they post an ideal number of times each month. They post rarely LinkedIn, however this is excusable given their key audience, where other platforms would offer more, so resources appear to be allocated to the platforms where they will achieve the best results. Post engagement is mainly positive and their community management is good, replying in a timely and professional manner.

In terms of engagement, Farmers perform quite poorly on social media with the exception of YouTube and Instagram:
Facebook: 0.08%
Twitter: 0.08%
LinkedIn: 0.13%
YouTube: 1752
Google+: 0.08%
Pinterest: 0.04%
Instagram: 1.76%

On Instagram, posts about make-up and beauty related products work well for Farmers.

Example of a good Instagram post 01

 

While posts directing people to different platforms and poor quality photos do not.

Example of a poor Instagram post 01
We give Farmers a 7/10.

 

Mitre 10

Mitre 10 has a total community size of 203,050, joining social media in June 2009. They have a presence on six of the platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram and take spot number 35 on the list for largest Facebook audience for a brand, 13 for Google+ and 7 for YouTube. The platforms used are appropriate for Mitre 10’s target market and the nature of the platform, they have a clear content strategy and they allocate their resources to the social media platforms where they will get the best results. Their content is high quality – informative, interactive and incentivised and they post have a good posting frequency across all of the platforms with the exception of Twitter, where they should post more often. Engagement is mostly positive, however there are a few negative comments here and there. Their community management is very good: they respond quickly and their responses are professional and personalised.

Engagement rates:
Facebook: 0.29%
Twitter: 0.00%
YouTube: 15,481
Google+: 0.00%
Pinterest: 0.48%
Instagram: 3.43%

What is working for Mitre 10 on Instagram: D.I.Y. inspiration and photos of customers projects.

Example of a good Instagram post 02

What isn’t working: There’s nothing on their Instagram that clearly identifies what doesn’t work for them. Although this post is for D.I.Y. inspiration, much like what does work for them, the post fell flat.

Example of a bad Instagram post 02
We give Mitre 10 an 8/10.

 

Burger Fuel

Burger Fuel has a following of 86,161 on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram collectively, having made their first appearance on social media in December 2010. Although they haven’t made the top 100 largest brand audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or YouTube, they sure know how to engage their audience.

Engagement rates:
Facebook: 1.12%
Twitter: 0.14%
LinkedIn: 2.72%
YouTube: 60,791
Google+: 0.00%
Pinterest: 0.00%
Instagram: 3.36%

While currently inactive on Google+ and Pinterest, the platforms Burger Fuel is active on are considered appropriate for the brand and they allocate the largest amount of resources to platforms where they’ll get the best results – hence why they’re probably not active on Google+ or Pinterest. Burger Fuel has a clear content strategy and the quality and quantity of content is excellent. Engagement is mostly positive with some negative comments, however their community management is also excellent and very “on brand”.

Pictures and re-grams of customers’ food work well on Instagram.

Example of a good Instagram post 03

While posts with captions that don’t necessarily relate don’t do so well in terms of engagement.

Example of a poor Instagram post 03
It’s not just (community) size that matters; it’s knowing how to use it. We give these guys an 9/10.

 

Toyota

Toyota ranks 37th and 11th for Google+ and YouTube respectively on the list of largest brand audience size in New Zealand. They have 43,033 community members across five platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. Toyota post good quality content, however they need to increase the frequency with which they post on Twitter and LinkedIn. They do re-tweet often on Twitter and are therefore quite active on the platform, although more of this content needs to be stuff they’ve posted themselves. They’re inactive on Google+, however they have very few followers and this platform isn’t vital based on their assumed target market and the demographic of people who tend to use Google+ most often. They have a clear content strategy and allocate the largest amount of their resources to where they’ll get the best results, but they could look at starting an Instagram page; according to (http://www.luxurydaily.com/auto-brands-generate-highest-engagement-on-instagraml2/), auto brands generate the highest levels of engagement on Instagram. Engagement is more positive than negative and their community management is good, replying to questions and comments when necessary in a timely and professional manner.

Engagement:
Facebook: 0.41%
Twitter: 8.33%
LinkedIn: 0.00%
YouTube: 12,612
Google+: 0.00%

Posts relating to Toyota’s campaign with Dai Henwood have some of the highest levels of engagement for the brand.

Example of a good Facebook post 04

However, posts about events which they aren’t a sponsor and posts specific to one part of the country have the lowest levels of engagement.

Example of a poor Facebook post 04
All in all, Toyota aren’t doing too badly. We give them a 7/10.

 

Purina

Purina made their debut on social media in August 2010 and has since gained a following of 21,274 on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. They rank 40th on the list for largest brand audiences on YouTube. Purina post a good number of times each month across these three platforms and the content posted is good quality and relevant to the target audience. These platforms are appropriate for Purina to use, they have a clear content strategy, and they allocate the largest amount of resources to where they’ll get the best results, however they could also utilise Twitter. The engagement they receive is positive and their community management is also good: timely and personalised.

The engagement rates on these three platforms are pretty good:
Facebook: 0.45%
YouTube: 405
Instagram: 8.77%

So what is working for Purina?

Pictures of cats/dogs and their followers’ pets:

Example of a good Instagram post 04

And what isn’t? Bad quality pictures and memes:

Example of a poor Instagram post 04
All in all Purina are doing pretty well. They also get a 7/10.

 

ASB

ASB rank 57th on Facebook, 17th on Twitter, 6th on Google+ and 9th on YouTube in the top 100 largest audience for a brand in New Zealand. In the four years and nine months since they’ve been active on social media, ASB have gained 166,672 followers on six platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Instagram. They also have a blog. As well as having a clear content strategy, ASB have allocated the largest proportion of their resources to the social media platforms where they’ll get the best results. Since ASB is a bank they have quite a large target audience and therefore having a presence on a number of different platforms will ensure they reach a large number of their target market and is therefore appropriate. The content they post encompasses interaction, information and incentive and is posted at good, regular intervals. Their community management is good and engagement is mostly positive, with a few negative comments here and there.

Here are ASB’s engagement and consumption rates across all seven platforms:
Facebook: 2.25%
Twitter: 0.12%
LinkedIn: 0.15%
YouTube: 176,713
Google+: 0.22%
Instagram: 6.07%
Blog: 92

Posts relating to the ASB Classic, a tennis competition that ASB sponsor and other sport-related sponsorship posts have the highest levels of engagement on ASB’s Facebook page.

Example of a good Facebook post 05

Posts that ASB have shared without adding any value have the least amount of engagement.

Example of a poor Facebook post 05
We think that ASB are worthy of a 9/10.

 

St John

Since June 2010, St John have gained 21,606 followers, likes and subscribers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. These platforms are suitable for St John to use based on the service that they provide and their target audience. They have a clear content strategy and allocate the largest amount of time and money where they’ll see the best results. However, they should allocate more resources to LinkedIn; targeting those with generally higher incomes may result in an increase of donations upon which they rely to operate. The quality of the content they post is good and they post a sufficient number of times per month on each of the platforms with the exception of LinkedIn, which they should post more often on. St John’s community management is average – they don’t reply to comments but they do respond to questions if asked. Engagement (comments) on the posts is positive.

Engagement rates:
Facebook: 0.69%
Twitter: 0.17%
LinkedIn: 0.00%
YouTube: 340

What’s working for St John: Posts about how St John is helping communities and New Zealand as a whole

Example of a good Facebook post 06

What isn’t: Posts about events in specific parts of the country. This particular post didn’t pull through an image, either.

Example of a poor Facebook post 06
St John get a rating of 6/10

 

ANZ

ANZ utilise six of the social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and they also have a blog and have done so since May 2012. The total ANZ community size is 261,959 people. Here’s how they rate in terms of audience size for a brand in New Zealand:

Facebook: 96th
Twitter: 21st
YouTube: 24th

ANZ has a clear content strategy, they allocate the largest amount of resources to where they’ll get the best ROI and the quality of their content and posting frequency across all platforms is good. They could increase the number of times they publish blog posts to increase engagement. The engagement on their posts is predominantly positive and their community management is of a high standard.

The engagement rates for each of the platforms are as follows:
Facebook: 1.54%
Twitter: 0.12%
LinkedIn: 0.06%
YouTube: 6,077
Instagram: 2.98%
Blog: 2

Pictures of the Blackcaps (ANZ is one of their main sponsors) have higher engagement on average than other posts on Instagram.

Example of a good Instagram post 05

Screenshots of videos not directing followers to a different platform to watch it (i.e. YouTube) have the lowest levels of engagement. In this particular example, ANZ have posted quite a few pictures – which are very similar – on the same day, which can annoy followers.

Example of a poor Instagram post 05
Taking into account how well ANZ is performing on social media in general as well as compared to rival company ASB, we’ve given ANZ an 8/10.

 

Wattie’s

Wattie’s have had a presence on social media since January 2012. The platforms they use include Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, and they have a following of 71,561. They don’t place in the top 100 largest audiences for a brand in New Zealand for Facebook or YouTube. These platforms are appropriate and they allocate the largest amount of resources where they’ll get the best results, however they should potentially utilise Twitter and Instagram. Although they are inactive on LinkedIn, Wattie’s have 5,348 followers on the platform and should therefore post to this platform more frequently than they have been also. The overall quality of their content is good, they are posting a sufficient number of times on Facebook and YouTube and they appear to have a clear content strategy. The majority of comments on their posts are positive and their community management is good, replying to both questions and comments in a timely manner.

The engagement rates on these three platforms are as follows:
Facebook: 0.92%
LinkedIn: 0.00%
YouTube: 72

Pictures of food made using their products have the highest rates of engagement on their Facebook page

Example of a good Facebook post 07

While the least engaging post on their Facebook during the three month period was a video about baked beans. There’s no obvious reason as to why this was though.

Example of a poor Facebook post 07
Overall, Wattie’s aren’t doing too badly. They get a 7/10.

 

AMP Scholarships

AMP Scholarships’ YouTube channel is ranked number 72 on the list of largest audience size by brand in New Zealand. Since July 2010, AMP Scholarships have gained approximately 21,275 followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined. AMP Scholarships have a clear content strategy and they allocate the largest amount of their resources where they’ll see results, however they should allocate more resources to Google+ and post on the platform as often as they do on Facebook. They post good quality and content and the frequency with which they post is good with the exception of Google+. Engagement on their posts is positive. AMP Scholarships reply to questions but otherwise don’t interact with their audience, such as by replying to comments; therefore we’ve deemed their community management average.

Here is how well they’re engaging their audience:
Facebook: 0.61%
Twitter: 0.08%
LinkedIn: 0.53%
YouTube: 95
Google+: 0.00%

Pictures of inspirational quotes seem to work well for AMP Scholarships; pictures like these tend to have the highest levels of engagement.

Example of a good Facebook post 08

A link to a blog post (not written by AMP) about juggling work and fun had the least amount of engagement.

Example of a poor Facebook post 08
AMP Scholarships get a 6/10 for their effort.

 

Coca-Cola

259,920 people follow, like and subscribe to Coca-Cola on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram. They also have a blog. Coca-Cola has the 16th largest Facebook audience for a brand in New Zealand, which has been building up since November 2010. Coke has a clear content strategy. The content they post is relevant to the target market and on brand and they post frequently enough on each of the platforms, with the exception of YouTube and Google+. Since this data was collected, Coke has started posting regular content on YouTube. We have disregarded this fact to allow for a fair comparison against the other brands. Coke has 5 followers on Google+ and they’re inactive on the platform: due to their target market and nature of the platform, the fact that they have so few followers and don’t post content regularly isn’t of concern. The other platforms that they’re active on are deemed appropriate.

Here are Coke’s engagement rates:
Facebook: 0.85%
Twitter: 0.72%
LinkedIn: 1.47%
YouTube: 0.00%
Google+: 0.00%
Instagram: 8.20%
Blog: 491

This engagement is predominantly positive. Coke’s community management is also positive; they reply to both questions and comments in a timely and professional manner. Other than allocating more resources to YouTube (creating content to post on the platform), Coke appears to allocate the largest amount of their resources where they will reach the largest proportion of their target market.

 

This is what seems to be working for Coke on Instagram – pictures of the limited edition coloured Coke cans released over summer ’14 – ’15.

Example of a good Instagram post 07

Although there’s no clear pattern as to what doesn’t work for the brand, this picture received the lowest level of engagement on the platform – a picture of a consumer with their coloured Coke cans.Example of a poor Instagram post 07


We’re awarding Coke with 7/10.

 

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has an enormous following of 1,585,655 individuals across all platforms that we’ve assessed. They take out the number two spot on Facebook and the number one spot on Twitter, Google+ and YouTube for audience size for a brand in New Zealand. They’ve been on social media since October 2009. Air New Zealand have a clear content strategy and since they have a very large target market allocating resources across all platforms is worthwhile and appropriate, while they’ve allocated a somewhat larger proportion of their resources to the more popular platforms. Flickr however isn’t Air New Zealand’s official page. Air New Zealand has a clear strategy when it comes to the content they post. It’s relevant, good quality content and they post a good number of times on each platform each month, although they should post more frequently on LinkedIn. There are a couple of negative comments here and there, however engagement is mostly positive and their community management is very good.

The engagement rates across the platforms for Air New Zealand are as follows:
Facebook: 0.15%
Twitter: 0.01%
LinkedIn: 0.27%
YouTube: 115,607
Google+: 0.06%
Flickr: 0.01%
Pinterest: 0.00%
Instagram: 3.18%
Blog: 0.00%

Pictures of planes and the travellers view from the plane work really well for Air New Zealand on Instagram.

Example of a good Instagram post 08

Posts that aren’t of planes or views/scenery tend not to do so well, as well as images relating to specific routes.

Example of a poor Instagram post 08
Everyone knows how awesome Air New Zealand is when it comes to social media. We’ve given them a 9/10.

 

NZ Tax Refunds

Since March 2009, NZ Tax Refunds have gained 102,984 followers across eight social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Blog and have the 76th largest audience size for a brand in New Zealand. Although they have Pinterest they’re not currently active on the platform and only have four followers. Due to the nature of the platform and their target audience they should continue to remain inactive on this platform and focus on the other platforms where they will get the best results. The platforms they are active on are appropriate and they have a clear content strategy. While the quality of content is good, NZ Tax Refunds should post more frequently on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. The engagement on posts is mostly positive and their community management is good.

The engagement rates for NZ Tax Refunds are:
Facebook: 0.71%
Twitter: 0.08%
LinkedIn: 0.00%
YouTube: 5,283
Pinterest: 0.00%
Instagram: 5.74%
Blog: 0

New Zealand wide competitions and giveaways work well for NZ Tax Refunds, receiving the most engagement, while posts supporting specific rugby teams (such as the Crusaders who they sponsor).

Example of a good Facebook post 09

Tips for when playing rugby don’t work well for them.

