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Facebook Marketing – The Secret To Driving Engagement

January 10, 2013

Everyone agrees that the importance of an active, and engaged Facebook tribe is a key. But how to build one has left most marketers bewildered.  Brands have difficulty getting fans to participate so they take the easy rode offering incentives to people to become fans and posting content…for the sake of simply posting content.

facebook marketing

Quality is better than quantity

Recent studies into fan engagement level have shown that when it comes to Facebook, a few very active “Superfans” are way more valuable than the overall number of fans.

Fan Engagement: Quantity Does Not Equal Quality

For example Napkin labs analyzed fan engagement across 52 Facebook brand pages, with each brand page having between 200,000 and 1,000,000 fans. Of the more than 31.7 million fans who were analyzed over eight weeks, only 6 percent engaged with a brand’s Facebook content.

More fans don’t equal more engagement

While most brands think the best way to boost overall participation is to accumulate more fans, the study proves this is untrue. As a brand page’s fan count increased, the amount of engagement from fans didn’t necessarily increase along with it. For example, brands pages with over 900,000-1,000,000 fans had 60 percent less engagement than brand pages with 500,000-600,000 fans. 

Superfans are the secret sauce to your Facebook marketing success

This really should not come as a surprise to anyone…it certainly didn’t to me.  It appears that the 80/20 rule of work and life has shown no prejudice towards Facebook and is a equally true there as anywhere else.  The study shows that rather than quantity of fans, Superfans, or a brand’s top twenty most engaged fans, were far more influential. In fact, the engagement of one Superfan is equal to that of 75 fans.

So it appears that while brands work hard to build a big fanbase, only a small fraction of those fans are both active on their Timelines and influential to other fans. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you already know I call these folks “Sneezers“.

Superfans / Sneezers have a big influence over how much other fans interact. In the study, the top ten most engaged Superfans received 2.3x more likes and 1.8x more comments than less active Superfans.

So what’s a marketer to do?

  1. Shift focus from getting more fans to engaging deeper with fans by not simply pushing out content but finding ways to engage fans in deeper richer conversations.
  2. Avoid the frivolous type postings such as coupons, or overly promotional messages (everyone hates these..don’t you?)
  3. Encourage engagement by offering opportunities for fans to share stories about their interactions with your brand.  This has the added benefit of taking the burden of content creation off the marketer and allowing it to be created by the fans.
  4. Keep em motivated by regularly rewarding “Superfans”/Sneezers with special offers and privileges
  5. Reward publicly so that they other 80% see the benefits of spreading your story and possibly become motivated to do the same.


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