April 8, 2011
We’ve been hearing a lot recently about how Facebook fan numbers aren’t the be all and end all. Brands should concentrate on engaging with their existing fan base. Even Facebook’s own are towing the line. David Parfect, agency sales group head at Facebook recently told the audience at the Social Media World Forum in London that brands should look beyond fan numbers. In his own words David said: “Just because a brand has 17,000 fans on Facebook, that does not mean these fans are engaged with them. That is just where the marketing should start.”
Fangager has listed the top engaged pages on Facebook based on their active fans. Looking at these pages closely, we’ve identified 5 recurring content themes that drive fan participation. While these pages listed by Fangager are mainly celebs, personalities or sporting clubs, their key themes can be adopted by brands to generate conversations on their own Facebook pages.
The majority of pages with high interaction levels are lifestyle brands such as sports clubs, celebs, musicians etc. and the input from fans stems from these passion points. Even traditional product focused brands, such as Red Bull and Converse don’t use Facebook as a tool to directly promote their products. Their pages are filled with content that relates to their other ventures, for example Red Bull and extreme sports.
News and service announcements
As with most social media platforms, brands use Facebook pages to tell their customers about their latest news and often link to their website or blogs. Man Utd, which is third in Fangager’s list, uses this tactic a lot on its page. Nearly 4,000 people have comments on their latest post about Rooney’s match ban.
Platforms like Windows Live Messenger and even Facebook itself use their pages to tell fans about the latest service announcements, which for most people is more convenient than visiting an external page.
To help break down barriers between brands and their customers, some pages have adopted a personal tone which has helped keep them connected to their fans. Some examples of these are:
- Justin Beiber – his page is populated with things he’s found interesting and make use of ‘I’ so it is as if he is personally writing to his 20 million fans. His average post receives around 7,000 comments.
- Skittles – it posts funny/random content to its fans and takes a personal approach by using ‘I’ instead of ‘we’. Its recent post that said: “I balance out my electric blanket with a refrigerator pillow” received 11,000 likes and 700 comments.
Almost all of the pages listed by Fangager use questions to help drive fan participation. Questions can be related to products and services or have no obvious connection at all. We’ve seen this work particularly well on the Sony UK Facebook page, which we manage alongside our client. For example, when we asked Sony’s fans to tell us what they wanted to see in future home entertainment products we received over 50 comments.
Some of the top engaged Facebook pages often post links to brand events, whether they are real life such as gigs or sports fixtures or calendar events like product launches. Over 16,000 Man Utd fans were listed as attending the clubs Champions League match with Chelsea recently and fans posted over 9,000 comments.
Photos and videos
It may seem pretty standard nowadays but posting videos and photos on Facebook pages is a good way of increasing interaction with fans. For example, a video posted onto Justin Bieber’s fan page showing him pranking Willow Smith received over 74,000 likes and 20,000 comments. Exclusive, behind the scenes content also goes down well with Bieber’s fans.
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