With all the talk about interacting with your audience online, it seems that the majority set up social media profiles to expand their business but fail to put the time into engaging and interacting with fans.
New research from Facebook optimisation site, Recommend.ly found that on average, 82 per cent of Facebook brand pages post less than five update posts per month, signalling a lack of interaction and effort for businesses to engage fans. The research took into account 1.7 million Facebook pages, categories across Business (local businesses and companies), Personal Brands (Politicians, Musicians, Actors) and Interest Groups (Community, Restaurants, Spas).
The 1.7 million sample represents 4.59 per cent of the total number of pages on Facebook, which included 10 billion fans, 303 million 'likes', 57 million posts and 94 million comments overall.
The lowest quantity of posts came from local business pages with an average of 15 posts per month, and would be the biggest category in this research. In comparison, the highest number of average posts came from politicians and actors/directors who averaged around 67 posts and 46 posts respectively.
It gets worse for businesses as they also found that with regards to participation and communication, 94 per cent of local businesses don't participate in conversations happening on their Pages while 91 per cent of companies leave their pages unattended. Also, 65 per cent of all Page updates tend to be unaccompanied by any media or links.
- Image via Recommendly on Flickr
These are all very striking statistics and its quite worrying to see that the majority are jumping head first into social media without formulating a plan. However, before we get carried away with the results, there are two caveats that must be taken from this.
The first is the comparison between small businesses and any personal brands. While the comparison is striking, these 'brands' work under very different dynamics as politicians and musicians would either have the time to update their profiles or, more likely, the resources to outsource them so that they can be updated regularly.
Small businesses don't have that luxury, normally one person is doing the jobs of three/four people as the business is in its early stages. Therefore, as their time is spent handling the day-to-day running of their business and all the other bits and pieces associated with their area of expertise, social media interaction is going to be pushed down the to-do list as its extra work and they can't see any short term gain from interacting.
The second cavaet (depending on how cynical you are) is that this research is part of a press release highlighting the launch of recommend.ly's product to the world. As their product is a Facebook Page management solution, such stats are in their interest as it helps businesses realist that they need help and will enlist Recommend.ly.
That's not to say there's anything wrong with that (all research, in a sense, aims to promote something), but some people may disregard the results because of this, which while understandable - the 82 per cent statistic mentioned in the title is certainly a large one - is disregarding the very real problem of businesses not understanding the platform they've created a profile on.
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