Tag Archives: Social

Trump’s budget cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, breaking core campaign promise

When he began his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to “save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts.”

This is a promise, however, President Trump would like to break. Trump’s 2018 budget proposal that would cut all three programs, which help the most vulnerable in American society, by billions of dollars.

Fox News’s website tells readers that Medicare is spared “as he promised during the 2016 campaign,” but a cursory search of the White House’s own budget document reveals this is not true.

The White House’s position is largely in line with the congressional GOP, which has also tried to pass a budget that would cut $1 trillion from Medicare and almost half a trillion from Medicaid.

Here is what the Trump administration’s budget proposal would do to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Cutting Medicare by $266 billion

The Trump budget document, titled “An American Budget: Major Savings and Reforms,” proposed cutting a net $266 billion under the category, “Medicare: Eliminate wasteful federal spending.” Among other things, Trump’s budget changes the way patients are reimbursed for post-acute care, making it harder for physicians to refer patients to other providers, and “limits hospital payments associated with early discharge to hospices.”

Cutting Medicaid by $1.1 trillion

The Trump budget proposes cutting Medicaid, under the simple guise of “reforms,” by $1.1 trillion over 10 years. The goal is to encourage states to transition away from the Medicaid expansion that Obamacare allowed, in part by imposing a “Medicaid per capita cap and block grant with the Consumer Price Index.”

Cutting Social Security by $72 billion

The budget document lists “Reform disability programs” in line for a $72 billion decrease over the 10-year budget window. This includes explicit cuts to Supplemental Security Income programs and Social Security Disability Insurance programs, both managed by the Social Security Administration.

SSDI recipients are people who have become disabled and who have paid taxes into the Social Security Trust Fund, while SSI is needs-based — both programs have lengthy waiting period before anyone receives benefits.

The cuts target retroactive SSDI benefits, multi-recipient SSI families, overlapping unemployment and disability payments, and other administration programs.

Last year, when an almost identical proposed cut in 2017’s budget document appeared, a source with knowledge of the budget told ThinkProgress that the cuts were of such a magnitude that it would be like making the program into a block grant.


Bernie Sanders Explodes After Trump Proposes Massive Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, exploded with rage after Trump released a budget that slashes trillions of dollars from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security disability after he gave a massive tax cut to the wealthy and corporations. In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Sen. Sanders said: The Trump […]

The post Bernie Sanders Explodes After Trump Proposes Massive Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability appeared first on Politicus USA.

Unilever warns social media to clean up “toxic” content

 Consumer goods giant Unilever, a maker of branded soaps, foodstuffs and personal care items and also one of the world’s biggest online advertisers, has fired a warning shot across the bows of social media giants by threatening to pull ads from digital platforms if they don’t do more to mitigate the spread of what it dubs “toxic” online content — be it fake news… Read More

You'll never guess who's behind Rubio's Social Security gutting 'family leave' plan

Okay, so you’ve probably guessed. It’s some right-wing think tank, right? Of course it is! Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ivanka Trump have been working on what they call “paid family leave.” It’s more like “borrowed” family leave, in which the employee robs her retirement savings in order to take time off to deal with family circumstances. It’s profoundly damaging to women, in particular, so of course the organization behind the idea is the reactionary Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), “a right-wing nonprofit organization purportedly focused on the economic policy concerns of women.”

While the details on Rubio’s actual legislation remain scarce, Social Security experts have already voiced their concerns over this approach, as any delay in benefits is seen as a cut to the program. What will happen to the roughly 80 percent of Americans who do not have access to paid leave, but who also want to keep their Social Security as is so they can retire on time?

The National Partnership for Women and Families released a statement Wednesday calling the proposal harmful for women.

“Such a plan would harm women in particular because they are still primary caregivers for their families and the wages they receive over their lifetimes trail men’s, leading to monthly Social Security benefits that are an average of 20 percent lower for women than men,” NPWF President Debra Ness said. “But no one should have to borrow against already low Social Security benefits in order to access the paid family and medical leave they need. Our country deserves to have the promise of Social Security protected.”

The IWF has been around for a long time, organized from the “Women For Judge Thomas” group that formed in 1992 to betray all of womanhood by attacking Anita Hill. Seriously, their whole thing was to attack Hill, and they had so much fun with that they decided to create a new group to attack all of us. They even lobbied against the Violence Against Women Act, because “wives instigate violence, including severe violence, against husbands more often than husbands do against wives.”

