Earlier this year,
enterprise email marketing software and solutions provider Yesmail conducted a
study on cross-channel marketing and the role that competitive intelligence
plays in the development, execution, and measurement of those campaigns.
The company wrote up the results in a report entitled “Using
Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success,” which presents a
number of actionable insights gleaned from studying 20 of the Web’s top
retailers, including Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, Old Navy, and Eddie Bauer.
By developing a standardized engagement score to determine
which brands were receiving more quality engagement on Facebook, as opposed to
simply looking at high volumes based on of a high follower counts, Yesmail was
able to “compare apples to apples” to uncover those brands with the highest
quality and most engaging social media practices, which brands can study to
improve their own Facebook practices and see more quality engagement from their
Day of the Week
It may surprise many of you to learn that campaigns deployed
on Tuesdays actually had the highest engagement numbers. Somewhat contradictorily,
Tuesday is only the fourth most popular day for brands to deploy campaigns. The
weekend, especially Sundays, saw lowest number of deployed campaigns, which
make sense, as both Saturday and Sunday see far lower engagement numbers than
all five weekdays.
Time of Day
Finding the right time of day to deploy a Facebook campaign
is one of the most important considerations for a marketer. In the report,
Yesmail says that posts during 10pm and 12am (Eastern Time) are “an engagement
goldmine,” although this is also the least utilized time frame for campaign
deployments. (The report does concede that this period may have been popular
largely because the 20 retail brands it studied focused heavily on college
students.) Rather, the most common time to deploy a Facebook campaign was
between 11am and 1pm ET, an interval that is actually in the bottom 30 percent
in terms of engagement. The least engaging time of day is between 1am and 4am
ET, to no one’s surprise.
Many have fretted about how often they should deploy a
Facebook campaign out of fear that posting too often will eventually annoy fans
and posting too infrequently won’t get them the recognition they desire.
Yesmail found that the former is vastly more damaging, as the five least
engaging brands in the study averaged 54 campaigns a month. Meanwhile, the most
engaging brands deployed between 20 and 32 campaigns a month, but the report
also makes it a point to say that “Facebook campaigns should be carefully
determined and duly tested in order to enhance instead of curb engagement.”
However, the report does recommend limiting your monthly campaign count to 35.
On Facebook, brands have a couple of options for the post
formats they can choose to deploy. Not surprisingly, photos are a pretty
popular choice, comprising 43 percent of all campaign posts, and with good
reason, as photo content is also the most engaging. In addition, the engagement
numbers for video content are rapidly and consistently growing, but it is
utilized in a mere 6.5 percent of all Facebook campaigns. On the other hand,
status updates and links make up half of the brand posts on Facebook, but continue
to see a steady decline in engagement numbers.
It can take a lot of trial-and-error to determine just what
type of content your audience is going to respond to and engage with, and
Yesmail attempted to use digital competitive intelligence to “identify the
campaigns that have prompted the highest customer interaction.” It found that
the most successful campaigns communicated a purpose by identifying a desired
customer behavior, provided an incentive for performing a specific action, and
empowered its customers by explicitly putting them in charge, meaning they let
them add to and drive the conversation.
Finally, Yesmail also studied the effects that email
marketing can have on Facebook campaign engagement by overlaying email campaign
data and Facebook engagement data. It found that Facebook engagement improved
by around 50 percent when a single email campaign was deployed, and it grew by
100 percent when two email campaigns were deployed in the same time frame. The
trick, of course, is to utilize items like social share buttons to create a
relationship between the two channels and drive email subscribers to your