Boris Mercier, global head of digital brand marketing and social media for Desigual, took to the stage at Drapers Digital Festival to share his lessons on the importance of embracing analytics on social media.
Love your CMS
Mercier stresses the importance of a content management system (CMS), which he says is the “second most important” aspect of social media, after investment in a social analytics tool.
“It allows you to industrialise and have control over everything you’re doing,” he says. “You directly have immediate numbers for engagement on content, seeing if one format works best for pictures – for example. It also saves time in posting and helping to optimise timings.”
Engagement is powerful cross channels
“Every piece of content in the street has been selected based on social media engagement,” says Mercier. Measuring engagement helps the brand to decide what images or campaigns will also work better in stores and real life to ensure optimised content.
The brand has also used engagement to predict bestsellers.
“We are not ‘see now, buy now’, but have been able to identify bestsellers months before they go on sale by seeing the engagement with products when they appear in our fashion shows.”
The “peak-time post” deception
Mercier said advice to post at peak times on social media was incorrect.
“We are told to post on peak, because that’s when most people are connected to the social network,” he says. “But everyone is publishing and it makes it hard to be visible, so you have to publish before the peak so that you can be seen as people come online.”
Monitor your competitors
Mercier cautions against being two inward looking with social media. He advises to learn from what other brands do to better facilitate growth.
“Always monitor and analyse competitors,” he says. “Just analysing yourself is not enough.”
Play to the algorithm
“You need to understand the business of the social network,” explains Mercier. He highlights the fact that social sites want users to stay on their websites, so posts with too many links perform less well than other content, thanks to the algorithms.
“You have to play the game. Algorithm optimisation – test and learn with your content.”
Engagement varies globally
There is no one way to build engagement, and the levels of engagement varies hugely between markets, requiring a tailored approach.
“Engagement is related to community growth,” says Mercier. “Markets where you can grow your community easily used to have low engagement. Communities with high engagement are generally harder to build.”
He highlight Brazil and Japan as two opposing examples: “In Brazil everyone ‘likes’ everything, so it is very hard to appear in someones feed organically,” he explains. “In contrast, in Japan it is very hard to get a fan. But when you have a fan, they really engage – there is a 30% reach rate there compared with 0-2% for most of the brands globally, and 8-10% for Desigual.“