The first ever index ranking Formula 1 teams according to social media performance has been launched – Lotus top the league, ahead of Williams and Red Bull who claimed second and third places respectively.
Launched ahead of the opening Grand Prix in Australia this weekend, The F1 Social Media Index www.F1.socialmediaindex.co.uk is a league table of the 11 teams involved in the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship, ranked according to the best use of social media by their official club channels.
Published annually, the table is compiled by measuring the performance of each team based not just on an algorithm, but research from a team of nine people who looked at eight social networks, as well as a panel of four judges who presided over the results. Those judges included Simon Banoub (Opta), Michael Sheehan (William Hill), Amy Byard and Tom Scott (both from Umpf)
The F1 Social Media Index, produced by PR and social media agency Umpf with partners William Hill, was four months in the making. It follows the success of the sport.socialmediaindex.co.uk, which earlier this year, set a benchmark of social media success in sport.
F1 Social Media Index Scoring Methodology
The scoring methodology includes both quantitative data from a two-month analysis period and qualitative research from a team of 11 people from Umpf, William Hill and Opta.
The first element – which accounted for 65% of the total score – was a full analysis of each team’s official club social media channels from 01 August 2013 to 30 September 2013 and took into account the breadth of official club social media channels (including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Vine and YouTube) as well as blog activity. The scoring included percentage engagement levels, percentage community growth as well as multimedia content posted on Twitter and Facebook, including video, images, audio, official apps and external links.
The second element (35% of the total scoring) was the judges’ scores, where four judges marked each team and the combined total was averaged to give a score. Finally, ‘Red Card’ penalties of 2.5% were accrued for poor social media practice, including duplicate content, idle periods of community management as well as repeated spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
Case Study – Lotus F1
Lotus achieved pole position in the inaugural F1 Social Media Index by generating fantastic engagement with a unique tone of voice across all channels; their content isn’t afraid to be ‘cheeky’, as demonstrated by the Facebook post below which generated almost 10,000 likes and an impressive 3,500+ shares.
The judges awarded high scores not just for the breadth of platforms used by Lotus, but the manner in which they were utilised to their full potential. Lotus is one of just three F1 teams to be active across all eight channels monitored by the algorithm, although judges did note that its Vine content was sporadic.
The Oxfordshire-based constructor accumulated strong Facebook growth and high levels of engagement, while behind-the-scenes footage, photos and interviews were a highlight of their output during the two-month analysis. Lotus were clear winners, almost 10% ahead of runners-up Williams.
“Lotus achieved fantastic engagement rates and can be praised for their unique tone of voice. The output of behind-the-scenes content seemed to resonate with their followers and was hugely influential in creating such high engagement figures.” – Amy Byard, Social Media Account Manager at Umpf
“Lotus F1 Team are deserved winners of the Formula 1 Social Index, they have mastered the art of being clever, witty, interesting and most importantly, engaging. The key to Lotus’s success seems to be that they deliver content that isn’t shown on television or printed in the press. Instead, they show behind-the-scenes footage and information that fans want to see, which clearly resonates with their passionate fan base.” – Michael Sheehan, Social Media Customer Experience Manager at William Hill
Who do you think does the best job when it comes to social media in Formula 1?
28th January 2014. Jerez, Spain. The build-up to the F1 season begins in earnest as teams test their 2014 cars in public for the very first time. But the battle for hearts and minds started up to 2 weeks before, with the unveiling of the new cars. NineteenEightyFour take a look at how F1 teams used social media to unveil their new feats of engineering, and finds out what makes a successful launch campaign.
First into Turn 1
Force India were the first team to release ‘carefully chosen’ images of their new VJM07 in a teaser campaign on Wednesday 22nd January – the official car launch was scheduled for the 28th January. The campaign, which crossed Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus, featured #FeelTheForce and #VJM07 on Twitter and Instagram.
#VJM07 achieved a total of 6197 mentions on Twitter, peaking around the 22nd, with another smaller peak at the official unveiling on the 28th. Use of #FeeltheForce and @ mentions also follow a similar curve.
On Facebook, interest in Force India only really picked up after testing had started, and the car launch had no major impact on TPTA metrics. Indeed, the Force India Facebook page saw an 83% increase in this metric, up by 23,124.
