ASDA's Content Strategy Takes Tough Line on Facebook Likes
We all suffer frustration when our fans sometimes choose not to engage with our fascinating content on Facebook. But while we may think about deleting it, most of us never go that far. Except, that is, supermarket giant ASDA.
Speaking at the Best of Brand: Stories of FMCG & Consumer Brands and Social Media event at Social Media Week London on 23 September, Dominic Burch, Head of Social at ASDA, revealed the retailer's content strategy for its Facebook page: "We delete updates if they do not get 100 likes within one minute."
The stunned audience simultaneously gasped "how brave," and radiated sympathy towards the retail giant's community management (CM) team. What pressure they must constantly feel to produce good content and plenty of it!
The rationale behind this thinking is that with the huge amount of likes - 1,043,094 - that ASDA's Facebook boasts, it should expect to get at least 100 likes for its posts, or it is doing something wrong.
On the one hand, ASDA is declaring how well it knows its audience, and showing its confidence in being able to make these big decisions.
A quick review of ASDA's Facebook updates reveals that the brand is not just about discounts or special offers. It deploys a clear call to action technique to get a quick reaction to its posts - thumbs up, true or false, pick A, B or C, and yes or no. And this obviously resonates with its audience - the lowest number of likes notched up by a recent post was a still-impressive 500.
But then I'm probably not going to find an update with a small number of likes, as anything with less than the 'magic 100' is being taken down!
I did, for the record, see one video post for the Tickled Pink campaign which only had 87 likes but had 96 comments. I guess that this kept its place as the CM team liked the level of engagement it attracted.
Is ASDA's content strategy simply a numbers game?
On average, ASDA is posting two to three updates daily on its Facebook page. But you have to wonder how many updates the hard-working CM team is creating in order to find the top two or three that work? Is ASDA's content strategy simply one of throwing loads of darts at the board and seeing which strike a bullseye? I'd like to know if this is the case, and if so, how much content the CM team is actually producing, seven days a week.
I've never heard of any CMs or brands that take down unloved updates or clean up their Facebook pages in this way before. It almost seems vain. As we know, most people don't visit the Facebook pages they're fans of that often, so they would be unlikely to even register the number of likes on a post. And people don't usually interact with posts based on the number of likes, they choose to react or comment based on the relevancy of the content.
In the pressure for brands to be seen in a user's Facebook newsfeed, ASDA is taking an interesting stance. But surely any brand needs to take factors such as time and type of content in to consideration when developing a long-term engagement strategy?
I'm yet to be convinced that this tough line is the way to go with a content strategy. As CMs we are probably the only users who are on social networks constantly, and who are able to regularly take the temperature of user sentiment. Users will dip in and out of your content as it suits them, provided what you're saying is relevant and interesting.
What do you think of ASDA's content strategy? Do you think this policy could work for your brand or organisation? And what would be the 'magic number' for your Facebook page?
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