Let’s start with a scenario – You started a Facebook Page for your brand a month ago. In order to garner as many Facebook Likes as possible, you run a series of weekly competitions with attractive prizes, which enables you to acquire an impressive amount of fans. Your marketing report comes back to you and records a low percentage on fan engagement, and you are perplexed. You thought you were doing well – the higher the volume or fans, the higher the likelihood of engagement on your Page, right?
More often than not, brands adopt this strategy in the hope that it will build up their Facebook profile and add value/credibility to the brand. This is true to a certain extent, because you can claim to be more credible with xxx number of fans. However, what you fail to realise are the negative implications this has on the value-add to your brand.
The Zuum tool defines fan engagement by: Post likes + comments / Page Likes
This metric reveals an important implication – Chasing sheer numbers hurts your statistics. One of the key findings in the Zuum report is that the more fans your Facebook Page has, the harder it is to gain a high level of engagement. This only makes sense, as the participation on your Page is divided by your Page Likes (or your total number of fans), to obtain the fan engagement ratio.
When you blindly chase numbers, you attract many but varied fans. This increases your difficulty of posting content that is relevant to the largest proportion of your audience, which is what encourages participation. A man is unlikely to participate in a conversation surrounding beauty products catered towards women. The fan base, which you have accumulated from running giveaways, consists of people who are more interested in the prizes than your brand itself. When you adopt this approach, you may have an impressive amount of likes but your social media campaigns are going to be largely hit and miss.
So what do you have to do to maximise your fan engagement? The answer is to have a larger proportion of active fans. These are people who are genuinely interested in your brand and participate in brand related conversation. Instead of thinking about how to get fans, think about how you are getting fans. Narrow down your circle and connect with the relevant people. This will not only make your marketing efforts more effective, but enables you to gain more accurate insights on who your target audiences are.
However, our online monitoring analyst, Fil Sarna, advises that precautions must be taken with the Zuum tool:
“With Facebook’s rapid progression, engagement is no longer limited to just Post Likes and comments. In fact, shares and clicks are important forms of fan engagement that this metric neglects to consider. Another thing to note is this metric fails to acknowledge the existence of dormant fans – these are users who for example, no longer use their Facebook accounts. Not accounting for these fans decreases the accuracy of the fan engagement rate calculated by this formula.”
Our next post will drill down into some of the successful tactics we’re finding to work within Facebooks ever changing landscape.
What’s more important to you right now? Numbers or the context behind them…..or both? We’d love you to share your insights here also in the comments section below.