And in terms of platform reach, again Facebook saw the biggest gains with an increased audience of 43,815 in figures taken for the 2-week period up to 30th January from SportSocial. Force India saw 4% increase in Twitter followers for the same period, and a 27% gain on Instagram (of 1,571 new follows). The lack of activity on YouTube shows, as they were only able to add 529 new subscribers, and only 251 on Google Plus.
The first 2014 car to be ‘officially’ unveiled was the McLaren MP4-29 on 24th January. McLaren have been using #McLaren2014 and #BelieveInMcLaren as a generic campaign building up to the season, and used a series of images explaining the rule changes in the lead up to the new car launch.
For the launch itself, #McLarenMP429 was used to profile the car, and followed this up with an #AskJenson Twitter Q&A.
After the launch images, this was followed by a series of YouTube videos and an infographic about the car. A similar approach was followed on Google Plus and Facebook, but with only the key posts being made. Instagram carried the press launch images only, and the #MP4-29.
#McLarenMP429 scored a total of 11,550 mentions on Twitter, with the peak at launch. #BelieveInMcLaren is being used as a longer term campaign, accumulating 5,906 mentions in the 30 days to 6th February, but only 965 on launch day itself. @ mentions for @McLarenF1 peaked at 15,000 mentions on launch day, and spiked again in the first couple of days of testing – coinciding with the unveiling of Jenson Button’s helmet tribute to his late father, John.
McLaren grew their Twitter reach by 15,652 in this period, and their Facebook likes grew by 54,260. Instagram follows increased by 2,835 and YouTube by 2,968. Google Plus In Circles grew to 4,350, taking McLaren over the 250,000 In Circles milestone.
Infinity Red Bull
Red Bull started their launch campaign on the 27th January with a mach-up image using photo-strips and #UnboltTheBull. This was followed on launch by the use of #RB10, a couple of images and a YouTube video of Adrian Newey before launching into images taken from the test circuit.
Similar content was utilised on Facebook and Google Plus, with more focus given to a photo album of the car on both platforms. Instagram carried a couple of car images from the launch only accompanied by #unboltthebull, but YouTube carried no video of the new car – just the interview with Adrian Newey.
#UnboltTheBull has accumulated 7,548 mentions in the last 30 days, but the vast majority of these were on launch day alone. #RB10 managed 8,848 mentions, but this trailed off quickly after Day 2 of testing.
@ mentions peaked at 6,549 on launch day, with another spike at 2,637 after a couple of days of testing after a troubled week at testing left the team to announce they were going back to the factory to rectify problems with the car.
The team added 12,198 new follows to it’s Twitter account, and an impressive 153,909 new likes on Facebook – despite a drop in PTA metrics.
Instagram grew by 3,488 followers, and YouTube by 2,120. Red Bull also saw good growth figures on Google Plus, with 10,797 adding them to their circles.
Ferrari led with the car name #F14T, releasing its first image on January 25th and then building up to the official launch with a series of YouTube interviews. Official launch day was dovetailed with a campaign to welcome back Kimi Raikkonnen to the team, #WelcomebackKimi, as well as the use of a campaign to support Michael Schumacher’s recovery from his ski-ing accident earlier in the month (#forzamichael).
Launch day on Twitter purely followed the exploits of the team on the 1st day of testing, where as the #F14T was the subject to a low key launch across other platforms. Facebook and Google Plus did not feature an image of the car until the day after launch. Instagram does not appear to feature in Ferrari’s planning, with most of Ferrari’s emphasis placed on YouTube.
#F14T attracted 42,298 mentions on Twitter, primarily on the 25th January when the campaign first made its appearance, peaking again on the 1st day of testing. This trend was matched by the timeline of @ mentions, with #WelcomebackKimi being used during testing and then tailing off.
And despite a focus on only Twitter and YouTube, the strength of the Ferrari brand (possibly combined with the news on Michael Schumacher) saw Ferrari growing on every platform they are active on.
Twitter saw an increase in followers of 18,748, and they added 4,454 subscribers to YouTube – the biggest increases in both. Facebook saw and increase of 182,053, and Google Plus saw a 46,685 increase In Circles.
Mercedes AMG F1
Mercedes AMG F1 launched the W05 on 28th January too, but this was the culmination of a week long teaser campaign across Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube.
Starting on 22nd January, the tease started in the form of infographic content and 3D models of the ‘Power Unit’.
Mercedes AMG adopted the humourous #W05sup, and this 1st appeared on the 24th January accompanied with a YouTube video profiling the sound of the engine, accompanied by the #listenforthewhistle. This was shared across Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
The first abstract images of design features of the car appeared on 25th Januarywith more imagery released on the 27th January – including a special message for former driver Michael Schumacher in the form of #KeepFightingMichael
Another YouTube ‘trailer’ was released on 27th January, featuring Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg and featuring abstract angles of the new car.
The W05 appeared for the first time in full on the 28th January, shot through the screen of a BlackBerry camera, with press images released shortly after.
The campaign ensured a steady stream of interest was maintained throughout the launch period, with it building to a crescendo on Twitter on launch day. #W05sup attracted 12,145 mentions on Twitter, peaking at 6,230 on launch, with @ mentions peaking at a similar time at 14,367.
In reach terms, Mercedes AMG F1 achieved a 20% increase in likes on Facebook, up 388,182. Twitter saw an increase of 14,871, and YouTube 2,920 new subscribers. Google Plus and Instagram saw much smaller growth – 463 and 1,630 respectively.
F1 teams have taken a wide variety of approaches taken to the launch of the new cars.
Twitter was the lead tool for all. Red Bull stayed focussed here with Ferrari) and to a lesser extent McLaren) also utilising YouTube heavily. Instagram seems to be a small part of the communication planning, and there was no obvious utilisation of emerging platforms such as Vine.
Perhaps surprisingly, there seems to have been limited use of Facebook by these teams, whilst Mercedes AMG have used the platform effectively, sharing content, using campaign hashtags and gaining followers as a result.
The winner is…
And, for their innovative approach to the car launch across all platforms, and very impressive Facebook growth figures, we award 1st prize to the Mercedes AMG F1 team.
Well done guys. A bottle of (virtual) champagne could be on its way to you!
Later on today I’m going to be chatting Formula 1 and social media with some of the teams involved. Thanks to an invite from Vivacity, I’ll be joining in with a Google Hangout (my first) at 3pm UK.
The half hour show, which I’m sure will go on for longer, will cover a range of points within the topic. Building a tribe is the next step on from the straightforward building of an audience. We can all go out and take out a Facebook advert and run competitions to boost our numbers, but when it comes to building a tribe we’re talking about dedicated fans.
It will be interesting to see if this comes up. If the difference between and audience and a ‘tribe’ is acknowledged.
We’ll be looking talking about examples of F1 teams successfully using social media, what they did and how. Why social media is crucial for activating sponsorship programmes and what other commercial benefits it offers. Finally we’ll cover the landscape for 2014 in terms of trends and platforms. Will anyone be using Snapchat?
It will be interesting to hear what comes out of the session. If you have any thoughts/questions between now and when we go ‘on air’ then leave on comment below or tweet me at @DanielMcLaren. You can follow the conversation as it happens on;
Branded video content is becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix for F1 sponsors according to 9 out of 10 F1 marketing and brand experts. With F1 experts looking for successful ways to reach and engage with their target audiences, the F1 world is increasingly turning to branded video content for that solution.
And it seems that this increasing confidence in branded content having a strong future in F1 will be backed up by marketing spend, with eight of ten of those surveyed in this month’s Blended Republic Study believing that marketing budget spent on branded content will be increased in 2014 (results shown on infographic at the bottom of this article).
Reasons for this predicted increase in marketing spend include;
- As sponsorship becomes less about a logo, video content is becoming essential to allow a brand to tell its story in an articulate and engaging manner
- The type of sponsors that are coming into the sport are much more consumer facing companies. Video content is a core component for using their sponsorship as a platform to communicate with the consumers
- Video is more interesting and attractive to much of the target audience than written or printed material, especially to the younger generation
- Compelling content is becoming increasingly important to provide brands with an engaging point of difference and needs to be funded
- Due to the growth of social media and the need to increase viral marketing using platforms such as YouTube, video footage is increasingly valuable
However, as F1 enters 2014, a number of challenges to creating successful branded content will remain that will need to be overcome in order for it to play a pivotal role in the future.
Over half of those surveyed believe that successful branded content relies on being creative to make the most of limited driver time or team assets, and measuring ROI was cited as another challenge (43%).
The Blended Republic Study has revealed that the top four perceived benefits of branded content are;
- It gives brands the opportunity to amplify their sponsorship in an engaging manner through TV and social media (68%)
- It creates a deeper emotional connection with the target audience (64%)
- It allows the brand to tell a longer story that captures its values and messaging (54%)
- It helps brands cut through the competitive noise of sponsor logos (42%)
However, there still remains some question marks over the best way to go about create successful content with 66% of those surveyed citing ‘knowing how to create content that will secure audience reach’ as the biggest challenge they face to creating successful F1 branded content.
As part of this month’s Blended Republic Study, F1 marketing and brand experts were also asked to judge the most successful sponsor and team videos of the 2013 F1 season. There were two outright winners, with Johnnie Walker Step Inside: Jenson Button The Ultimate Walk receiving 70% of the votes for best sponsor video, and the Bruce McLaren: McLaren 50th Anniversary video receiving 60% of the votes for best team video.
Commenting on the survey results, Chris Sice, Managing Director of Blended Republic says:
“It is clear that F1 sponsors are keen to invest further in content marketing in 2014. The rise of social media coupled with F1’s huge broadcast audience makes it increasingly attractive. The main challenge is how to create content that secures distribution and the audiences needed to deliver a significant ROI.”
Sports Digital Agency Seven League, founded by Richard Ayers (former Head of Digital at Manchester City), has put together an interesting piece of research based around one month of sporting events in the UK. Here is what they found…
Within two weeks at the end of June and start of July 2013, there were four great sporting moments in the space of a fortnight;
- The British and Irish Lions defeating Australia in the 3rd Test
- The British GP at Silverstone
- The Wimbledon Finals weekend
- The First Test of the Ashes
Whilst the shortest of these was only 80 minutes, when you consider the build-up and the aftermath there is a significant window of attention around each event. It’s important that the Twitter accounts for each sport capitalise on this attention by building up to the event, covering the day of the event, having live coverage and then maintaining their activity post event. They compared the four major events in order to understand the differences, strengths and weaknesses in their twitter performance.
Four different approaches were taken to tweeting across the events
› The Lions tweets were informative and celebratory, with a larger emphasis on rallying support from followers than any of the other events
› The Silverstone account was mainly used for customer service — it primarily tweeted responses to questions and traffic information, with very few general tweets discussing the race
› Wimbledon’s tweets were very informative, focused mainly around set commentary and quoting from interviews after matches. They used hashtags more than any of the other three events
The First Test
› The ECB First Test coverage follows a distinct pattern —behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the players warming up in the morning, commentary of the tests in the afternoon and finally links to interviews/videos from that day in the evening. They are the only account to really tap into audio, and were more comfortable using a wider range of platforms (e.g. Vine)
Silverstone takes a very different approach to the other three events. It’s very much about customer service rather than engaging and exciting fans. Of the other three:
The ECB has the best balance of media tweets — it shares photographs, videos and links evenly. It also is the only account to use audio. Wimbledon and The ECB are both very informative. However, Wimbledon goes into so much detail that it would alienate casual fans. In contract the ECB appeals more to both casual and hardline fans by only giving basic information in tweets whilst providing links for fans to find out more. Wimbledon and The Lions were very good at including details of the experience of the event day itself for fans at home.
Comparisons by Day – Pre Event
Comparisons by Day – During Event Tweeting
Comparisons by Day – Post Event Tweeting
The Formula 1 giants have been at the forefront of digital technology (online as well as on the track) for a number of years now and continue to innovate. Some fans though will be sad to see the renaming of the industry-acclaimed @TheFifthDriver as it becomes @McLarenF1. This change will be promoted at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix with the new handle appearing on the front wing endplate of Jenson Button and Checo Perez’s cars.