You’d think, given the White House’s current issues around domestic violence, that Rubio and Trump could find another think tank to associate with. This is a profoundly awful idea coming from profoundly horrible people.

Conor Lamb has the ad every Democrat should use to talk about Social Security

Conor Lamb, the Daily Kos endorsed candidate for the March 13 special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, is showing why Republicans are really sweating this race. They shouldn’t be—it’s a heavily gerrymandered district that Trump won 58-39.

But Lamb has made this a real race, and it’s because he’s running a smart, progressive campaign. Case in point, this ad called “Entitlements.” He singles out the villain—Paul Ryan—and tells the simple truth about Americans and what having a secure retirement means to them.

“Paul Ryan will use the term “entitlement reform” to talk about Social Security and Medicare as if it’s undeserved, or it’s some form of welfare, but it’s not any of those things.

“People paid for it. They worked hard for it, and they expect us to keep our promises to them. A lot of these people are even taking care of other members of their family. I met a guy the other day who is 65 and he’s taking care of his 14-year old niece because there’s nobody else to do it. If you mess with his Social Security, he won’t be able to take care of her anymore.

That’s all people want to do.”

That’s the most perfect description and illustration of Social Security and Medicare you can get in 30 seconds. It’s the template every Democrat should use this—and every—cycle. Republicans have made their intentions to take on “entitlements” absolutely clear. But we can stop them.

Donate $3 today to Conor Lamb to help him beat Trump stooge Rick Saccone, and turn western Pennsylvania blue!

Equity Shot: Twitter and Snap’s surprising, synchronized social success

 Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
Today we’re doing another Equity Shot, a short topic-centered episode where we assemble the troops to dive into one particular thing. Or, in this case, two particular things.
Matthew Lynley, myself, and Katie Roof gathered to pick over Snap and… Read More

What Social Marketers Should Do Differently on Social in 2018

25601340What Social Marketers Should Do Differently on Social in 2018

It’s a new year, which means a lot of social marketers and brands are focused on transformation…hence our 30-Day Social Media Transformation webinar. But, in order to have a better year, we need to look at what happened last year.

Here’s what I learned from looking back at social media activities, engagement, and conversions in 2017—and how I’m going to make a bigger impact with these learnings in 2018.

1. Our Audience Loves Learning from Top Brands

We use social as a content delivery mechanism, which means that we share a lot of blog content on our social channels. A consistently successful blog post theme for us: 

  • Names a company
  • Explains what the company is successful at
  • Explains why/how the company is successful
  • Describes how other marketers can replicate this success for their brand
Our Content Share Tracking tool shows us that 3 out of 7 blog posts in our top 10 most-visited URLs from social explain what marketers can learn from other brands and celebrities.

Takeaway: If your creative juices have run dry, take a look at what other brands and even competitors are doing. Whether your brand is in a different industry or not, you’ll be able to learn something. For example, a few of my coworkers LOVE Tone It Up, a fitness lifestyle brand. It goes without saying that Tone It Up is far from the B2B SaaS industry that I work in. Nonetheless, I was able to draw inspiration from it. Have I piqued your interest? Follow the hashtag #NewYearNewSocial on Instagram and you’ll be in for a treat.

What I’m doing differently in 2018: I’m going to work with our content team to make sure we focus on blog posts that name a company, explain why they are successful, and show how marketers can replicate this success.l We’ll push these blog posts out more frequently on social, and every month I’ll be highlighting one of our customers who is killing it on social.

2. We’re All Still Trying to Figure Out Instagram

Instagram is the social network that social marketers are trying to learn more about. Not only do blog posts on Instagram do well, but the Instagram blog posts that do well for us are pretty entry-level. Our top-performing Instagram posts define new Instagram metrics that marketers didn’t have access to in the past.

Takeaway: Don’t fall behind on this growing social network. Instagram has 800 million monthly active users, and it is becoming more transparent and optimizable with Instagram Stories metrics. We’re all familiar with likes and comments. But new metrics like tap-forwards, tap-backs, and exits have appeared. Now is the time to learn with everyone else. If you put off integrating Instagram Stories into your social strategy, you’ll be playing catch-up. This Instagram Stories 101 blog post will help get you started.

What I’m doing differently in 2018: I’ll be putting more effort into Instagram strategy and running tests to determine which content our audience engages most with. For example, our most engaging posts of 2017 show off our culture (more on this later). But, according to Content Share Tracking, Instagram has one of the higher conversion rates for downloaded content. To test this, we have started a 30-Day Transformation campaign on Instagram. You can check that out here.

