After focusing on the conventions of acquiring likes en masse, marketers are starting to internalize the importance of a much more meaningful metric. Engagement is emerging as the holy grail of social media marketing, but how do brands get fans talking?
By now companies are accustomed to wooing fans with free samples and sweepstakes exchange for likes, but the principals of engagement are slippery and less formulaic. Brands like Johnnie Walker and BMW emerge as clear leaders in the area of engagement, but what is it that they do differently than the likes of Burberry or Chanel? Perhaps more important, what kinds of posts get people talking?
We analyzed hundreds of brand posts to find out and discovered that the answer is surprisingly simple. Product highlights on Facebook outpaced company information, questions, and customer education and special events with an engagement rate of 0.21 percent percent.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that contests and promotions received such low engagement rates (0.08 and 0.07 percent respectively). Study after study shows that users like brands for free offers and discounts, but even the most successful contest-based like campaigns don’t drive high engagement.
Free samples might create community growth, but engagement rates are showing that fans didn’t actually join for the free swag. They are there to learn more about products, and the brands that give users this information in the most compelling way will prove most successful in mobilizing fans into action.