The toys of Christmas 2009, according to social media

SPONSORED FEATURE - What are this season's must-have toys? How much buzz is there about them online? And can we use social media to accurately predict this year's bestseller? Social media agency Yomego sought the answers.

It's nearly Christmas, and according to various retail associations, one in five purchases are expected to be made online. A much higher percentage of purchasing decisions - up to 50 per cent depending on who you listen to - will be researched on digital channels.

 

So, we've been taking a close look at children's use of social media and how brands can gain insight from their habits and also engage in the conversation in the right manner.

 

The young consumer

 

Today's under-16s might be second-generation digital natives, but they're the first group to have grown up with social media playing such an integral part of their everyday lives.

 

By not engaging children across social media channels, brands and retailers are missing a huge trick. But there is still a surprisingly widespread nervousness among brand owners about where to start, and how to avoid the many pitfalls.

 

Young consumers, typically aged between 7 and 13 years-old, have been tagged ‘older younger consumers'. Another buzz-phrase for a sector with more than its fair share, the term aims to highlight the increasing sophistication and questioning nature of consumers.

 

According to research from Azure, a girl born in the early 1990's would typically put her doll to rest at 11 years old. Now it's as young as seven.

 

2009's Hot Toys

 

The opportunity to gain insight from young people on social media is relatively untapped but essential for brands in 2009. In this example Yomego used its SMR (Social Media Reputation) scoring system to find out what toys will be big this Christmas, according to young people on social media.

 

The toys and games industry in the UK is estimated to be worth up to £2.2bn, according to the IAB. Getting the marketing right can have a huge effect and you'd expect this sector to be pioneering the use of the social media to win youthful hearts and minds.

 

Yomego has devised a system through which brands can gauge and track their popularity in social spaces. Our Social Media Reputation scoring system looks at the noise being generated and aggregates it against sentiment to calculate a score out of 100.

 

The SMR scores, below, track reach (or ‘noise') and use sophisticated language recognition software to track sentiment across the world. A metric around ‘recency' is applied in each case to highlight which brands are really on the tip of tongues at the crucial time.

 

So which of these is Santa likely to be settling under your tree?

 

 

Battle strikers

Transformers Bumblebee Helmet

Go Go pet hamster

Sylvanian family caravan

Ben 10 action Cruiser

Noise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Level

58.25

67.89

59.36

45.21

62.59

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recency

59.21

64.25

62.31

49.25

71.02

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sub-Total

58.73

66.07

60.84

47.23

66.81

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentiment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tone

71.25

89.21

75.42

72.12

86.52

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recency

70.12

88.95

77.62

75.26

85.69

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sub-Total

70.69

89.08

76.52

73.69

86.11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total SMR

64.71

77.58

68.68

60.46

76.46

 

Results

 

From our results, there are two clear runaway favourites: the Bumble Bee helmet and the Ben 10 Action Cruiser.

 

The positive sentiment behind each brand carries its score but there would seem to be scope for a late charge by, say the Go Go Pets hamster if flames were fanned in the right social media places and if they can recover from a recent PR disaster.

 

What we can learn

 

The beauty of social media is that you can find out what people really think about you and your products.

 

You can do this through direct interaction - via social channels like blogs, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. You can also do this by closely observing your online reputation, to find out what's being said about you, across all the channels. Either is good. Both are better.

 

 

This research highlights tricks that being missed and, when set aside competitors, provides a quantitative comparison that can be aligned against spend as a return-on-investment model.

 

A social media push, in isolation is unlikely to cut-through so activities should be integrated with other marketing spend. To generate impact across social media channels, a brand will need to provide content and / or assets to enable consumers to engage with it.

 

Ideally these will be exclusive to each channel, easily shared, and provide direct added value. Seeding ads on Facebook isn't a social media strategy and the approach needs to be part of the ongoing marketing mix; not just for Christmas.

 

Social media strategies demand specialist attention and techniques.

 

But get it right and the potential rewards can be huge.

 

This sponsored feature if courtesy of Yomego

 

About Yomego

 

Yomego is a specialist social media agency working with global brands like MTV, Ladbrokes and the BBC. We build, retain, monetise and monitor digital communities.

 

Established for over a decade, our experience, insight and specialist expertise make us a one-stop-shop for anyone wishing to explore the full potential of social media channels.

 

We build bespoke social networks, UGC platforms, virtual worlds and other digital apps, and create social media optimisation campaigns to drive traffic. It's all done in-house with a keen eye on ROI, providing clients with solid rationale and results - and we have some cracking case studies to prove it.

 

We work with clients at all stages, so whether you want to dip a toe in social media, dive in for the first time or are already in the swim, get in touch. We'll even provide you with a free Social Media Reputation audit for your brand.

 

For more information, see www.yomego.com where we regularly post whitepapers and insight on major trends in the sector.

 

Contact Steve Richards MD - steve@yomego.com or Laurence Hepburn, Business Development Manager - laurence@yomego.com.

 

Our offices are in London and Glasgow.

 

Our client list includes, MTV, BBC, Ladbrokes, eircom, Press Association, Tayto, BetFred, GMTV, MisterMaker, ACS, and SSL International

 

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