Two years into a pandemic and we still haven’t found stable ground. People remain disconnected from loved ones around the world, conspiracy theories and anti-vax sentiment are growing like mushrooms, and new virus variants have threatened the fragile security of a global vaccine rollout.
In this challenging context, striking the right tone on social media is paramount. This year has proved more than ever that staying tapped into the zeitgeist and tuned into the emotions of your audience are powerful ways to produce compelling content, expand your brand’s social media presence, and stay relevant in the hearts and minds of your audience.
We used the Zavy score to identify the top three posts of 2021 from the brands in our Top 25 Australian Scoreboard. Here is what we learned.
Navigating comms in 2021 has been about finding a balance between staying true to your brand voice, while also offering people the support and help they needed as lockdowns extended and, well, the online conversation became a bit fraught.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be funny, if that’s part of your brand’s personality. In fact, being entertaining and making people feel good can help. Easing tension, and helping people face uncomfortable situations does too.
As our partners at TRA said early on, brands should behave in the same way we would expect people to: respectfully, kindly and authentically. Even if that means that you might get some dodgy comments from conspiracy theorists.
So, it was great to see Mark Humphries and Telstra’s #LetsVaxx campaign video claim the number three spot in the year’s top posts, with almost 4,000 people sharing the video to their personal network on Facebook.
Reprising his role as “Chief 5G Investigator”, Humphries used humour to get an important message across, and enabled Telstra’s fans to gently disarm anti-vax messaging in the comments. One commented, “I hope you are working on a vaccine that *does* have 5G side effects – I don’t get it where I live yet”, “I’ve had both vaccines and my internet is still slow…very disappointing”.
And for Telstra, the #LetsVaxx campaign boosted their Zavy score to over 1,200 – leading the scoreboard in September.
The NRMA held the #1 spot in the scoreboard from January to June. The brand’s content is committed to amplifying public good initiatives and the work of “local heroes.” In fact, their Facebook post about Patty Mills was the second strongest of the year on our scoreboard, with 47% positive sentiment and over 35,000 likes, 2,900 comments and 1,860 shares.
It’s not a one off, either. Zavy’s analysis of corporate social responsibility (CSR) content on social media found that pages that do CSR posts of any sort get more engagements per follower than pages that do not.
The NRMA’s CSR and people-centric social media content strategy has delivered consistently high Zavy scores, but also an overall sentiment score for the brand of 38%, almost three times more than the next highest. And, overall, the brand has earned more shares and comments out of any of the brands on the scoreboard.
The consistent delivery of feel-good moments has been balm for a country struggling with lockdowns, feelings of division, and continued separation from friends and family overseas. Moments of hope have proved to be potent connectors for NRMA and the foundation of a consistently high performing social media strategy.
2021 has been another rollercoaster year for the travel industry, with a travel bubble swelling and bursting within the space of months, and lockdowns gripping major cities as they battled Delta outbreaks.
Qantas’s social media presence has done an excellent job of harnessing the turbulent emotions surrounding the travel industry, timing their posts and developing their content to successfully amplify positive sentiment, in a year which could have easily turned sour.
In a “Real life ‘Love Actually’” video, Qantas shared poignant scenes from Heathrow Airport as QF1 arrived in London in early November for the first time in 18 months. In one post Qantas managed to capture the overwhelming emotions of people being separated for such a long time, at such a great distance.
The post struck a chord with their social media audience, generating 23 thousand likes, five thousand comments and more than three thousand shares. The video moved followers to tears; “So lovely to see! Totally made me cry with happiness for all those families finally getting to hold their loved ones again,” commented one.
Despite posting only 60 times on Facebook – compared to NRMA’s 249 times – Qantas’s Facebook followers have grown by more than 48 thousand over the year.
From a low of 15 in July, Qantas shot to a dizzying 2535 Zavy score in mid-November, illustrating their outstanding success in using social media channels to complement sudden shifts in the airline industry.
Despite the ongoing challenges to global travel, Qantas is closing the year at the top of the Zavy scoreboard.
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