A December 2011 study by A.T. Kearney examined the conversations occurring on the Facebook profiles of the top 50 brands (based on Interbrand’s ranking of the world’s top brands) to see how well companies are engaging and interacting with their fans on the social network. This data was then compared with brand interactions on Facebook from a similar study in December 2010, as reported by eMarketer.
What do brands post?
Among the top 50 brands, 94% direct fans to a one-way communication page – either a tab or closed Facebook wall where users do not have the ability to initiate conversation. This has changed little since 2010, when 91% of the top 50 brands led consumers to one-way communication on Facebook. The majority of these brands are also not responding to fan comments: 56% did not respond to a single customer comment on their Facebook page in 2011 (the same as in 2010).
What do consumers want?
The study differentiated between different kinds of posts – personal, promotional and external – and measured fans’ interest in each brand post by the number of “likes” and comments. The vast majority of “likes” and comments – 69% – were in response to personal brand posts (with non-promotional brand content.) Only one in ten (11%) of interactions were in response to promotional posts by brands.
However, this clear preference for non-promotional posts went largely unnoticed by brands. Only 13% of all brand posts were personal, while the majority (61%) were promotional posts. Engagement levels would be much higher if brands would simply post more of the personal, non-promotional content that 69% of fan interactions were in response to.
Is your brand using Facebook as a one-way communication tool? And is your brand’s social media presence focused on marketing promotions, or on engaging consumers?