The change will make it easier for McLaren’s global fanbase to identify and engage with the team on Twitter and reflects the wider digital engagement strategy to make the team as accessible as possible to a greater number of people – in turn providing them with a unique insight into the heart of a living and breathing Formula 1 team.
Over the last 12 months, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has seen strong growth in follower numbers and engagement across its social media channels, owing to a revised approach to content strategy, social media campaigns and entering new and emerging digital platforms:
- During the last 12 months, the number of followers on the official Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Facebook page has increased by 40% to over 700,000.
- In the same period, Twitter numbers have grown by 80% to almost 350,000
- Since entering Google+ in December 2012, follower numbers have surpassed the 100,000 mark
As part of a new digital engagement strategy, the official Vodafone McLaren Mercedes website was also re-launched at the start of the 2013 season. Developed in a responsive format, the new website further empowers fans to stay up to date with the latest from the team across multiple devices. As part of the relaunch, the team’s long-standing adaptation of a second-screen viewing experience – now rebranded McLaren LIVE – continues to add to the race-day experience for fans and looks great.
McLaren.com/Formula1 will also be launching in Spanish, reflecting McLaren’s increasingly global fan base, which has been boosted by the signing of the latest Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver, Sergio Perez.
These developments are the latest in a series of achievements for a team that has developed a reputation for its forward-thinking approach to digital and social media – a fact that has been proven over the past four years. McLaren were the first Formula 1 team to offer fans the opportunity to view live telemetry during races and practice sessions, the first front-running team to start using Twitter, and more recently the team has embraced the full breadth of its social media platforms to spectacularly live-stream the MP4-28 car reveal.
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes said:
“Our fans are at the heart of our digital strategy. We’ve strived hard to develop world-leading digital platforms that our fans can enjoy, while creating compellingly insightful content that draws them in and makes them feel part of our team.
@TheFifthDriver has not retired. Through the new handle of @McLarenF1, the mysterious micro-blogger will continue to give our fans unique access to the inner workings of one of the most successful teams in the history of Formula 1, the pinnacle of global motorsport.”
Article taken from original release on McLaren.com/Formula1
Video marketing is one of my newest passions, having spent a good amount of time looking at the nuances of it both at We Are Social and particularly now at Copa90. Now with the start of the new F1 season with us, a new report [infographic] has come out revealing huge areas of opportunities for brands.
Formula 1 is the biggest global sporting series in the world yet its brand partners are struggling to amplify the value of their sponsorship rights through branded video content.
As the new season gets underway, over 200 sponsors have again committed to the adrenalin-fuelled sport. Yet Blended Republic, a new branded content consultancy with specialist F1 experience has revealed huge gaps in marketing potential after reviewing all video content created by each of the 221 listed F1 sponsors during the 2012 season.
The report: “Content Marketing in F1: From Exposure to Engagement” highlights that:
- Only 24% of sponsors create video content around their sponsorship
- Most video content fails to gain a significant audience with 66% of those videos achieving less than 1,000 video views on You Tube.
- Despite a quoted global TV audience of around ½ billion across 185 countries, less than 10% of F1 sponsors create content for use by F1 broadcasters.
Chris Sice, Managing Director of Blended Republic says:
“Formula 1 delivers unrivalled global exposure but most sponsors are struggling to create video content that connects with F1 fans. The rise of social media and the popularity of F1 on TV present a huge opportunity for sponsors. Audiences crave content about F1 that fuels their passion for the sport. As the news season dawns, there is enormous scope for those sponsors that can create video so compelling broadcasters will air it and fans share it on social media.”
The report highlights some of the best recent examples of branded videos created by F1 sponsors, summarises the potential benefits and provides a checklist of how F1 sponsors can develop effective branded content.
The key findings from the report can be viewed as an infographic below or check it out at http://www.blendedrepublic.co.uk/insight/f1-content-strategy-report.
What do you think, are brands missing a trick here?
Over the past few months I’ve written a few pieces on Formula One and recently had the opportunity to provide my thoughts on the season we have just witnessed.
