One of the joys of running a media business is having the ability to choose. At StopPress and NZ Marketing, we choose the stories we think will be most interesting and helpful to our industry; we choose our favourite brands, people and happenings to populate our Media Hotlist and Stoppies Awards programmes; we acknowledge some of the new campaigns that have caught our attention every week with our Ads of the Week section; and we work with Colmar Brunton to choose the best ads based on industry benchmarks for the Ad Impact Awards. But we live in an era where data, digital engagement and social resonance are accepted marketing currencies when you’re trying to get attention. So, with the help of Zavy, a New Zealand-based social and digital media analytics platform that was born out of insights company TRA, we’ve created a new way to showcase marketing success: The StopPress + Zavy Social Scoreboard.
Some believe the lure of short-term spikes in activity have led marketers to focus on the wrong things and forget about long-term brand building. But every channel has its place in a marketing plan and, right or wrong, growing participation in social media and sophisticated analytics platforms that clearly show results have turned it into an appealing option for brands. And as customers increasingly interact with brands through social and digital channels, the companies that understand how to operate effectively in this area are regularly beating their competitors when it comes to winning hearts, minds and wallets.
We have wanted to do some kind of real-time ranking on StopPress for a while now, partially based on our extreme jealousy of Metservice.co.nz, which has the ability to get people to keep coming back without actually having to create anything. Basically we wanted to find the marketing equivalent of the weather forecast. So we started talking to Zavy late last year about what that might look like if we tracked social performance. And, after seeing what their platform could offer, we set about integrating a version of it into our site.
So how does it work? Zavy pulls together brand activity across social and digital media to give an overall score of brand performance. The Zavy score is a proprietary measure based on the benchmarked performance of all the brands in the dashboard and is reported by social media platform/channel (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). It is also aggregated up to an overall score – with each channel being weighted based on importance (based on usage in Australasia). The performance of each social media channel is based on the engagement and sentiment metrics unique to that channel.
The scoreboard compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media (also included on the Social Scoreboard are the top five posts). Each company is ranked based on a rolling 30 day view of performance and changes in position are calculated daily – based on the last 30 days.
Dave Bowes, Zavy’s CEO, says there are a few key take outs from its social data. Social media, while time-consuming for staff to manage and certainly not free (as many marketers once seemed to think), is an essential part of any modern marketing strategy but, in the social environment, it’s not all about blasting paid-for messages out to an audience. It’s about nailing the tone, spotting the opportunities, providing useful, entertaining content for your community – and often tailoring it to the specific platform – and then basking in the glow.
“High ad spend in traditional media does not necessarily translate into success in social media," he says. "With global ad spend now almost 50 percent in digital and social now, some New Zealand companies are taking advantage of this crucial channel. For example, Air New Zealand is number 25 in terms of ad spend in traditional – but they lead the market in social media performance. Mitre 10 is 12th in spend, but 2nd in social performance. And 2degrees is 27th in traditional spend, but 3rd in social – outperforming in terms of both their traditional ad spend and market share.”
As per usual, we want StopPress to be a place where we showcase the best work from and the most interesting issues in the marcomms industry. But we’re largely leaving our editorial view out of it this time and letting the analytics do the talking. In saying that, we will be writing some stories about the trends the Social Scoreboard shows and examining the types of things brands here and overseas are doing to move the dial.
We hope you enjoy keeping up with the social play. We'll continue to tweak and improve the section, so feel free to let us know if you have any feedback, suggestions or questions.