VentureBeat spoke to Michael Fisher, president of YesMail, to get the details.
“Both communication messaging and communication formatting matter,” Fisher said, “but timing sometimes matters even more. And when you hit on both messaging and timing, you can get great performance with fewer campaigns.”
One glaring issue: Most social marketing campaigns are deployed on Fridays. Campaigns deployed on Tuesdays get the most engagement:
This would seem to indicate that not only is Friday a bad day to start a campaign (many campaigns, little engagement), but that Tuesday is the best day (less clutter, better results). But Fisher was quick to point out that timing isn’t just about “the best day” you read about in some blog post, such as this one.
Instead, it’s individual to your company, your customer demographics, what’s happening in the industry, and what’s going on in consumers’ minds. For example, if you are the Golf Channel and you see there’s a sale on clubs by a major manufacturer, piggyback on that promotion by offering a subscription to anyone who has just purchased clubs.
Another finding: Fewer campaigns can be better.
“Fewer but very coordinated campaigns are more successful,” Fisher told VentureBeat. “When brands coordinate all the social media channels — Facebook, YouTube, Twitter — and their email campaigns, they see much greater engagement.
In fact, the five most engaging brands in the study, Ann Taylor, The Limited, Ralph Lauren, Eddie Bauer, and Banana Republic, deployed about half the campaigns of the least engaging brands … brands like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, H&M, and the Gap.
One of the surprises in the study is that some brands within the same corporate family have wildly varying success rates.
For example, Eddie Bauer has a massively outsized engagement ratio given its relatively small social media footprint: 74,000 likes on Facebook, 5,500 followers on Twitter. While corporate sister The Gap (both are owned by parent company Gap Inc.) has almost 2.5 million fans on Facebook and 154,000 followers on Twitter. On a per-fan basis, the brand has a much worse engagement ratio:
“Why is The Gap having less success than Banana Republic?” Fisher asks. Clearly, there are some social media learnings that are not being adequately shared across the corporation.
YouTube was a startling case for the YesMail study. It was the only social network where campaigns increased steadily over the three months of the study while engagement decreased at seemingly similar rates: