As running a Facebook page is still a relatively new concept for brands (in the grand scheme of things), it can be difficult to know if you're actually doing well, or what the industry standard is. So this study by Admap is going to come in handy for a lot of brands and marketers. Having analysed the top 200 brands on Facebook, they've found that in a given week, less than 0.5% of fans are actively engaging with a brand. This was found by calculating the 'talking about this figure' on a Facebook Page - which shows how many fans are actually engaging with content such as sharing on commenting - as a percentage of total fans. A study that we did on a smaller scale last year.
They found that 10% of pages were reaching an engagement level of 1% or more with just one brand page out the 200 studied reaching a weekly engagement level of 2% or higher.
Understanding the numbers
The first reaction to this figure is probably that it's quite low and that may not be such a bad thing. Up until now, brands have been focusing heavily on how to drive likes to their page - understandable as it's such a public representation of your popularity as a brand, with a very obvious benchmark for your competitors. But the drive to likes means nothing if your fans aren't actually engaging with you. Given that so many brands are taking a quantitative approach to Facebook activity, the figure of 0.5% should not be taken as a benchmark of success, but something to surpass. Though this was a finding of the 200 most popular pages on Facebook, they were chosen on the basis of likes, not engagement.
Just because they're big, it doesn't mean they're getting it right. However, it does point out the distinct lack of industry standards in social media that allow marketers to judge what is a success. At the moment, we're defining our own parameters without knowing what these really mean. A study like this is useful because it allows us to start understanding how we are performing in context. This is also true for category standards as AdMap has produced a useful chart showing engagement rate across key industries:
Studies like this are useful as indicators of success, but shouldn't be treated as an absolute truth. While social media marketing needs to be measured to a point, it also requires a different approach, given the networks of people you are dealing with. Measurement doesn't end with the consumers you've reached, but rather it starts here with your brand then being carried across connected communities online in a new way.