3. Different Channels, Different Audiences

You might be thinking, well, duh! But it’s important to know how audiences on each channel behave differently. Let’s take a closer look.

Twitter

Posts with GIFs have the highest engagement for our brand. The Simply Measured Profile Analytics dashboard shows us our top posts by engagement. There are GIFs in 87% of these posts.

Takeaway: There are many reasons to include a GIF in your social posts. For instance, there’s the fact that GIFs have movement–compared to tweets with photos and only text, GIFs stand out. But have you ever heard of the saying, “show, don’t tell”? GIFs are the perfect way to do just that. For instance, let’s take a look at the post furthest to the left.

The GIF is eye-catching and shows people we are talking about Coca-Cola. The text offers more context and gets people to click through.

What I’m doing differently in 2018: In the past month, I’ve steered away from GIFs because I wasn’t sure if they were conveying my message completely, or if the amount of time I was spending to find the perfect GIF was worth it. Rather than searching for the perfect GIF for each tweet, which can be very time-consuming, as I browse social media, I’ll begin collecting GIFs as I see them.

Instagram

Unlike our other networks, where we share blog posts, guides, and social news, we use Instagram to show off our culture. Turns out that people enjoy that! Thirty-four percent of our posts in 2017 have the hashtag #LifeatSM, but these posts account for almost half (48%) of our engagement. Not to mention that in 2017 we increased our Instagram followers by 34%.

Takeaway: People want to do business with people, not businesses. For this reason, it’s important to show the faces behind your brand. In this photo, we showed that one of our employees has been with us for six years, and that other employees are excited to celebrate with him.

In the second photo, we got to show off some of our hard work. 

And with the photo to the right of that, we showed our excitement for data and social media holidays.

Fun fact: #Nationaldonutday has been used 67,116 times today 🍩 #LifeatSM

A post shared by Simply Measured (@simplymeasured) on Jun 2, 2017 at 10:00am PDT

How can you use Instagram to show off the behind-the-scenes look of your company? Do you have internal events that you can share? Or maybe your company has awards for employees?

What I’m doing differently in 2018: I’d like to start having employees do more Instagram takeovers. For example, our kickball team made it to the championships, and one of the players took over our Instagram Stories. We got an inside look at how our kickball team preps for each game and what happens in the dugout during the game.

We’re also going to begin introducing our Instagram audience to our brand content. We experimented with weekly #SocialMediaMarketingTips.

Wesaw upticks in post saves on days we posted these.

With this data, we are able to see that our audience is interested in improving their social strategies. This is why we decided to launch our 30-Day Transformation Plan #NewYearNewSocial campaign on Instagram.

Facebook

Of our 20 most engaged posts, 13 were ads. Facebook is now a pay-to-play game.

Takeaway: If your organic content isn’t doing as well on Facebook as you would like, it might be time to put some paid content behind your efforts. And if you’re unsure about how to target, use other social channels to determine which pieces of content are worth putting money behind. Then create an ad and target the audience that is most similar to the audience you tested the piece of content on.

What I’m doing differently in 2018: When a piece of content does well on LinkedIn, I’ll work with my boss to boost posts on Facebook for that same piece of content.

LinkedIn

Posts with a table or chart average 58% more engagement than posts with a blog post feature image. People spend time on LinkedIn to develop their careers. When a user visits LinkedIn, he or she is ready to learn and grow. With a chart, table, or graph, we are able to grab their attention and establish our credibility.

Takeaway: On LinkedIn, people aren’t intrigued by an image with a blog post title, even if it’s a good title. As a result, our audience on LinkedIn needs a chart, table, or graph to be intrigued by a post. For example, take a look at the second image from the left.

The image provides value for any marketer scrolling through his or her LinkedIn feed because it gives a general description of what each metric is and how the metrics differ from each other. This image is how we stop our audience and get them to engage. Our copy adds context to the image. It explains why these three metrics matter and whom they matter to. Once a viewer has determined that these metrics also matter to them, they click on the link.

What I’m doing differently in 2018: I’m going to work with our content and design team to make sure each blog post has one table, chart, or graph we can share on LinkedIn.

What have you learned from looking at last year’s data? Schedule a demo below to start tracking your data.

The post What Social Marketers Should Do Differently on Social in 2018 appeared first on Simply Measured.

Do 3rd-Party Social Media Tools Negatively Affect Reach and Engagement? Our 200+ Post Experiment and Results

Putting your trust as a marketer or brand in 3rd-party social media tools to manage all of your posts can be a bit scary.

You might be wondering:

  • Are my posts getting optimal reach and engagement?
  • Do social media platforms penalize 3rd-party tools?
  • Are 3rd-party tools really worth the cost?

These are some of the most common questions our Customer Advocates receive on a daily basis. And up until this research, we haven’t had any concrete data to say “yes” or “no” to whether or not 3rd-party tools affect the reach and engagement of posts.

We’re hoping to change that.

For an entire month, with the help of several awesome marketers and brands, we tested more than 200 posts across 35 profiles to see exactly how 3rd-party social media tools stack up vs. native posting.

Today we’re excited to share the experiment setup and results in their entirety!

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

Brief summary of results: 3rd-party tools don’t seem to negatively affect the reach of posts

We’d love to share a quick summary of what we found (you can find the full results and more on how we ran the experiment below!).

Facebook:

  • 3rd-Party Tools: 9 posts / 81,639 total reach / 9,071 per post
  • Native Posting: 9 posts / 79,380 total reach / 8,820 per post

Twitter:

  • 3rd-Party Tools: 45 posts / 949,890 total impressions / 21,108 per post
  • Native Posting: 45 posts / 975,223 total impressions / 21,671 per post

LinkedIn:

  • 3rd-Party Tools: 9 posts / 63,221 total reach / 7,024 per post
  • Native Posting: 9 posts / 54,646 total reach / 6,071 per post

Read on to check out all of the details!

3rd-party social media tools vs. native posting (setup)

In order to make the research as statistically sound as possible, we focused on three important factors:

  • Account Variation: Ensuring that we tested multiple 3rd-party social media tools and social accounts
  • Content Quality: Ensuring that we tested similar content across platforms
  • Posting Consistency: Ensuring that we posted at similar times and frequencies

Our tests ran from November 27, 2017, to December 19, 2017.

Account Variation

Our biggest concern with an experiment like this is that our results would be biased if we only tested Buffer content with the Buffer tool.

We knew it would take multiple marketers and tools to make the data meaningful.

First, we signed up for test accounts with Hootsuite and CoSchedule. This would allow us to test three different 3rd-party social media tools to reduce the chance of a particular tool playing a factor in reach and engagement.

Then, we turned to the Social Media Masterminds Facebook Group and asked if any marketers would be up for helping us run a few tests. The response was incredible…

3rd-Party Social Media Tools: Facebook Group Post

Judging by the number of comments and overall enthusiasm for this experiment, we knew we were onto something.

In the end, we received data from 11 different brands, totaling more than 98 posts across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Factoring in these results to the overall findings greatly helped to reduce any biased data. A huge thanks to everyone that participated!

Now we just had to figure out how we would approach content.

Content Quality

Content presented a unique challenge in that we had to be strategic about what we posted and when we posted it.

As many marketers know, posting the same content multiple times in a short period of time might result in a decrease of reach and engagement with each post.

We ultimately decided that we would not post the same content multiple times. Rather, we would post three different types of content (links, images, videos) and do our very best to ensure that each piece of content was super high-quality.

3rd-Party Social Media Tools: Content Quality

But what we realized is that, at the end of the day, it’s nearly impossible to create truly equal content – some posts will inevitably perform better than others based on a hundreds of different algorithm factors.

In short, content is the number one factor that determines success on social media.

More on the implications of social media content later in this post!

Posting Consistency

The final factor that we focused on for this experiment was to ensure that we were posting consistently. Both timing and frequency impact social media results and so we did our best to post at roughly the same time and frequency each day.

  • Facebook: Posted once per day between 6:00am & 12:00pm PST.
  • Twitter: Posted 3-5 times per day between 5:00am & 10:00pm PST.
  • LinkedIn: Posted once per day between 6:00am & 12:00pm PST.

Posting natively proved to be the most difficult part of this experiment! We found that without 3rd-party social media tools we were having to set reminders in our calendar in order to post at the correct times.

Multiplying that by eight posts per day and three social media accounts, we did end up missing a few posts here and there which prolonged the study.

Last, but not least. It might be helpful to provide the Buffer audience sizes on each network.

Current Buffer Audience Sizes:

  • Facebook: 106,000
  • Twitter: 927,000
  • LinkedIn: 16,500

3rd-party social media tools vs. native posting (results)

Now for the fun part!

Do 3rd-part tools negatively affect reach and engagement on social media?

Data-Backed Answer: No.

We did not find a significant difference in social media reach and engagement whether we posted through 3rd-party tools or natively to each network. As you might expect, some pieces of content performed better than others no matter how they were posted.

If you’re interested in seeing all of the raw data from our experiment, feel free to check out the original spreadsheet where we kept track of every single post.

And if you’d like to run your own 3rd-party tools vs. native posting experiment, we’re happy to share the blank spreadsheet template:

Download: 3rd-Party Tools vs. Native Posting Results (Blank .XLS)

Total Reach

First, let’s take a look at the main component of our experiment – how 3rd-party tools performed vs. native posting in regards to reach/impressions on each social media network.

Facebook:

  • 3rd-Party Tools: 9 posts / 81,639 total reach / 8,515 per post
  • Native Posting: 9 posts / 79,380 total reach / 8,820 per post

Facebook Reach 3rd Party Tools vs. NativeTwitter Reach 3rd Party Tools vs. Native

Slight Advantage: 3rd-Party Tools

Twitter:

  • 3rd-Party Tools: 45 posts / 949,890 total impressions / 21,108 per post
  • Native Posting: 45 posts / 975,223 total impressions / 21,671 per post

Twitter Reach 3rd Party Tools vs. NativeTwitter Reach 3rd Party Tools vs. Native

Slight Advantage: Native Posting

LinkedIn:

  • 3rd-Party Tools: 9 posts / 63,221 total reach / 7,024 per post
  • Native Posting: 9 posts / 54,646 total reach / 6,071 per post

LinkedIn Reach 3rd Party Tools vs. NativeTwitter Reach 3rd Party Tools vs. Native

Slight Advantage: 3rd-Party Tools

Average Reach Per Post Type

Next, we thought it would be useful to break down how each post type (links, images/GIFS, videos) performed with both 3rd-party social media tools and native posting.

Link Posts:

  • Average Link Post Reach (Facebook, 3rd-party): 7,333
  • Average Link Post Reach (Facebook, Native): 7,332
  • Average Link Post Impressions (Twitter, 3rd-party): 20,326
  • Average Link Post Impressions (Twitter, Native): 18,931
  • Average Link Post Reach (LinkedIn, 3rd-party): 6,125
  • Average Link Post Reach (LinkedIn, Native): 5,852

3rd-Party Tools, Average Link Reach

Images/GIFs Posts:

  • Average Image/GIF Post Reach (Facebook, 3rd-party): 5,733
  • Average Image/GIF Post Reach (Facebook, Native): 8,237
  • Average Image/GIF Post Impressions (Twitter, 3rd-party): 19,522
  • Average Image/GIF Post Impressions (Twitter, Native): 22,914
  • Average Image/GIF Post Reach (LinkedIn, 3rd-party): 8,148
  • Average Image/GIF Post Reach (LinkedIn, Native): 6,247

3rd-Party Tools, Average Image Reach

Video Posts:

  • Average Video Post Reach (Facebook, 3rd-party): 14,146
  • Average Video Post Reach (Facebook, Native): 17,100
  • Average Video Post Impressions (Twitter, 3rd-party): 26,495
  • Average Video Post Impressions (Twitter, Native): 24,214
  • Average Video Post Reach (LinkedIn, 3rd-party): N/A
  • Average Video Post Reach (LinkedIn, Native): N/A

3rd-Party Tools, Average Video Reach

It’s interesting to note that in all cases there was no clear winner between 3rd-party social media tools and native posting. Each performed better seemingly at random – making their performance more or less even across the board.

Which leads us to the 3 major takeaways that we got from this experiment.

3rd-party social media tools vs. native posting (takeaways)

This experiment was an eye-opening one, to say the least! It gave us a great perspective on the current state of social media reach and engagement while also reminding us how much time and effort goes into creating great content.

We’re excited to share the three biggest takeaways we learned in the process.

1. Importance of Content

The number one takeaway that we got out of this experiment is that content is the most important factor that determines social media posting success.

It matters more than timing and frequency. And it matters more than whether or not we posted natively to each network or through a 3rd-party social media tool.

In examining the data, there were times when a piece of content “went viral” when posted natively and there were times when content “went viral” when posted through a 3rd-party tool.

Native Posting vs. 3rd-Party Tools Comparison

We’ve had the pleasure of running multiple experiments over the past year and it always comes down to the same thing: content.

For example, simply reducing our posting frequency and focusing on only creating content that we knew our audience would love, we were able to increase our Facebook organic reach by more than 330 percent in 2017.

