The research by social media and brand consultancy, Once Upon A Time, and social media marketing and technology company, Webitude, found that when Indian consumers most want to engage over Facebook, the majority of brands are absent.
The study used Webitude’s proprietary tool BuzzRef to monitor 292 Indian brands between October 2010 and April 2011, in terms of fan counts, feed postings, 'likes', and comments.
“While Facebook is ignored at the marketer’s peril, our understanding of this sticky new social platform is still limited, in part because it’s is relatively difficult to monitor,” said Manish Sinha, CEO, Once Upon A Time.
According to the study, Facebook ‘primetime’ is largely the same as television. Today’s audiences are most engaged with both TV and branded content on Facebook between 7pm and 11pm. Engagement levels during this time were 34 per cent higher than during any other time band. Once Upon A Time says it's therefore a good time for brands to be present and updating on both media, That's especially true for media brands, where user engagement is 63 per cent higher during primetime than any other time of the day, the report found.
However, for the most part, brands are most active during weekday afternoons when 40% of their daily posts go up. At present only about six per cent of all brand posts take place on Sundays, yet consumer engagement levels jump 23 per cent on Sunday and 22 per cent on Saturday, compared with weekdays.
“This anomaly needs to be corrected quickly as content efforts may be misdirected at present,” commented Sinha, who is also chief strategy officer for Digitas India.
The exception appears to be cellphone brands in India including Nokia, Blackberry and Samsung, and automotive brands which have consumers who interact most with the brands during working hours.
Overall, the top five brands on Facebook based on fan-numbers, are Facebook India, MTV India, Tata DoCoMo, Zoozoos and the Axe Angels Club. “A common thread among these brands are that they target youth,” observed Sinha. “Therefore, marketers who need to connect with the young, need to be on social media, particularly Facebook.”
To truly engage with consumers, brands need to move beyond static postings and start holding real-time conversations with their audiences, said Sinha. “The data we’ve gathered shows that for the most part, brands are out of sync with their consumers on Facebook.”