When it comes to a brand's Facebook friends, quality is more important than quantity, according to a recent study.
A new study from Facebook app developer Napkin Labs has found that just because a brand's Facebook page has more fans doesn't mean it will see more user engagement. In fact, the study found that more fans could actually mean less interaction.
Napkin Labs studied 52 Facebook brand pages over an eight-week period. The company pinpointed its study on Facebook pages with anywhere from 200,000 to 1 million fans. During its research Napkin Labs uncovered a surprising correlation between the amount of Facebook page fans and active user engagement.
The study found that a brand page with 900,000 to 1 million fans actually saw 60 percent less engagement than one with just 500,000 to 600,000 fans. Even more surprising, Napkin Labs found that on average only 6 percent of fans actively engaged with a brand's Facebook page.
Napkin Labs says that the secret to running a successful brand page is to focus on engaging a small group of dedicated fans, instead of going after the highest amount of fans possible.
The company believes the key to user interactions is to track a brand's "superfans." According to the company, a superfan is one of a brand's top 20 most engaged fans.
Superfans play a major role in getting other fans active. The study found that superfans received 2.3 times more "likes" and 1.8 times more comments than an average brand page user.
Napkin Labs co-founder and Chief Executive Riley Gibson says superfans are the key to selling a brand's narrative and getting other fans engaged.
"Superfans are vitally important to telling a brand's story," said Gibson.
"These numbers show that brand marketers need to focus less on the volume of fans and more on engaging the fans that they have. Involving an engaged fan in richer experiences rather than just pushing messages is one key way to keep communities active and interested."
To attract more engaged users, Napkin Labs recommends that marketers avoid superficial interactions and instead attempt to provide fans with opportunities to truly engage. The firm uses the example of getting users to post about experiences they've had with a brand as a clever way to get fans involved in meaningful engagements.
Another bit of advice from the company says that it's important for brands to identify their superfans and show their appreciation for them by rewarding them with gifts and special privileges.
It's also important to note that Facebook brand page postings saw more engagement depending on the day of the week. According to a recent study from Buddy Media, posts made on certain days are likely to create more user engagement.
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James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club, CachedTech.com, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT