PG Tips wins Facebook battle of the brands

The tea company is the most engaged brand in the UK when it comes to its Facebook followers. Not bad going.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
Who said tea is old-fashioned? British tea brand PG Tips has come out on top of a survey of brand ‘engagement levels’ on Facebook, above tech wizards like Apple, Google, Adidas and Rolex. Not bad going, for a company whose marketing campaign is based around a know-it-all sock puppet…

The survey, by performance marketing agency iProspect, looked at how people interact with 250 brands in the UK on Facebook. And as any social meeja-ite worth their salt will tell you, engagement isn’t just about people pressing the ‘like’ button: it’s about the number of comments, posts, RSVPs and votes in polls, too. According to iProspect, nearly two in 10 fans were active on PG Tips’ Facebook page during the month the survey ran. Impressive stuff.

Admittedly, part of that could be because of a campaign the brand ran for Valentine’s day, which asked people to ‘like’ a post ‘for a Valentine’s surprise’. That turned out to be an e-card from Monkey, Johnny Vegas’ tea-drinking simian friend in PG Tips’ ad campaign (not exactly the flowers and chocolates one might hope for), which attracted 1,569 ‘likes’ on Valentine’s day alone, as well as hundreds of comments.

Measuring social media engagement may sound like a pretty dry subject, but it’s a useful way of giving brands an idea of consumers’ general sentiment towards them. Unfortunately, since it’s still in its early stages, working out how exactly to go about doing that is easier said than done: particularly when many brands’ Facebook or Twitter followings have been built through a certain amount of bribery: ‘Like us to enter a competition to win £1m’ – sound familiar?

Then again, this example seems to show that all it takes to gain social media credibility is sending Valentine’s messages from a fictional monkey. So perhaps it’s not that hard after all.

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