You Don’t Know Jack When it Comes to Brand Marketing

Take a minute to visit the Brandwatch webpage to find out which brands are topping the social media index. If you are like me and choose to look at the alcohol sector, you will find that in the fourth-quarter global analysis of 2016, Jack Daniels appears at the top of the social index chart.

Brandwatch gathers data from millions of online sources and categorizes them in to five key areas to indicate how effective that particular brand is doing across social media networks. Jack Daniels scored highest over 40 other alcohol brands with a total score of 381 out of a possible 500. Brands are scored on the volume of conversation their brand generated on social media, how much of that conversation was positive, growth of brand followers for that period, and how well that brand was engaging with their audience.

So, who cares?

Well, Jack apparently does. Businesses take an interest in measuring and analyzing their social media efforts to understand if their current methods are effective or not for marketing their brand. When the measures are broken out by specific indicators, as it is by Brandwatch, a business can determine where they are making success or where they may need to tweak their strategies. These metrics help businesses make decisions about the type of content to create, how it should be promoted and when it should be posted.

What makes Jack so special?

I decided to visit the Facebook page of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whisky to find out what made Jack so special for it to place at the top of the chart. Jack’s Facebook page shows 15 million fan “likes” and 14.8 million “followers” to its page. Posts are happening daily and it appears that Jack’s media managers have determined that the best time of day for them to post is within the 11 o’clock, 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock hours. There is certainly a lot of audience engagement happening within each post.  Audience engagement averages around four-thousand “likes” per posts, with a generous amount of sharing and commentary as well.

The fourth-quarter of 2016 also happens to fall during the holiday season, so there is typically much more advertising going on to market their products. I also believe much of Jack’s more recent increase in followers and conversation surrounding Tennessee Whiskey, can be attributed to Chris Stapleton’s popular hit song Tennessee Whiskey , in which Stapleton brought to the forefront when he performed the song on the 2015 CMA Awards. Since that debut, there have been many covers of that song shared on YouTube, particularly one recently performed by YouTuber Kris Jones , that hit the internet on January 2, 2017 and has already received 14 million views.

See for yourself, says  The Whiskey Wash, “when you Google Tennessee Whiskey, a link to Chris Stapleton pops up. Depending on your search habits, you may have to scroll down through several entries involving lyrics, chord diagrams and Justin Timberlake before discovering results pertaining to the beloved spirit”. Of course, there are other brands of Tennessee whiskey but “It’s impossible to talk about Tennessee whiskey without mentioning the iconic Jack Daniels. Jack Daniels is the oldest registered distillery in the United States, having celebrated their 150th anniversary last year. It is widely recognized as the world’s top selling whiskey” says Fuller.

It’s all about business goals

When businesses analyze their social media metrics, they need to do it through the lens of their overall business goals. These metrics should be measured according to how well they are meeting their goals, and if necessary, leverage that information to drive decisions about better positioning their brand in the marketplace.

The metrics that matter

The Next Web highlights five social media metrics that are important for businesses to track.

  1. Reach– Measures audience growth rate and allows businesses to evaluate marketing efforts over time and can directly connect social media data with business profits.
  2. Engagement– As a brand increases its audience, it needs to continue to actively engage with them and make sure they are listening. This can be done by looking at the average engagement rate and comparing posts’ engagement with overall follower base.
  3. Acquisition– Measures how often people are visiting a business’s site. Look at new and returning visitors. Returning visitors will measure the depth of engagement and strength of a business’s social networks. New visitors will confirm that the business’s “reach” and “audience” metrics are showing meaningful growth.
  4. Conversion– A business’s goals should be defined for how they plan to turn “visits” to its social media site into profits. A mistake businesses often make is pushing their product too hard and end up losing their audience instead.
  5. Activity– Social media data combined with other data related to a business can derive information like Customer Service Savings. A business’s savings from social media equal the average time to complete traditional customer service, multiplied by hourly cost of customer service. Repeated 100 or 1000 times over, this translates to significant savings for a company.

Is there anything better than Jack and Coke?

If a business wants to improve their position upon the social index, they should consider the metric categories that are being rated, determine their business goals and measure those metrics in relation to meeting their goals. There were other brands on the social index that fared in comparison to Jack’s general and social visibility but suffered in their engagement.

Guinness reached 100 percent in visibility and scored 90 percent growth in followers but their engagement with their audience sadly measured in at 40 percent. Another brand, Smirnoff showed a 56 percent visibility across social media channels with a surprising 84 percent follower growth, but ranked very low on the index chart with a 24 percent engagement rate. I decided to do a little digging on Smirnoff’s Facebook page to see what they were doing differently, in comparison to Jack, when it came to audience engagement. Like Jack Daniel’s, Smirnoff shared the majority of their posts during the 11 o’clock hour. They are about one million followers shy of Jack Daniel’s follower base, but the majority of the posts I saw were for recipes for Smirnoff drinks encompassed by a lot of hashtags.

Engagement, engagement, engagement

Engagement falls under one of the five most important metrics to track for brand marketing. It can have an impact on a business by increasing traffic, growing brand awareness, talking with community members, and showing its voice. Audience engagement can be difficult because engagement isn’t the same for each social media platform. So, if a business’s engagement metric is resulting in a low percentage of audience engagement, then it is time to change its strategy in how it engages with its audience.

Smirnoff doesn’t know Jack

After comparing the Facebook pages of Jack Daniel’s and Smirnoff, I felt Jack did a much better job relaying the culture of Tennessee whiskey, the history behind Jack Daniel’s, and its followers’ love of Jack. Smirnoff portrayed more as a party drink and recipe site. At first, I had the impression that Jack Daniel’s simply had a much longer history than Smirnoff and proved to be better branded in the roots of alcohol. However, Smirnoff’s Facebook page indicates their brand has been around since 1864, whereas Jack Daniels was born in 1850. This shows that Smirnoff has simply not marketed their product well enough to gain the same level of respect as the Jack Daniel’s brand, leaving me to believe that Smirnoff doesn’t know Jack about brand marketing.


Share if Team Jack!  Like if Team Smirnoff!

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