All Posts in Research

November 6, 2017Published by: Phil

Which social media do U.S. adults get their news from?

Last Thursday the Pew Research centre published new research about news consumption by U.S. adults through social media. The research shows that social media sites, led by Facebook, are still the primary source of news for a lot of U.S. adults and this trend can be seen across other countries where these social networks are similarly popular.

Read more

September 14, 2015Published by: Drew Benvie

Burberry tops 3rd annual FTSE 100 social media report

Battenhall FTSE 100 report 2015 small crop new

This morning at the opening session of Social Media Week London, we unveiled Battenhall's third annual report on how the FTSE 100 list of companies uses Twitter and other social media. The report is now live and downloadable in full on

Burberry has taken the social media crown for a third year running, and bottom of our rankings is Shire, the pharmaceuticals company, with just 30 followers. The report looks at the brands with the most influence, the risers and fallers, and contains case studies based on interview with the FTSE 100s in addition to exclusive research.

The new report shows that brands have over the last 12 months become more active on Twitter, and whilst there are more high-profile, verified and active accounts in total, nine companies are still not on Twitter at all. There are more Twitter Millionaires than ever before, with both Burberry and Sky breaking the barrier, and the FTSE 100s' audience on Twitter has doubled in the last 12 months, from 6.4m to 12.4m followers collectively. With case studies, data on year-on-year progress, and which brands have switched their social media strategy in the last 12 months, our new report is the most comprehensive produced to date.

Download the full report here [free to access].

September 12, 2014Published by: Steph Bennett

Facebook’s latest experiment

FB SnapFacebook has once again started experimenting with new capabilities by following in the footsteps of Snapchat and enabling users of the iOS app to produce disappearing posts. The new option allows users to set an expiration date for their posts ranging from one hour to seven days. This new function was not only a response to the ever growing teenage market for disappearing messages, one that Snapchat has led for the last three years leading to an approximate valuation of $10 billion, but also an outcome of the interest Facebook users showed in automatically deleting posts.

This is now the third attempt at a deleting message app that Facebook has produced since June; the first of which was the relatively unsuccessful Slingshot. Slingshot was an app that operated in a similar way to Snapchat but required users to send a picture to view a picture. However, this proved to be unpopular with users and, as a result, Facebook removed the one aspect of the app that made it distinctive from Snapchat. Within a month of this failed attempt to unseat Snapchat the Facebook owned app Instagram released Bolt, another attempt to threaten Snapchats dominance in the ephemeral photo sharing market.

At these early stages the new function for Facebook is only available for testing in New Zealand; however, if this new ability proves popular enough it will without doubt be turned very quickly into a globally available tool for all Facebook users.

For more information read here.

January 23, 2014Published by: Charlie Gregory

The ‘infectious disease’ that is Facebook

2014-01-23 16.52.23

When a user slowly becomes immune to its actions and attractions, a group of researchers at Princeton University predict that 80% of Facebook's users will have abandoned the site by 2017.

John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler based their research on the number of times 'Facebook' was entered into Google. Google Trends' chart show that the searches peaked in late 2012 but have begun to trail off since.

"Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models,"

the authors claim in a paper entitled 'Epidemiological modelling of online social network dynamics'.

When researching, Spechler and Cannarella used the SIR (susceptible, infected, recovered) model of disease, which creates equations to map the spread and recovery of epidemics.

Also, as part of the paper, they tested various equations against the lifespan of Myspace. Myspace was founded in 2003 and reached its peak in 2007 with 300 million registered users, before falling out of use by 2011. With that as a base, they then adapted their findings to Facebook.

The 870 million people using Facebook via their smartphones each month could explain the drop in Google searches – those looking to log on are no longer doing so by typing the word into Google. But Facebook's CFO David Ebersman admitted on an earnings call with analysts that during the previous three months:

"We did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens."

Perhaps without innovation, Facebook's days are numbered.

July 17, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

Tracking Digital Consumer Behaviour: Deep Digging from McKinsey

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 22.08.35

Understanding and tracking the way in which digital consumers behave is becoming more complicated by the minute. Different mediums that didn't even exist a month ago, let alone a decade or a century ago, change on an almost daily basis. Whilst skimming the surface of new digital trends is easy, the ability to gain insight, plan and act upon that knowledge simply can't be performed fast enough until we dig a little deeper.

To help brands with all of this this, McKinsey; the large American global management consulting firm, has produced a report from insights into how digital consumers behave. The report explains that,

'Understanding and acting on the probable contours of change requires reflection and a deep knowledge of customer behavior, industry dynamics, and feedback loops...'

