South African brands have again topped the list of the latest Africa Brand Index results, with DStv’s SuperSport and the SABC’s The Expresso Show taking top honours. The ABI measures South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya via Fuseware technology.
Only Kenya’s Airtel made it into the top 10, with the rest of the brands all coming out of South Africa.
“Although Nigerian brands typically have the largest communities, Nigerian brands tend to respond poorly on social media and typically get fairly negative sentiment, both factors of which penalise their score,” says Mike Wronski, the man who developed Fuseware, bought earlier this year by Ornico.
“Additionally, Nigerian brands aren’t always as active on smaller platforms like Instagram, which also counts towards the overall score. South African brands have the best overall balance of social media growth, engagement, response and sentiment, as well as have strategies across all four major social networks [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube] that we monitor, which leads to their scores being pushed up. A larger audience is not always better!” he explains.
The four key criteria to rank brand performance and their relative weighting in terms of the benchmark are:
- Growth [an increase or decrease in user numbers] – contributes a 30% in weighting to the Africa Brand Index overall score.
- Engagement [how active brands are on accounts, how active users are on brand accounts] – contributes a 35% in weighting.
- Response [how quickly brands respond to users] – contributes a 20% weighting to the Africa Brand Index.
- Sentiment [how well-liked brands are on the respective social media] – contributes 15% in terms of weighting to the overall score for the Africa Brand Index.
Wronski says the brand index does not just track activity, “but tracks how well brands are perceived and how well they interact with their customers. However, Kenyan brands get large amounts of engagement with Citizen TV getting the highest content score on the index, and the second highest growth score next to Supersport,” he says.
Asked why Pick n Pay features more strongly than Shoprite, which has a larger presence in Africa, Wronski explained that the ranking is “largely based on the content that the brands themselves post, combined with mentions of those brands. The ranking is demographic-agnostic, and only looks at raw performance metrics such as community growth, engagement, response times and rates and sentiment”.
Woolworths, which has recently come in for a lot of flak over its relationship with Israel and being targeted by BDS, especially over the recent [brand ambassador] Pharrel Williams tour is placed seven on the index.
“Woolworths is largely perceived positively in social media, despite the flak received by certain fringe groups,” says Wronski. “The protests would have affected the rank, but while sentiment may have decreased brand engagement may actually increase due to protests, which does increase the score.”
For the first time, political parties and organisations were measured in October. Only South African organisations were included. “There has never been a consistent benchmark of political parties on social media, so this gives an indication of relative social media strength amongst the parties for the first time,” Wronski says.
“With over 600 brands currently in the index, there are some industries and countries that still need extra brands added. Political parties in Nigeria and Kenya are highly active, and will be added to the index in the near future.”
“Whether it’s rugby, football, tennis or cricket, sport plays a massive role in almost everyone’s lives. People have a huge emotional attachment to their favourite sports teams and players. This relevance and SuperSport’s massive social media presence and interaction are, in part, why the brand continues to lead the rankings,” Wronski adds.
Facebook – SuperSport Film & TV – 3.9 million
Facebook – Supersport Football – 5.2 million
Twitter – SuperSportTV – 1.18 million
Twitter – SuperSport Blitz – 861 000
YouTube – Official SuperSport – 17 666
Instagram – SuperSport – 60 800
“Data and content aside, what also works in SuperSport’s favour is that its social accounts create a space where people can comment, share, commiserate and be part of a community that shares in the sports that everyone loves,” he says.
Wronski says the African Brand Index has introduced “an accurate new social currency for brand managers and their communications agencies to measure the performance of brands on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube”.
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