Are Candy Brands Tricking or Treating Fans on Facebook?

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Sweet report from Unmetric unwraps first-ever results.

Last week, stores emptied their shelves of the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters. Today Unmetric, the social media benchmarking company, moves from the shelves to the social world to investigate how the top eight American candy brands are using social media.

Unmetric sourced data from its social benchmarking platform to understand the owned social media activity of the top candy brands on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Interestingly, the majority of American candy brands have focused their social media efforts on Facebook, with few brands having any presence at all on Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.

Unmetric’s Halloween Candy Report focuses strictly on Facebook analytics, going beyond total number of fans to investigate growth metrics, engagement and content strategy. The report reveals what’s working and what’s not in terms of connecting with consumers for the top sweet treats on Facebook.

Unmetric collected data from its Facebook platform from August and September 2012. In terms of raw number of fans, Reese’s tops all candies, nearing ten million total fans. But there’s more to fan base than popularity. Kit Kat is catching up with a head of steam, growing its fan base by a remarkable 20 percent over the last four months. In a large part, Kit Kat’s Fan of the Month contest during the month of September contributed to this growth.

Succeeding at social media is more complicated than fan numbers and growth. It’s about identifying with your fans, posting engaging content and creating real conversations. The Unmetric Score is a unique measurement designed to give broader, sector-wide context to social media activity. It’s a scientific blend of various quantitative and qualitative metrics, weighted and averaged by sector to produce a single benchmarkable score ranging from zero to100. M&M’s scores the highest among all candies, with a score of 55. Reese’s isn’t too far behind, with a score of 54.

But if you want to know what to get for trick-or-treaters, Kit Kat is the preferred candy among young people, with 67 percent of fans under the age of 21. This is closely followed by Sour Patch Kids, with 64 percent. By comparison, only 29 percent of Nestle Crunch’s fans are under 21. That said, Nestle Crunch also boasts the most evenly distributed fan base, with the highest percentage of fans in all age groups over 30.

Unmetric’s Halloween Candy Report revealed some other interesting fan demographics. For every candy measured, women accounted for the majority of fans. The most divisive is Nestle Crunch, which has over three female fans for every one male. This gender divide is nonexistent for 3 Musketeers, which has only two percent more female fans than male.

In terms of posts, Hershey’s is easily the most talkative candy on Facebook, posting almost twice as often as the next closest brand. While Hershey’s replied to a respectable 13 percent of fan posts, putting it in third place, it also had to deal with the highest number of negative fan posts. Nestle Crunch wins when it comes to responsiveness, replying to 24 percent of fan posts in an average of just over 4 hours—both bests among all candies measured.

While Hershey’s and Nestle Crunch do a great job of talking, both are yet to hit upon a winning formula for starting conversations. Unmetric considers each post’s Likes, Comments, Shares and Impressions to determine a weighted average engagement score for each candy brand. M&M’s wins big in this category with a weighted average engagement score of 312. Reese’s comes in second with 203 per post, while Sour Patch Kids comes in last with an average engagement score of 17.

That’s a lot of talk. But what is it that these candy brands are actually talking about? During the last four months, the most common type of post was a question to fans. Posts that encourage fan participation get the most people talking, while questions to fans come in second place in terms of engagement. Reese’s struck gold by posting recipes, which were the most engaging posts of all for the time period measured.

Here’s a breakdown of some notable metrics, gathered from August 1 to September 30, 2012:

Unmetric Score
1.    M&M’s – 55
2.    Reese’s – 54
3.    Kit Kat – 46
4.    Hershey’s – 40
5.    Snickers – 37

Total Fans
1.    Reese’s – 9,926,317
2.    Kit Kat – 8,026,272
3.    Hershey’s – 5,429,317
4.    Snickers – 4,523,350
5.    M&M’s – 3,904,936

Growth
1.    Kit Kat – 20.6%
2.    Nestle Crunch – 8.8%
3.    3 Musketeers – 6.8%
4.    Sour Patch Kids -- 4.9%
5.    Hershey’s – 4.4%

Average Engagement
1.    M&M’s – 312
2.    Reese’s – 203
3.    Snickers – 46
        Kit Kat – 46
4.    Hershey’s – 42
        3 Musketeers – 42

Admin Reply Percentage
1.    Nestle Crunch – 24%
2.    3 Musketeers – 15%
3.    Hershey’s – 13%
4.    Reese’s – 7%
5.    Kit Kat – 4%
        Snickers – 4%

Average Admin Reply Time
1.    Nestle Crunch – 4 hours 3 minutes
2.    Hershey’s – 6 hours 41 minutes
3.    Snickers – 6 hours 44 minutes
4.    Kit Kat – 8 hours 24 minutes
5.    M&M’s – 9 hours 28 minutes

Largest Gender Disparity Among Fans
1.    Nestle Crunch – 78% female, 22% male
2.    Hershey’s – 76% female, 24% male
3.    Kit Kat – 69% female, 31% male
4.     Snicker’s and Sour Patch Kids – 66% female, 34% male
5.     Reese’s – 61% female, 39% male

“Even brands that seem fun and whimsical to consumers, like candy, need to remain interesting and engaging to their fans,” says Lux Narayan, Unmetric’s CEO. “At first it was surprising to see that so many major candy brands are focusing their social media efforts solely on Facebook. But with 1 billion users, it makes sense that these brands would focus on reaching the largest pool of their consumers.”

Using a combination of advanced algorithms and human computing power, Unmetric delivers data and benchmark insights for various industry sectors that were previously unavailable, such as content strategy, engagement, growth, timing and frequency of tweets and posts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.

Unmetric supplies a distinct, high-demand service for brands that stops companies from flying blind with their social media efforts. Now brands are finally able to answer the basic business question of “How do we stack up against the competition?” when it comes to their social media presence.

Methodology:
Unmetric compiled its report by sourcing data from its social media benchmark platform. All statistics were gathered from August 1, 2012 to September 30, 2012.

About Unmetric:
Unmetric Inc. is headquartered in New York, NY and works with clients across the world. The Unmetric platform was established to give Fortune 500 companies and other large global brands and agencies key performance data around which they could benchmark their social media efforts and answer the question “Are we doing well?”. For more information, visit http://www.unmetric.com, or check out the Unmetric blog at http://blog.unmetric.com.

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Olivia Gallion
VSCpr for Unmetric
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