[Report] How soft drink brands got social in Q1

Soft drink
This report surveys the performance of the top Indian Soft Drink brands on Facebook during the previous quarter. Even though brands are exploring new social media platforms to reach out to their customers, Facebook still remains a powerful force to reckon with.

For this study, I chose the top 10 Soft Drink brands in India, based on the total number of Likes their Facebook pages received. They are: Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7 Up, Thums Up, Sprite, Frooti, Fanta, Paper Boat, and Del Monte.

This is what the numbers revealed:

● Pepsi had the most number of fans (4.5 million) while recent entrant Paper Boat boasts the highest Fan Growth (over 8%).
● Frooti had over 700,000 Likes, miles ahead of the others.
● Mountain Dew leads the table for the most number of Comments and Shares. The brand posted the most (100 Posts) among the group with Paper Boat coming a distant second with 55
● Fanta had the most Likes per post, more than twice what Frooti, which came in second, got.
● Of the top six posts that had an Engagement Score of 1000[1], four were videos.

When I looked more closely, it seemed strange that Fanta had posted only thrice in the quarter and had amassed 123,315 Likes from just those three posts. A Holi Greeting from the brand brought in over 90,000 Likes and more than hundred other Reactions[2].

Clearly, this is an anomaly, given that the likelihood that you see Posts from a brand that posts rarely is very low. Unless, of course, all the people who saw the Post were diehard Fans of the brand. A more plausible conclusion, that was validated by our data, is that it’s a Promoted Post.

Take a look at the engagement that Promoted and Organic posts were able to rope in for each brand:
INDUSTRY_Paid_Post_Engagement_Jan_1_2016_to_Mar_31_2016

Yes, you can see how Brands are moving towards paid social without banking on organic content to bring in engagement. To an extent, they are quite right, as made clear by Fanta’s stellar show (They put money behind posts, but only for one Post, which might not amount to much, expenses-wise). The following chart shows how effective Promoted Posts were in generating engagement –

INDUSTRY_Effect_of_Promoted_Posts_on_engagement_Jan_1_2016_to_Mar_31_2016

Mountain Dew India published the most number of Promoted Posts while Pepsi experienced the biggest surge in engagement, from promotion.

Don’t hastily proclaim the end of organic content or conclude that good copy is no longer necessary, just yet. Take a look at this Post from Paper Boat that got an Engagement Score of 940. The entire series showcased creative storytelling and has been very successful on Social Media.

Striking a balance between Paid and Organic that does not compromise on content seems to be the key to an effective Social Media strategy.

For a detailed social media report on these Soft Drink brands take a look at the presentation.

[1] Engagement Score is a score out of 1000 of the engagement a particular Post receives, that takes into account Likes, Comments and Shares as well as the number of Fans who are likely to see the Post.

[2] Love : 63, Haha : 15, Wow : 35, Sad : 2 and Angry : 2

The article is written by Darsana Vijay, Social Media Journalist at Unmetric. You can find her on LinkedIn if she’s not busy tweeting from the Unmetric handle.

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