Sometimes all it takes is a fresh perspective on the types of content we create:

20 Social Media Content Ideas

If you’re looking for a fun way to switch it up and create a ton of high-quality posts in 2018, feel free to check out 20 social media content ideas that have worked for us and just might work for you, too!

2. Power of Video

We’ve talked about the importance of video marketing lots here on the blog in the past – we even mentioned the video trend in a recent episode of the Buffer Podcast.

Now we’re excited to say that we have our very own data to back it up!

Here’s how videos stacked up in terms of reach and engagement on Facebook and Twitter in comparison to links and images/GIFs:

Average Reach Per Post Type On Social Media

LinkedIn doesn’t currently offer native video posting for brands and so we weren’t able to test the data from that network. But rumor has it that they’ll be opening up native video posting for brands sometime in 2018 (yes!).

Whether networks are prioritizing videos in their algorithms or people truly do enjoy interacting with video over other types of posts, we can expect to see a lot more of them in the coming year.

3. Time and Productivity

Folks that work and are successful in the social media industry know that it can take lots of time and effort to create amazing content and grow accounts.

That’s why we’re huge fans of anything that can make our jobs that much easier – extensions, hacks, tools, you name it!

Planning, uploading, and posting to social media natively turned out to be a major challenge for us. We often found ourselves forgetting to upload a Tweet or Facebook post at a certain time.

And quite ironically, when posting natively, we ended up using Buffer to “store” all of our content so that we could quickly copy and paste the image and caption to each social network. We’re not sure what we would have done without that over the course of the three weeks.

For us, utilizing a social media tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, CoSchedule (or any of the other great tools out there) is how we’re able to ship great content consistently and on time.

Thoughts and next steps

At this point you might be eager to run some 3rd-party vs. native posting experiments of your own. I know I would be!

While it’s great to read studies like this one, every brand’s results on social media might look a little different. You might rest a little easier at night knowing for sure that your social media posts aren’t being penalized for using a 3rd-party tool.

If you’re interested, you can grab a copy of the blank spreadsheet template here:

Download: 3rd-Party Tools vs. Native Posting Results (Blank .XLS)

Or, check out the raw data from our experiment, including the results from 11 other brands:

Results: 3rd-Party Tools vs. Native Posting (Buffer + Community)

I’d love to hear the results of your experiments!

Please feel free to leave a comment below with any questions about the experiment or results above, or your own experience with 3rd-party social media tools vs. native posting.

A huge shoutout

We wanted to say thank you for all of the wonderful people and brands that helped to make this study great!

11 Insights on Personal Care Brands’ Social Media Strategy

Every industry has different priorities on social media. For personal care brands, community building is crucial. The interactive nature of social media serves this need better than conventional media. However, personal care brands need a solid social media strategy to achieve this goal. In this article, we evaluate how successful top personal care brands in North America were in this regard.

The brands analyzed here include Always, Angel Soft, Charmin, Cottonelle, Dial, Dollar Shave Club, Gillette, Harry’s, Huggies, Kleenex, Kotex, Method, Softsoap and The Honest Company.

Time period: 1st January – 31st May 2017

Facebook

Even with the newer networks like Snapchat and Instagram gaining popularity, Facebook is still crucial for brands. Find out how well these personal care brands engaged their audience on Facebook and explore possible reasons why they did so well.

Engagement

Take a look at the average number of likes, comments and shares each brand received per post:

Average likes, comments and shares received by CPG brands

Angel Soft takes the lead in average engagement. However, if you were to consider total engagement, Kleenex comes out on top. This is because of the difference in posting frequency.

Volume of Posts

The brands studied here typically posted around 60 times in the period studied. The Honest Company posted the most (180), followed by The Dollar Shave Club (159). Angel Soft (6) and Softsoap (2) had a very low post count.

Number of posts published by each CPG brand

(It’s possible that Angel Soft and Softsoap publish ‘dark posts’ via the Facebook ads platform which inserts their content into users’ timelines but doesn’t show up on the brand’s Facebook page).

Such a large gulf in posting frequency makes it difficult to base engagement on average interactions alone (the larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction). Kleenex however, stands ahead of the pack by securing great engagement without posting too much.

Promotion

With the decline in organic reach, brands have to bank on promoted content to ensure that their posts get to their target audience. The chart below shows the degree to which each brand promoted their content:

Number of organic and promoted posts by each CPG brand

The brands studied here were likely to promote around 30% of all their content. Some brands like Charmin, Always, Softsoap and Gillette banked solely on organic content. Others like Method (85%) promoted a sizeable chunk of all their posts.

