What shook up the Zavy social scoreboard in July?

A newcomer in the Top Five and a giveaway bonanza marked social activity in the Zavy Scoreboard’s Top 25. Read on for our analysis of the top posts of the month, and a closer look at the brands who consistently get it right.

A big pick up in competitions – why?

What did Kiwi brands do on social in July? Lots of competitions, according to our Scoreboard. In fact, top five posts this week are all giveaways.

This makes sense: competitions are a quick and easy way to boost likes and followers in the short term. Although Kiwis are spending again, the quick-fire engagement that competitions drive is likely providing retailers with a much-needed endorphin hit, even if it may deliver mostly surface-level engagement.

At a cultural level it makes sense, too. New Zealanders have been participating together as the “Team of 5 Million” since March, and competitions are a kind of participatory entertainment. But getting competitions right in this context requires extra thought.

Shares are the top endorsement of quality content. They have the highest correlation to ROI out of any other social media engagement on Facebook. At Zavy, we think an even better gauge of a post’s effectiveness is the ratio of shares to likes. The higher the percentage, the more effective your post is. It’s the kind of engagement that money can’t buy, that speaks to the quality of your content.

Unless the prize or entry mechanism is compelling, competitions tend to earn low shares-to-likes ratios. Few of us are thrilled at disrupting our curated social feeds with a competition entry. And these posts prove it. All but Mitre 10 had ratios of 4 – 6 percent. Compare that to a recent recipe post from New World that scored 100 percent. It’s a stark engagement gap.

What made Mitre 10’s competition post, which earned a 15 percent shares-to-likes ratio, different? One potential answer is that the competition mechanism involved an action. Rather than “tell us”, Mitre 10 asked fans to “screenshot and share the style you’d choose.”

The novelty of the screenshot mechanism gave people a fun reason to participate. The call to action drove people to tag in family members, flatmates and partners in their comments: “Perfect for our new house!” “Perfect for what we want to do in the lounge!”, “would go with our black accent wall!” The competition was particularly relevant after a period where for a lot of Kiwis, DIY has been a key source of entertainment.  

So, while they’re not the most effective at building long term engagement, there is a place for competitions in your social schedule. They can boost brand awareness and drive excitement and reach around a new product or event. Under specific circumstances, a competition post may also help increase your following. But they have to be relevant to your audience and the current context to be effective – and work much better if they give people a compelling reason to participate.  

The Top Five: Brands that are consistently getting it right

Although there is one big change (which we’ll look at shortly) there are several brands that have consistently got social right throughout July, making up the five top brands in our scoreboard. How do they manage to perform so well?

Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Air New Zealand: part of the team of 5 million

For Air New Zealand, the answer could lie in consistent messaging around how they’re working with the team of 5 million and contributing to New Zealand’s recovery.

Since lockdown, their social posts have reinforced these messages, helping the airline maintain a near miraculous streak at the top of our scoreboard, all while having to communicate sad or negative news to the country.

But it’s not all clear skies. Our Radar tool (get a free trial here) shows Kiwi emotions around the airline spiking between optimism and fear during July, with anger on the rise as customers seeking refunds flood their comments.

Mouth-watering national pride

The revamped Kiwiburger jingle came at the perfect moment for New Zealanders, who, for the past few months, have felt a tangle of optimism and fear.

We’ve seen this dance play out on Radar: New Zealand’s handling of the coronavirus crisis has driven optimism. The ongoing effects of lockdown, and the fear of a second wave, temper this positivity with fear.

What better way to make us all feel a bit better than a song that highlights how funny, open-minded and unique we are? If there’s one thing that makes Kiwis feel like Kiwis, it’s a Kiwiburger, served fresh with a reassuring dose of nostalgia.Radar showed soaring optimism around McDonalds when this campaign launched in July.

A big jump for Pizza Hut

But the big story this month is Pizza Hut’s meteoric rise to the Top Five, climbing 19 places to claim the fifth spot in the scoreboard. Digging deeper, we can see that this rise was largely centred around a one-day spike of YouTube activity to promote their Big New Yorker Pizza, with almost 820,000 views. The promotion was a good choice for our context –  an indulgent treat at an affordable price point is an accessible luxury for Kiwis right now.

This YouTube promotion was enough to break Pizza Hut into the overall Top 25, but did not shift the brand’s spot on our Scoreboards for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Will this YouTube success translate into a longer stay in the Top Five, or is this a one off? We’ll see next month.

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