Example of a poor Facebook post 09
Overall rating: 7/10

 

Xero

Xero have a presence on all social media platforms and are active on all except Flickr and Instagram. The entire Xero community consists of 131,322 individuals, however they don’t rate in the top 100 audience sizes for a brand in New Zealand on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or YouTube. Xero began using social media in August 2010. The quality of the content they post is good and they have a clear content strategy, however it isn’t relevant to the entire community. There’s one Xero platform per page: content often isn’t generalised and is specific to certain countries, making it irrelevant to a large number of community members. Therefore the number of posts per month on average is far too high. Xero should create a new page/account on some of the platforms (especially Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) based on geographic segmentation, such as Xero New Zealand & Australia, or Xero USA for example. This would make the content more relevant and therefore increase engagement. The platforms they use are however appropriate based on Xero’s assumed target market and they allocate the largest amount of resources where they’ll get the best results. Engagement is mostly positive, however their community management raises a couple of eyebrows. Who is “Orange Girl” may you ask? She’s Xero’s social media community manager. How do I know this? I Googled it. Turns out she loves the colour orange, hence the name she goes by when posting on Xero’s social media platforms. We get that Xero are trying to be ‘fun’ and personable on social media, however we don’t really get it or its link to the brand. Other than that, their overall community management is good; comments and questions are replied to in a timely fashion.

Xero’s engagement rates are:
Facebook: 0.40%
Twitter: 0.02%
LinkedIn: 0.10%
YouTube: 5,968
Google+: 0.06%
Flickr: 0.00%
Pinterest: 0.96%
Instagram: 0.00%
Blog: 9

More playful posts that are less about the software behind Xero get the most engagement:

Example of a good Facebook post 10

Posts that are specific to one country or city or those that are about the actual software tend to get less engagement on average:

Example of a poor Facebook post 10
Xero could do pretty well on social media if they made a couple of changes. We give these guys a 5/10.

 

Fisher & Paykel

Last but not least: Fisher & Paykel.

Since April 2010 they’ve built up a strong following of over 86,208 across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Blog, although they’re inactive on Pinterest and Instagram and don’t have many followers on these two platforms. Fisher & Paykel have a clear content strategy and post good quality content across all platforms. They should post more frequently on Twitter and Google+ and could potentially utilise Pinterest and post actively on the platform. They allocate the largest amount of resources to Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter which are appropriate platforms for the brand and is where they have the largest number of followers and are likely to get the best results, however they could also see good results on Pinterest. Although there are a few negative comments, engagement is mostly positive and they respond to questions and comments when necessary in a timely and professional manner.

Here’s how they’ve been performing on social media in terms of engagement:
Facebook: 0.23%
Twitter: 0.05%
LinkedIn: 0.27
YouTube: 107
Google+: 0.00%
Pinterest: 0.00%
Instagram: 0.00%
Blog: 0

Posts associated with food and recipes as well as giveaways work well for Fisher & Paykel in engaging their followers.

Example of a good Facebook post 11

There’s no indication as to what doesn’t engage their audience, however this post had the least amount of engagement over the three month period:

Example of a poor Facebook post 11
We give Fisher & Paykel a 7/10.

 

04/ Conclusion

We’ve noted a few general observations that were interesting:
1. NZ brands aren’t doing too well on Twitter, although this may have more to do with users switching off
2. Most brands perform well on YouTube, i.e. invest in video content and returns can be achieved
3. Every brand has Facebook – it is the most popular and “well done” platform overall
4. Engagement rates on Instagram are the highest, brands could leverage more out of this platform

In terms of engagement/consumption, here are the top five brands for each of the platforms:

Engagement/Consumption Leaderboard

New Zealand Brands on social media - leaderboard

*These numbers (especially community size) may have changed since the data for this post was collected in March, 2015.

Analysing some popular New Zealand brands on social media has demonstrated how crucial social media has become to the marketing mix – dare we say, social media has become mainstream? However we define this stage of marketing’s continual evolution, it’s clear that companies, large conservative companies, are taking it seriously and putting resources behind their efforts. It was also good to put some benchmarks on how New Zealand brands are performing on social media and we hope to update this next year to see what changes there have been. If you’d like to see some different brands in the mix, or think you could contribute to our analysis please feel free to drop us a line.

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