Can Brands Maintain Engagement on Facebook?

10 05 2011
by emarketer.com

“Likes” can go down as fan bases increase

Growing a base of Facebook fans is often a major objective for social media marketers. Whether through special offers available only to fans, the promise of exclusive content or simply through a compelling campaign that reaches already-loyal customers, marketers are building up their presence on Facebook pages and hoping consumers flock there as well.

But as fan bases grow, the danger increases that the larger community will be less close-knit and engaged than before. Link-sharing solutions provider Visibli analyzed Facebook pages with at least 100,000 “likes” and found that for brands and media organizations, pages with more fans received fewer “likes” on each individual post. Engagement went down as the number of people involved went up.

And overall, brands are behind both artists and media organizations when it comes to average number of “likes” and comments per post.

Average Number of "Likes" and Comments per Facebook Post, by Page Type, March 2011

There are many posting strategies brands can pursue to boost engagement on pages as the number of fans increases, however. Research from Buddy Media found that tweaking the length, timing and wording of posts could raise engagement.

In addition, the research from Visibli points to how brands should space out their posts. Half of all “likes” happen within 1 hour and 20 minutes of posting, and 70% happen within 4 hours. “Likes” taper off over time, until about 95% are received within 22 hours.

Timeframe for Facebook Post "Like" Accumulation, March 2011 (% of total "likes")

Furthermore, once a new post is up there’s less chance of “likes” on an older one, so brands should give messages time to play out and maximize engagement before updating.


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