How effectively does your business utilise Facebook? Would you know how to measure the success of a Facebook page? A study investigating how local brands perform on Facebook aims to help brands better understand how to use the social media platform as an effective engagement tool – and to know when it’s working.
The ‘Australian Facebook Performance Report‘, released this week by social media specialists Online Circle, reveals a number of interesting insights about the way in which Australians engage with brands via Facebook.
Ranking a brand’s popularity based on fan ‘likes’ and engagement, it was found that grocery brand page fans tend to be the most engaged, with 10% of fans talking about the brand pages analysed in the study, while snack food brand pages, although only having a 2% engagement rate, are the most liked. Perhaps not surprisingly, energy and utility companies added the least number of fans.
The aim of the paper is to provide benchmarks for a range of markets (see image below) to measure success by, as well as to increase the understanding of strategies and tactics behind some of the country’s most successful brand Facebook pages. The study’s data was collected automatically using Facebook APIs at 12 midday on January 10, 17, 24 and 31, with averages of fan numbers and people talking about the brands across the four days for selected brand pages being used to generate the featured statistics. At this stage, the authors plan to release this type of report every two months.
The figure for a brand’s engagement rate was attained via a simple mathematical equation – the number of ‘people talking about this’ divided by number of fans, with ‘people talking about this’ defined by Facebook as the number of unique people who have created a story about a page in the past week, by liking the page or one of its posts, posting on its wall, answering a question, responding to an event, mentioning the page, tagging the page in a photo or checking in, or recommending the page or place.
Retail – Department Stores
When it came to the (Facebook) ‘Department Store Wars’, while CatchOfTheDay may have had the most fans by the end of the month, it was David Jones who was seen to have the highest share of engagement activity at 28.7% – most likely helped along by the launching of a competition not long into the new year, offering up the chance to meet DJ’s ambassador Miranda Kerr on Valentine’s Day. David Jones also had the largest percentage fan growth, which can again probably be credited to this campaign, as a person was required to ‘like’ DJ’s Facebook page, as well as answer a question, in order to enter.
When viewing Facebook engagement the way in which this report does, no other department store comes even close to David Jones, with second place going to Deals Direct at 18.2%.
Retail – Fashion
Supre reigned supreme when talking about the most number of Facebook fans at 374,889. Women’s activewear retailer Lorna Jane had the most amount of fans talking about the brand, at 12,939 – if this can be attributed to Lorna Jane’s effort to utilise social media as one of its main marketing tool over the next 12 months, then the retailer could say that one month in to the near year, it’s already working.
Retail – Grocery and Alcohol
At grocery, Woolworths smashed its competitors on all levels, having the most fans at 104,097, the highest fan growth rate at 50,461, and and the highest level of fan engagement at 25.9%. If social media engagement was the primary objective of its promotions, including a photo competition offering up a prize comprising of a year of free groceries, then they’re clearly working.
* Any brands marked with an asterix fall below the level of statistical confidence (of engagement rate) and have not been included in the industry average calculations.
Although the objective of the report is more focused on helping Australian retailers and brands utilise Facebook in the most effective way to engage with their customers (there is even a ‘Tips for Champions’ section at the back to help facilitate this), the results themselves do provide some good food for thought. While there is still much conjecture around whether or not social media can be used effectively to drive conversions, what is absolutely clear from these findings is that the right Facebook promotion can spike consumer engagement, as defined by the report, almost immediately. Now it’s just about turning that into dollars.