Thursday, March 17, 2011

How do top Spanish companies use social media? (Pt. 1)

I’ve been mulling over this question for a while, and decided to first look at Spanish companies' participation on Facebook. The other day I came across a new report, which highlights exactly the information I was looking for: Sociatria’s analysis of SocialBakers' report asks the question:What Spanish brands have the greatest pull on Facebook?It examines the level of participation with Spanish brands by Facebook Fans.

Before looking at the report, however, it’s helpful to know the standing of Spanish brands both within Spain and internationally. Superbrands found that, of the 350 most recognized brands in Spain, 35% are Spanish brands, while 33% are European, 25% are American and 7% are Asian. The most recognized of the Spanish brands are: El Corte Inglés, Zara y Telefónica.

On a global scale,  according to InterBrand’s Best Global Brands 2010 report, the Spanish brands with the highest value worldwide are Zara (#50) and Banco Santander (#68).

A study by the Universidad Carlos III for El Foro de Marcas Renombradas Españolas, showed that the most internationally recognized Spanish brands are: Santander and Mango (recognized by 50% of people interviewed) and Real Madrid with 45%. Other highly recognized brands are Seat, Telefónica, BBVA, Fútbol Club Barcelona, Sol Meliá, Iberia, Endesa, Iberdrola, Repsol, Freixenet, Bodegas Torres, Porcelanosa, Roca, NH Hoteles and Carbonell.

This report, updated regularly on SocialBakers, highlights the Spanish brands with the most Fans on Facebook. It shows that, in the past three months, 12 Spanish brands appear in the top 20 brands with the most Fans on Facebook in Spain. It’s notable that all of the Spanish brands have grown their fan base by at least 5%, in most cases more. The online shopping group Privalia has grown by nearly 42% and Telepizza has increased by an impressive 84%.

Spanish Brands Facebook
Topping the list in terms of number of fans are Bershka and Mango, with 2.4m and 1.6m fans respectively. Both have grown over 11% in the past three months. Followed quite far behind, then, is Blanco (350k). Strangely, Zara is not on the list. As I recommended in a previous post, they must connect their new social media endeavor Zara People! to their Facebook Page.

Having a lot of Fans is great, of course, but the important point of how companies interact with Fans is key.

Another report from SocialBakers highlights just that. They look at the brands with the greatest pull on Facebook in Spain. The report was analyzed by Sociatria in Spanish, and I have summarized the findings in English below.

Notably, only three Spanish brands appear in the top 10 in terms of activity on their Facebook pages. The top three brands with the highest Facebook activity are international automotive companies, followed by the Spanish brand Purificacion Garcia.  Two other Spanish brands appear on the list: Voll-Damm at #5 and Yoigo at #8.

Spanish Brands Facebook Participation
Another important indication of the impact of brand’s effort on Facebook is how the Fans interact with the brand. Socialbakers has created what they call the “Wall Activity Index” to further analyze participation; this Index is comprised of the number of publications posted by fans on the brand’s wall divided by the total number of fans.  There are a few Spanish brands on this top 10 list as well, including Yoigo, ONO and Iberia Airlines.

Spanish Brands Facebook Wall
I'm surprised at how few fans actually publish on Page's wall. I was sure it would be more. We should bear in mind that there are many other actions a Fan can take, however, such as viewing photos, sharing with friends, recommending the page, taking part in activities such as polls and competitions. 

I've observed that Spanish companies are still using social media as a way to broadcast a message, instead of ‘interacting’ and ‘holding a conversations’ with Fans and Followers. In an upcoming post on the role of the Community Manager in Spain, I will analyze just that.


Frederic Page said...

Very interesting post! "Interaction" is the key word here. Your analysis is important, many companies seem to believe that "pushing" a message is enough, and they see social media as a tool rather than as an opportunity. In my opinion, social media is a fantastic way to manage opportunities, but also to mitigate risks! If the conversation is only a monologue, then customers (and potential customers) will lose interest. In the recent months I solved 2 issues, as a customer, thank to Twitter, the last one with Vodafone. The irony is that my problem hadn't been "heard" by phone (through normal customer service channels) but was solved through Twitter, the Vodafone community manager, while telling me they were not an official customer service agent, actually contributed to solve my problem. In my field (Corporate Social Responsibility & sustainability) I see social media as a huge potential to interact with stakeholders, "listen", identify and measure the importance of their concerns ("material issues") and provide information about the company's social & environmental initiatives. A last word: I believe that Community Manager is an essential position in a company and should be considered (and economically compensated) as such. Do you think there will be soon a Chief Social Media Officer or a Chief Stakeholder Engagement Officer?

Txerra said...

Very interesting post. Well, im spanish (excuse me for my english) and I think you're quite right in what you say. Many Spanish brands have not learned what it means to be in social networks. Most of the brands talk a lot but dont listen (Movistar, is a great example). This brands dont follow the rules of the game (transparency, loyalty).

But there are other Spanish brands that are an example of how to be in social networks. Volvo Car Spain, Dove Spain,Mahou, for example. They interact a lot their users. Two small examples of the many that exist.


Miriam said...

@Frederic Thanks for your comment. You make some great points about 'listening' and 'interaction'. I think companies are still learning how to do this. Regarding the role of Community Manager, I have an interesting report that I plan to write about soon covering the role of CM in Spain. Right now it seems that it's not a 100% dedicated role in many cases, but I'm positive that, as you say, Chief Social Media Officer or a Chief Stakeholder Engagement Officer are soon to come. Right now companies are trying to respond to the impending necessity of social media with resources they already have, or with little cost. That will have to change.

Miriam said...

@Txerra, I appreciate your comment. And your English is great! Thank you for the 'good' and 'bad' examples of companies that engage in social media. I think there are some companies doing great work (Movistar is definitely not one of them). I'd like to write a post about some positive examples in the near future, and I'll definitely reference those you list. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future!