As part of their commitment towards motor racing, Money Supermarket, have been reaching out to bloggers within sport to help them produce an overall chart of who had the best season in their eyes. As it proved, the order in which they finished in the main title event wasn’t necessarily translated to here.
See if you can spot the UKSN comment somewhere on the image (there is one there I promise). And let me know in the comments at the bottom as to whether you agree with the final order.
A couple of weeks ago I was kindly invited to the HQ of one of Formula 1’s newest teams, the Russian owned Marussia F1.
They are based in Bunbury, near Oxford and have built up a team from scratch in a very short period of time. They first found out they had been one of the 3 successful applicants in June 2009 and had less than 8 months to put a car onto the grid in time for the Bahrain GP at the start of the 2010 season.
They now have a staff of around 180 with the aim to grow it to nearer the 250 mark. In terms of where they are against their rivals at the top of the table, they are nowhere near!
The reason for our visit was to ask questions to the team and one of their sponsors, Monster Jobs. They partnered up after the team of 1, as it was then and is now 3, in the HR department who needed help in filling some of the more specific roles.
Katie Allen is in charge of bringing in the right people to the team. Social Media has been something they have discussed a lot internally, especially this year, on how to best use it.
Currently it is seen as something for the fans rather than recruitment, which takes place through the website. One thing they have done is work with Monster on bringing a jobs board onto their Facebook page. It may not be a large page in terms of numbers but the idea is that then others within the company or industry can share the posts amongst their friends. Chances are these friends are in the industry or a similar one and they may get some good leads from this.
One of the keys in getting the right staff has been to show what is unique about the team and how grounded they are. The term ‘family’ is one used by all involved when talking about the team. They have achieved this by video content and this has helped in giving candidates an idea as to what to expect from the team and is seeded out to sites (like UKSN) when there is something relevant.
We covered their search for a ‘Social Media Driver’ ahead of the British GP. This has been replicated around the world with the initiative bringing fans into the heart of the experience of F1, giving them access they could never have dreamed of.
So far these videos have been viewed over 250k times and resulted in a huge number of people applying for positions.
Katie said “The branding work we’ve done with Monster has definitely caused a stir in the industry. And, in addition to hearing positive feedback from the candidates we meet, we have also seen excitement amongst our current team members which has been an unexpected benefit.”
We then had the opportunity to speak with the team President and Sports Director, Graham Lowden. For him Social Media has been at the heart of bringing fans (and potential employees) closer to the team and developing the brand.
At the start, which they are still close to, it has been about building up a team from scratch with the emphasis being on the main logistics of getting a car onto the F1 start grid.
It has been Geoff Collins who really pushed the team to be involved with social as part of the development from an early stage. They realise it is hugely important but at the same time presents significant challenges. As an industry, F1 doesn’t do enough thinking together on what they can do better in things like social and he feels they should do it more.
There are a number of Marussia F1 senior staff on Twitter and Graham himself (although not on Twitter himself) used to tweet from the pitwall during race weekends. Giving fans a valuable insight into what goes on and how the team are progressing.
Recently he admits they have become so busy with race weekends’ being so close together, that it has slipped. But they plan to do more again soon.
We also had chance to speak to F1 veteran Timo Glock. He has driven for Jordan, Toyota, Virgin and now Marussia. He helps develop the team from a car performance point of view as well as getting results on the track to boost the team in F1. The weekend before we spoke, Timo had produced a best ever finish for the team by cfinishing 12th in Singapore.
You can see more of what he had to say in the video below but there were a couple of questions that avoided the camera.
One question I was keen to ask was on his tweets about making food. A couple of years ago we wrote about his link up with an F1 site that brought together his love of food and Twitter. Fans were asked to help choose what he cooked and then got to see the results.
This started off as a bit of fun but once it was getting more coverage this became lost for Timo. It took away from what he did as a driver and became a bit of a joke that he just spent his time cooking and not driving. This is why he stopped doing it.
Now watch the video below to hear more about his thoughts on Twitter, Facebook and engaging with fans…
Thanks to Marussia for being great hosts and to Monster Jobs / 3 Monkeys for setting the day up and inviting us along. We’ll be keeping an eye out for the teams results from here on in for sure.
Here are some pics from the day;