Engaging content the social media key in NZ

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Reese Witherspoon’s engaging posts resoundingly beat Justin Bieber’s large following when it comes to impact on social media according to new research from Kantar TNS New Zealand. 

The insights agency analysed the social media activity of six celebrities while they were on tour in New Zealand recently and found that Witherspoon had the biggest impact on Brand New Zealand, despite the likes of Bieber having more than 10 times the number of followers.

An ever-growing range of digital channels are providing businesses with countless ways to interact with customers, however according to recent research only one in four (24%) marketers in New Zealand feels in control of the consumer touchpoints available to them. Despite having access to some of the most advanced digital media ecosystems, New Zealand marketers have the lowest confidence from across Asia Pacific when it comes to using it. Businesses are struggling to identify the strategies that deliver impact: 16% questioned hedge their bets by spreading their budget across as many touchpoints as possible and 30% focus on just the ones they know.

The key to Witherspoon’s success was making multiple posts across several social media channels and using a variety of engaging content that resonated with her audience. Her posts were fun and personable, included specific content such as photos of Queenstown’s picturesque landscape, named local brands and businesses such as Central Otago vineyard Wooing Tree, and noted how friendly the locals were.


“Her posts were fun and personable, included specific content such as photos of Queenstown’s landscape, and named local brands and businesses.”


As a result her posts strongly resonated with her audience, giving Witherspoon the highest follower engagement and highest positive sentiment out of all six celebrities. The other five stars were Witherspoon’s A Wrinkle in Time co-stars Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling plus three music stars that came to New Zealand in March – Bieber, Adele and Bruce Springsteen.

While most social media platforms are able to provide some insights – how many people your post has reached and engagement through number of clicks, comments, reactions and shares – Kantar TNS has the capability to analyse the sentiment of posts. Sentiment is determined by the contents of the post itself as well as social media “chatter” around the post through shares and comments.

Stephanie McLaughlin, client director, social and digital lead for Kantar TNS NZ, said: “By analysing the social media of someone like Reese Witherspoon we are able to draw learnings that are applicable for New Zealand businesses and their social media strategy.

“You do not need to have the biggest following or be the most active in your posting to be effective – many other factors such as engagement, sentiment and channel strategy also play an important role.

“The authentic and engaging way in which Reese conducted her social media activity really made her stand apart from the rest.”

About Kantar TNS
Kantar TNS New Zealand is a full-service market research based consultancy offering unique insight and in-depth understanding for businesses seeking growth strategies in across the Asia Pacific region. As part of a global community of over 80 countries, the New Zealand office integrates the best of Kantar TNS global expertise with its specific local market knowledge to deliver actionable insights. Kantar TNS is part of Kantar, WPP’s insight, information and consultancy group.


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