Facebook boosts brands

16 May 2012

NEW YORK: Brands could make substantial progress in engaging emerging market consumers simply by using Facebook effectively, a report has argued.

According to SocialBakers, the analytics firm, only 17% of Facebook's 901m members are drawn from the US, meaning marketers could gain considerable overseas benefits if they "capture the other 83%".

As an example, Coca-Cola, the soft drink brand, currently boasts 42m Facebook fans around the world, only 10m of which live in the US.

Starbucks, the coffee house chain, claimed second in terms of fan numbers on 30m, matching the total logged by Converse, the shoewear specialist. Red Bull, the energy drink, came next on 28m, with Oreo, Kraft's snack brand, on 26m.

SocialBakers also rated the top players in terms of engagement, dividing a brand's number of comments, "likes" and shares by its wall posts, and then by its number of fans, before producing a percentage score.

At the global level, Starbucks led the charts on 0.04%, ahead of Converse and Redbull on 0.03% apiece, and Oreo on 0.01%. Turning to the US, McDonald's and Disney led the way on 0.07% each.

The highest ratings here included Axe and Nescafé in the Philippines, on 0.16% and 0.14% in turn. Starbucks logged 0.18% in Mexico and M&M's posted 0.14% in France, as did BlackBerry in Indonesia.

When it came to the fastest-growing brands in emerging markets, Kraft performed very strongly. Halls, its cough drops, saw a 157-fold increase in fan numbers last year to 2.3m in Brazil, where its Trident gum also grew 61-times over to 2.4m.

Chiclets, the firm's candy range, also saw over 1,000-fold growth in the same market, to 1.3m. Oreo also added 1.3m followers in India, meaning its total by the end of 2011 was 57 times greater than by the close of 2010.

"It can be incredibly time-consuming and difficult to go to market in new regions with a localized website or microsite, even for some of the world's biggest companies," Jan Rezab, CEO of SocialBakers, said.

"Facebook eliminates that barrier to entry by providing a well-entrenched and steadily-growing platform."

CORRECTION: This story was corrected on 16 May, 2012. The original source material overstated the size of the fanbase possessed by the leading brands.

Data sourced from SocialBakers; additional content by Warc staff