6 Strategies for Increasing Fan Engagement on Facebook (Wildfire Research)

Brand advocates — people who share content that results in a new person engaging with a campaign — generate an average of 14 earned media impressions each, according to research released today by Wildfire, the social media marketing software company recently acquired by Google.

The data is based on an analysis of 10,000 social marketing campaigns that ran on Facebook over the past 9 months.  Wildfire looked at the top performing 10%, belonging to just under 700 brands, to identify 6 key strategies that top-performing brands use to achieve higher levels of fan engagement.

On average, only 17% of fans share a brand’s campaign with friends and family. But top-performing social brands — what Wildfire calls “Superbrands” get 39% of their fans to share their campaigns:

  • Brands that are highly effective at engaging sharers and advocates via campaigns see 3x more engagement on their page than other brands in the form of user participation with custom applications, and “likes,” shares, and comments.
  • For every 10 advocates a brand gets to join their social campaign, 13 entirely new people will engage with the brand’s campaign through clicks, entries and other interactions.
  • The top 10 brands were able to triple the number of advocates in campaigns — which correlated with a 13x higher annual fan growth relative to average-performing brands.

“This data clearly shows that brands need to be focused on nurturing their most active fans, particularly their brand advocates,” said Victoria Ransom, CEO and Founder at Wildfire.

How do Superbrands get such superior results?

Ransom advised brands to give users a variety of ways to engage with them,  multiple options for what to do when they get there, and specific instructions about what to do to engage.  Wildfire’s report identifies 6 best practices for greater fan growth:

  1. Run multiple engagement applications at a constant rate, give users a variety of ways to engage with you, and different things to do when they get to your social pages.
  2. Use every available opportunity to stimulate interactions with clear calls-to-action:  ask users to “Like,” share, or comment on your brand’s page or with its apps — always offer clear instructions to users on exactly how they should engage.
  3. Stand out in the news feed as well as within your timeline by including images where possible, including in as many news feed posts as possible.
  4. Keep your interactions seasonally relevant.  Content ages fast, so keep it tied to timely events and news to make it feel fresh.
  5. Mix campaign types and create new offers on a consistent basis.  The types of marketing campaigns that are most entered by users are not the same as the campaigns that are most heavily shared by users.
  6. Extend your social communities across a variety of platforms. The Wildfire study was based on data collected from social initiatives run on the Facebook, but “the world’s most talked about brands” don’t limit their presence to one social network.

The full report (free, registration required) is packed with more data and tips, and Wildfire is also hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, August 8th to discuss the results.

Which of these 6 strategies are getting the best results for your brand?