The first comparison made by McKinsey is from their iConsumer research here in Europe. McKinsey defines four segments of the mobile market, stating that whilst they may all have the same mobile plan or handset, the way they consume on those devices is dramatically different.

Source: 2012 McKinsey iConsumer Survey (Europe)

Source: 2012 McKinsey iConsumer Survey (Europe)

The four segments - as shown above, are:

  • Traditionalists: these are consumers that use phones for the purpose they have always been intended - voice calls.
  • Data Principals: use lots of data and barely any voice calling functionality.
  • Data Entertainers: also use little voice but are heavy users of video, music, and games. According to McKinsey,

'Upward of two-thirds of music usage involves streaming services, MP3 files, or satellite radio.'


  • Mobile omnivores: are superusers of both voice and data services. Along with the Data Entertainers above, these consumers use over 85% of data traffic.

These segments are prevalent now due to the nature of content that is being consumed, as McKinsey explains,

'Almost half of all video viewing in the United States, for example, takes place in ways that barely existed a generation ago.'

McKinsey continue to explain that when working with a digital-publishing client they found that 80% of visitors to the clients website were very occasional. In analysing the audience, it became clear that to retain loyal profit-generating users a radical change in the business model had to take place, with tiering and specialisation.

Success may require a diversity of business models, one for high intensity users and others to address the broader audience

Source: 2012 McKinsey iConsumer clickstream database (United States)

Whilst focusing on this high-detail explains some of the insight McKinsey have shared through their research and experience. Some of the more broad segments can be explained through six shifts. To summarise:

  • Devices: In personal computing time, the share of mobile phones and tablets has almost doubled since 2008, to 44 percent.
  • Communications: Smartphone use is driven by streaming content, creating it's own issues for mobile carriers.
  • Content: The value in traditional media has eroded. The average number of apps installed on them has doubled since 2008 whilst spending is fragmented and growth uncertain.
  • Social media: Businesses are still trying to use social media as part of their marketing efforts. Achieving measurable returns on social networking platforms is a continuing challenge - at Battenhall we think this is because traditional PR strategies fail to realise the bigger picture of social networking.
  • Video: The increase in the number of video options will pressure traditional advertising-supported business models for distributors, advertisers, and content owners.
  • Retail: Ecommerce only about 5 percent of all retail sales. As connected mobile devices proliferate, they could transform the shopping experience. The combination of mobile retailing and true multichannel integration will transform the buying experience and begin what McKinsey calls, 'the era of Retail 3.0.'

To summarise, McKinsey confirms more echoed rumours amongst the digital community that the digital frontier must be understood and appreciated in order to work for brands and businesses. Data, streaming, captivating content and sharing dominates mobile use whilst the methods in which this media is being transmitted through hardware is out-dated and requires serious attention.

The challenge for brands now is to realise the potential of bespoke solutions for consumers, working with hardware providers, consultants and experts to make a solution that works for all their key stakeholders.

Learn more about the McKinsey report at

May 2, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

Over 25s are “search-first” and under 24s “social-first”

Deloitte 2013 media report

The good people of Deloitte's media and entertainment practice have published their newest and seventh annual consumer media report, titled ‘Love in a cold climate’, which has some interesting findings on digital that are worth sharing.

On social media, Deloitte has suggested that Facebook is the only mass-market social network in the UK, with Twitter and Instagram are seen as popular only among early adopters.

This survey found that the average person has 240 Facebook friends and undertakes on average 3.5 actions on the site every day. The report found a digital divide between the over 25s who are “search-first” in their Internet usage and the under 24s, who are “social first”.

Deloitte's research also shows that 65% of respondents have access to a smartphone and a third have a tablet in their household, suggesting the further growth of consumption of screen media in the future. Something to look forward to, we think. Read the full report here.

March 7, 2013Published by: Drew Benvie

90% of media is digital


Recent research published by Google shows that 90 percent of all media we consume is screen-based, and 77% of our time in front of the TV is spent also on another screen.

If there's one thing February's Superbowl showed us about building a connection with a brand, it's that relying on just one screen isn't enough. 50% of the Superbowl TV ads included mentions of Twitter. And the winner of our hearts and minds, Oreo's dunking in the dark blackout hijack, was a social media masterstroke. So how will brands react in light of the flurry of articles analysing the 'realtime marketing' success story that we saw?

Seeing advertising becoming more like PR and more like social is surely a massive step forward. Keep an eye out for Twitter's increasing focus on the TV game. With its recent acquisition of Bluefin Labs, this space is hotting up.