Consider how the promotion strategy of these brands translated to engagement:

Rise in engagement offset by percentage promotion

Kleenex has benefitted the most from boosting their content. The small percentage of content they’ve promoted has yielded them great returns.

Reach and Impressions

A clear implication of promoted content is a boost in reach. Xia, our AI can estimate the reach and impressions brands receive at page and post level. Observe the dividend in terms of reach and impressions these brands were able to gain:

Overall estimated reach and impressions for each brand

By designing an efficient promotion strategy, Kleenex manages to get the most eyeballs on Facebook.

Yet, it is not enough that every brand arrives at an estimate of the optimum percentage of content that has to be boosted. It is imperative that they decide which posts to promote.

To understand more about how promotion figures in their social media strategy, let us take a look at the top posts.

Top Content

The following posts by Kleenex clinched the highest number of Reactions and Shares among all the brands compared:

These videos are part of a larger campaign run by the brand ‘#ShareKleenexCare’. As part of this, the brand ran features of random acts of caring that make a difference. Rather than talking about their product, these videos address the theme of caring. By doing so, they build a strong association with their brand and the act of caring.

Story-telling as a strategy is crucial to social media success. The use of video content facilitates this. Over 80% of the posts that were published as part of this campaign during this time period were videos. This allows the brand to capture the attention of their audience.

However, great story-telling and visuals can fail to meet their objectives if it does not reach a wide audience. In order to ensure that their content gets a good reach, Kleenex promoted over 50% of all their posts around the #ShareKleenexCare campaign.

If you were to take a look at all the posts that were promoted by Kleenex, you’d see that more than half are videos that are part of this campaign. Other than that, the brand also boosted links to purchase pages and a video that showcased their new tissue box designs.

Check out the split of content types and the degree to which Kleenex promoted each type:

Volume of Kleenex's posts and engagement per content type

Video content is central to their content strategy. A key edge they have over their competitors is the success of their video content. Take a look at the views clinched by each brand’s videos:
Number of views received by each brand on Facebook

As you can see, Kleenex outperforms the others in terms of video views. Quite like their promotion strategy, the brand banks on quality of content to get the most out of a handful of excellent content.

Takeaways

  1. Infuse the power of story-telling to create content that resonates
  2. Consider past data and industry trends to arrive at an optimum posting frequency
  3. Similarly, take data-backed decisions on content promotion
  4. Identify the content types that your audience is most attentive to

Twitter

The way personal care brands use Twitter differs significantly from how they use Facebook. For one, they post a lot more on Twitter. While on average, each brand published 55 posts on Facebook, they’d tweet 144 times. However, brands receive better engagement on Facebook compared to Twitter. On Facebook brands typically got around 1,200 interactions. On Twitter, this was a meager 25.

Due to the chronological nature (as opposed to the Facebook NewsFeed algorithm for instance) of Twitter, tweets can have a lifespan of minutes before they are buried.

On the other hand, Twitter is a great platform for brands to address their customers’ questions and concerns, respond to feedback etc. Let’s take a closer look:

Customer Service

Diligent responses to customer complaints and queries make a brand look good on social media. It is not enough that brands respond to most of the user tweets that they get, but they have to do it as fast as possible too. In the following chart, you can see where each brand stands in terms of reply time and response rate.

Average Reply Time and Response Rate

Harry’s had the highest response rate by replying to over 40% of all the mentions they received. Charmin had the best average reply time. They were likely to respond to a tweet in 1 hour 40 minutes.

If you look at the chart below, you will see that Charmin, U by Kotex and Huggies serviced most of their user tweets within 15 minutes. Most other brands would get back to a tweet in less than a day.
Time taken by each brand to reply to user tweets

What brands respond with is equally important as a quick response time. Apart from plain text replies, the brands studied here were most likely to ask users to view a link. This can lead them to a page on their website which contains more information about a particular product or to one where they can purchase a product, register a complaint etc.

What brands are most likely to reply with

Twitter is not just a medium where brands can deal with customer complaints and questions. Brands have to formulate a solid content strategy that suits the nature of this platform.

Content Strategy

Apart from the differences in posting frequency and average interactions, one major difference is the split of various content types used. From the chart below, it is evident that tweets that contain plain text with or without a link are the most used.

Volume and engagement received by photos, videos, text/links and GIFs

This is in stark contrast to the composition of Facebook posts.

