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How Do You Create & Measure Successful Brand Engagement on Facebook?

Social media hangs its hat on getting customer or fan engagement. Facebook is the preferred platform for building communities around brand engagement. So, would you be happy coming to your client or boss with a whopping 0.5% engagement number? 

That’s what the latest study shows the top 200 brands on Facebook have as their average engagement rate: 0.5%. But, is that good or bad? It sounds really bad, even compared to direct mail, where a 1 or 2% response rate is considered good. However, given how new this field is, who’s to say whether that’s a good result or not. Or what it even means. There have been many different opinions on the subject and various studies, who’s to say what’s right. 

Popularity of the brand didn’t affect engagement numbers.

According to this study, the popularity of the brands didn’t affect how well the engagement numbers fared. And the passion brands didn’t seem to get much of a boost either.  In fact, only one brand out of the 200 got an engagement level over 2%. Only 10% of them made it over 1%. The fact that all these brands have millions of fans might have something to do with it. Think of the brands you’ve liked. When it comes to the biggest brands like Coke or Starbucks, how many of these do you go back and engage with on a regular basis? It’s just not in our nature.

One person’s “Great!” is another’s “Meh.”

Even within the confines of the same firm, results don’t mean the same thing to everyone.  In a recent status meeting one of our community managers was all excited because we were getting great increases in engagement on his client’s Facebook page. Our CEO got interested and asked how many people we were talking about. “Over 20 people commented this week!” was the enthusiastic response. Our CEO who spends a lot of time dealing with broadcast audiences in the millions looked at our social media guy like he had rabies.  

To be fair, this was a fairly new page in a very niche community and the numbers were good, relatively speaking.  But, therein lies the problem. Experts don’t agree. Studies don’t agree. People in your own company don’t agree. So what do you do about engagement on Facebook or any other social channel, for that matter? 

Find where the passion points and touch points meet.

One thing you can do is figure out when your customers are most likely to feel passionate about your brand. When are they fully engaged and happy. Once you figure that out, what is the touch point that intersects this passion point? It doesn’t matter if it’s an online or offline touch point. Find a way to connect with and motivate your customer at that intersection. It’s when they’re most likely to engage. 

For example, we represent a number of furniture retailers. We decided the passion point for the furniture customer is the moment they see their new furniture in their home. The touch point that intersects that for the brand is the delivery guys. So, we created a card for the delivery people to hand out once the customer’s furniture is all set up and they’re in that state of happiness. On one side of the card, it showed what an experience on Facebook might look like – a picture of new furniture someone had uploaded and a bunch of their friend’s comments below it, complimenting them on the new look. The other side of the card invited them to post their own picture of their furniture on the store’s Facebook page and gave them a little incentive to do so. 

Almost immediately, every measure of engagement went up: likes, comments, posts, etc. And they weren’t just talking about the furniture. They were talking about the good experience they had with the salesperson. They were talking about how nice the delivery people were. Many of their friends chimed in, too. Since the employees knew we were doing this, they became engaged as well. Salespeople who were named in posts came on and thanked the customers for the great experience they had too. The engagement numbers went up and stayed up. If you can find that intersection of passion point and touch point – find a way to use it to create engagement. 

Set goals, measure, adjust and repeat.

Analytics can help keep you accountable for your actions and shine the light on what works and what doesn’t. You need to set up measurable goals (likes, people talking about you, friends, comments, brand mentions, posts) and a baseline to measure against and act on your social media strategy. After a month of using analytics like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Social Mention, Facebook search, etc, you can start seeing what’s working or what’s not, what people are clicking on and what’s not really interesting to your community. Adjust and repeat. It doesn’t help you figure out which study or definition of engagement to believe in, but it creates your own system of measurement to guide your specific case’s needs. 

Those are my thoughts. How are you getting and measuring engagement? What do you find applicable from the various studies you’ve seen? Let’s engage and compare notes! 

Image Credit: Dan Taylor