Thoughts on Facebook Brand Page Fan Participation

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Circa 1830 Restored Vermont Home Mad River Valley

Recently I was doing some research. I was curious who was succeeding on Facebook as a major brand. What would that actually mean? What stats would I seek. Having a lot of fans means nothing. Many big brands have paid to have fan numbers via Facebook ads and some by paying for Fans even if they aren’t real.

I had a discussion with Gini Dietrich yesterday because I had investigated a lot of brands using the ‘Talking About’ statistic as a measure of participation. That some brands that we know have real life passion have zero passion in the broader sense on Facebook even if they have a ton of fans. She felt this was misleading because all Brands need pages now because customers expect it. I did agree with that because for me Facebook is a customer service and relationship builder vs marketing platform.

First let me show the data. Talking About is the number of people who have taken action on a Brand Page or Posted Content the previous seven days. Actions include Liking, Commenting, Sharing and Posting on the page.

Take that number and divide by 7 and you get per day. Then divide total fans by that number and you get how many days it takes to have all fans take action (Participate) once. Divide by 365 if it is higher and you get how many years.

  • Trader Joe’s – 534k fans – Once every 7 years
  • Whole Foods – 1.17 million fans – Once every 3 years
  • Lennar (home builder) – 225K fans – Every 115 days
  • Victoria’s Secret – 21 million fans – Once every 261 days
  • Doritos – 4 million fans – Once every 7.3 Years
  • Chobani – 614K fans – Once per year
  • Dannon – 222K fans – Once every 3.5 years
  • Volkswagen USA – 1.57 million fans- Once every 193 Days
  • Target – 21 million fans – Once every 3.1 years
  • Chanel – 8.4 million Fans – Once every 218 days
  • Audi USA – 6.4 million – Once every 198 days
  • Starbucks – 33 million fans – Once every 2.3 years

I bet if you didn’t see the data and I asked which brands were ones of passion you would think or expect more activity on those pages. Also this is the last 7 days so the numbers can change. A Brand might run a promotion tied in with TV advertising and have a much higher participation rate.

There are two sides to this. First is people see so little in their feed. So Brand Posts unless they pay to promote or sponsor have a very low likelihood of being seen. On the pages I have run for Brands I see 10% on a good post. 3-4% on average. But if you really love a brand like I love Chobani a fan most likely would go to the page directly vs waiting for a post. In fact when I was actively on Facebook I rarely saw their posts but went to their page every day.

The second factor is content. Why should I spend precious time with you on Facebook? The average user spends less than 15 minutes per day. Wouldn’t friends and family come first? But great content will enable you to get some time.

So my thesis is that most brands either struggle with content or people just aren’t passionate about them online even if they are offline. You can’t tell me Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s do not have passionate dedicated customers offline vs on Facebook.

There is a silver lining here. A good page administrator will notice who comes by a lot. And those fans are the ones you should groom as Brand Ambassadors. The come by no matter what just because they love your brand. This is really the easiest way to identify loyal fans online. Pay attention to who comes to visit your page.

But on the negative side Facebook is not a major driver of sales for major Brands and plays mostly a supporting (though usually valuable role). Most of the Brands I listed have probably hundreds of millions of customers and potential customers. But Facebook can enable you to raise that online army so many Brands desperately can use.

Oh and if you want to see a Brand that does Twitter and Facebook well? You should follow and fan Lennar. Just proves Social Media can be won by any smart Brand in any Industry. And today I declare them the winner of this study!

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About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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5 Responses to Thoughts on Facebook Brand Page Fan Participation

  1. Pingback: Social Media Strategies 101 | Space Agency Notes

  2. You said: In fact when I was actively on Facebook I rarely saw their posts but when to thir age every day….and I said ‘huh?’ Did you mean to say you went to their page everyday? I’m trying to pick up this Vermont-speak but you know we are much slower down here in the south….:).

  3. Kay Howard says:

    WOW! Thank you so much for noticing and recognizing us Howie! And for including us in such an esteemed group of brands! We appreciate the recognition and will definitely keep it going! Oh, and we LOVE YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram too! 🙂

    Kay Howard
    Director of Communications
    Lennar Corporation

    • chiefalien says:

      Hi Kay!

      Thank you for the nice comment. There is a lot of fraud and fibs coming from the Social Media Industry/Agencies/Talking Heads who over sell the platforms. I have blogged plenty in the past about them. But very important to highlight and give kudos to those who are investing resources and doing great work like Lennar and yourself!

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