Volume of posts and engagement per content type

However, video content brings in the best engagement on both platforms. Let us take a look at the most engaging tweets from the period studied here:

This GIF by Charmin clinched the most number of likes and retweets. A key reason why this performed so well was because it was a Twitter ad. This implies that it had a greater reach due to a paid push, and thereby, better engagement.

Gillette received the most number of replies on a single tweet by joining in on the conversation around Superbowl 2017. Adding a contest twist to their tweet, they gave their audience an incentive to interact with their content.

Another way brands can bring in more engagement is by tapping into influencers and celebrities. Huggies did just that by roping in Michael Phelps to promote their disposable swimpants, Little Swimmers.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the engagement that these brands received on Twitter:

Likes, replies and retweets received by each CPG brand on Twitter

Charmin topped the charts in total likes received, while Gillette amassed the most replies and The Honest Company the most shares. Gillette’s high reply count is on account of the contest they ran coupled with the large number of tweets they published. Similarly, Charmin was able to notch up 2,135 retweets even though they only had a fifth of The Honest Company’s tweet count. Charmin owes 60% of all these retweets to ads they ran on Twitter.

Takeaways

  1. How people perceive your brand depends on your interactions with them. Respond promptly and precisely.
  2. Use Twitter ads to get your audience’s attention about new products, exciting offers or to spark conversations around a new ad that you’ve put a lot of effort into.
  3. Analyze content types and topics that interest your audience and strive to provide a value-add with every piece of content.

Instagram

Instagram offers brands the capability to visually communicate their brand personality. By using images and videos, they can communicate who they are as a brand and speak to their target audience.

A good example of this is The Honest Company. It is the most engaging brand of the ones studied in this report on Instagram.

Likes and Comments received by each brand

How does The Honest Company win engagement on Instagram?

The Honest Company has a tendency to publish a lot of content on all social media networks. While this did not really translate into engagement on other platforms, it seems to have paid off on Instagram. However, it is not just about quantity as much as how relevant their content is to their audience.

Let us take a look at their most engaging posts:

Balance is our friend.

A post shared by The Honest Company (@honest) on May 24, 2017 at 5:07pm PDT

The Honest Company’s success on the platform is largely because they understand their audience. They have anchored their content around honest moments like this, which speak to their target audience. This is apparent if you look at their top performing hashtags, most of which center around the theme of honesty.

The Honest Company's most popular hashtags

Most of these posts carry a quote that addresses parenting worries and dilemmas. This way, they win points by being sympathetic to their audience.

Types of Posts

Only a tiny fraction of the posts published by the personal care brands analyzed here were videos (13%). These contributed to barely 5% of all the interactions registered.

The Honest Company published the most number of videos. These also had the highest volume of video views.
Number of video views received by each brand
In addition to getting the most views, these videos brought in on average 1,227 interactions. The average interactions received per video content in this group is barely over 600.

Influencers

A big reason why The Honest Company’s video content does so well is because of their tie-ups with influencers. These include, apart from popular social media personalities and celebrities, publishers who have a commendable following.

The Honest Company has leveraged the superfood obsession by getting a food blogger to create Buzzfeed-Tasty-like videos. The four videos that were published in association with Honey Suckle Catering generated close to 2,250 interactions each.

Community

Instagram introduced the algorithmic feed that many brands suspected to be the end of organic reach for brands on the platform. However, it is still important to grow your audience size on Instagram. If you create content that truly interests your audience and they interact with it, as we have seen with The Honest Company, the algorithm may work in your favor. Your brand will get good visibility in user feeds, leading to better engagement. You could almost call it a virtuous circle.

In this case, The Honest Company is getting good traction out of their audience size which is significantly larger than their competitors’, as you can see from the chart below:

The number of followers and growth rate for each CPG brand

Takeaways

  1. Tailor your content according to the nature of the platform. Look at topics and formats that are popular and infuse them into your content.
  2. Similarly, know your audience and the kind of content they engage with. Create content that is extremely relevant to them.
  3. Channel influencers who are experts in your industry or have a huge following among your target audience.
  4. Make an effort to build your community size by encouraging followers to engage with your content and follow you.

You can make the most out of your social presence by consulting data. Every decision, be it about the frequency of posting or what you should talk about, should be backed by data. This way you can eliminate the guesswork and streamline your social media strategy.

Unmetric provides brands and agencies AI-driven insights so that they can create compelling content.

The post 11 Insights on Personal Care Brands’ Social Media Strategy appeared first on Unmetric Social Media Analytics Blog.