Social Platforms

Gartner L2 assesses the social investment and performance of 382 brands across 17 platforms

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PARING

As social media matures, and budgets level, brands currently on an average of 7.5 platforms, will be forced to pick their partners. Many brands try to be everywhere at once, with brands participating on an average of seven platforms. Presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and, recently, Instagram is nearly ubiquitous. Present on 13 platforms, Adidas tops the list followed by Gap, Uniqlo, ASOS, Honda, and Toyota on 12 platforms each. Only Burberry, Chanel, and Dior are in the top 20 percent for both followers and absolute engagement across all Western platforms where they are present.

Number of Social Platforms per Brand

June 2014, n=382 Brands

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 7.5 AVERAGE
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
Youku and Tudou treated as a single platform, Snapchat and Weishi are excluded.

Social Media Adoption

Percentage of Brands Present on the Following Platforms

June 2014, n=382 Brands, Account Active in 2014

  • Western Platforms

  • APAC Platforms


  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • YouTube

  • Instagram

  • Google+

  • Pinterest

  • Sina
    Weibo

  • WeChat

  • Youku

  • Tumblr

  • Vine

  • Wanelo

  • Tudou

  • Snapchat

  • Line

  • KakaoTalk

Pay To Play

Facebook is guilty of the greatest bait and switch in marketing history – convincing brands to invest in building large communities so they (brands) would have an owned asset. However, algorithm changes have plunged organic reach on Facebook from 16 percent in April 2012, to the low single digits, and it continues falling. Brands must now advertise to ensure visibility and engagement and as organic reach on Facebook dissipates, brands are posting less frequently. Other platforms, eager to follow Facebook’s playbook have intensified their advertising efforts. Yet none provides Facebook’s ability to target at a scale that rivals television.

Instagamechanger

Instagram continues to defy gravity, maintaining robust engagement even as the community grows. The visual sibling to Facebook enjoys the most engaged users for both engagement rate and absolute interactions. Instagram’s engagement rate is 18 times that of Facebook, and average absolute engagement (3,200+ interactions per post) is twice that of the social behemoth despite being 15 percent of its size.

Community Size vs. Engagement By Platform

June 2014, n=382 Brands

Instagram

1.455%

Lost in translation

Most brands are global, to a fault. Few tap popular native platforms in Japan and Korea, relying instead on Facebook’s reach. In China, where Western platforms are rendered mute, Sina Weibo still reigns, but new brand entrants have stalled. However, the number of brands on mobile social commerce platform WeChat has skyrocketed 25+ percent in the past year, the most of any platform East or West.

Platform Adoption Year-Over-Year

June 2013 vs. June 2014, n=191 Brands

+25.7%

WeChat

Winners

The reach and targeting on (and off) Facebook is compelling. The social giant’s access to consumer data arguably bests Google, and Mark Zuckerberg’s deft acquisitions ensure its mobile reign will continue. Brand participation on 2012 acquisition Instagram is now 90 percent – up 18 percent year on year. YouTube’s sustained growth ensures it will also continue to remain a static part of the marketing mix. WeChat is now the gateway the world’s largest and fastest-growing consumer market, and the first platform to deliver direct sales – at scale. Attractive demographics garners Snapchat interest, but without sustained attention from either users or brands it could just be flirtation. Wanelo has gained traction with Retail and Sportswear brands, however traffic back to brand sites and sales are TBD.

Social Media Adoption Year-Over-Year

Change of Brands Active on the Following Platforms

July 2013 vs. June 2014, n=191 Brands

  • Western Platforms

  • APAC Platforms


  • WeChat

  • Instagram

  • Youku

  • Google+

  • Sina
    Weibo

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • YouTube

  • Tudou

  • Pinterest

  • Tumblr

  • Vine

... & Losers

Brands have begun leaving Vine, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Fifty-five percent of Vine accounts have no posts in last year, As many chose to host their own blog content, 24 brands left Tumblr, which in our view reigns as the worst tech acquisition of the past 5 years. Although community sizes have doubled on Pinterest, absolute engagement has not budged, and engagement rates are off 65 percent. Audiences on Google+ brand pages are inactive, and engagement rates have suffered a 98 percent drop year on year. Google appears to be dismantling the platform and harvesting its organs.

Engagement Rate Change Year-Over-Year

July 2014, n=382 Brands


  • Facebook

  • Sina Weibo

  • Instagram

  • Google+

Social commerce reboot

Platforms are pivoting to commerce, hoping to diversify revenue and better monetize users. After a failed attempt, in July Facebook began experimenting with “Buy” buttons for select small businesses. During London Fashion Week, Burberry piloted Twitter’s “Buy” button, enabling followers to purchase the brand’s new eye shadow direct from the catwalk Rich Pins, Shoppable HangOuts, and Like2Buy Stores are making Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram, respectively, transactional rather than just inspirational. WeChat was born a commerce-driven platform and its DNA is apparent. Responding, Sina Weibo rolled out “Buy” buttons to its mobile app in January. Despite the sense of urgency and experimentation, social commerce revenues and conversion remain low.

Social Commerce Timeline

  • 2010
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
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2014

Pampers sells out limited supply of diapers via storefront in matter of hours

@earlybird account sends Twitter exclusive daily deals

“Daily Deal” shuts down

Launches "Deals"

Brands shutter “Stores” en masse

Introduces sponsored stickers

Introduces 020 membership loyalty cards

Introduces Rich Pins

Launches in-app purchases

Rolls out payments

Officially launches 020 platform Weigouwu

Opens payments to businesses and retailers in China

Allows consumers to add items to shopping cart with #AmazonCart

Announces stand-alone B2C Line Shop app

Tests in-app purchases

Introduces mobile payment platform KakaoPay

Announces Line Pay mobile payment service

Launches “Offers”; scraps check-in “Deals”

Launches “Gifts” for physical products or digital gift cards

Earns $10M/ month selling stickers; 7B messages and 1B stickers sent

Introduces Weibo Payment with Alipay

Links to JD.com

Begins testing “Buy” button

Launches push notifications for sale items

Tests “Buy” button

Shuts down physical “Gifts”; digital gifts remain

Launches Stores platform

Announces “Gifts” shut down

Like2Buy latest 3rd party effort to integrate e-commerce

Allows customers to tweet to add items to Amazon wish list

Adds Passbook-style wallet to store loyalty cards, prepaid cards, and plane tickets

Activity Overview

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