Tuesday, January 10, 2012

“Engagement”? There is one thing we’ve got to know about this guy.

A few days ago, I came across a post which highlighted which had been considered the “Top Engager” Facebook fan pages during the year 2011, and by “Top Engager” they meant pages that were supposedly creating the highest engagement or commitment among their fans.

The numbers were as follows:

It’s really impressive to see how these pages can generate such a powerful interaction with their respective fans. From 4 to 1 million average comments per post, even in the “lower ranks” where you find MTV Roadies creating an amazing 450,000 comments per post! Almost half million comments!

It was even funny because by the time this information was published, the comments were about the fact that “Top Engagers” were pages in which religion-related information was posted, and that this content was even more powerful than that generated by a high-profile, teenagers’ idol such as Justin Bieber. Quite a surprise for our traditional marketing mindset, isn’t it?

However, there’s an important idea I want to share with you and for doing that, I did play along a little bit with my Excel table and added an additional column on the right side which I named “Real Engagement”.

You can see it in the following figure.

The “Real Engagement” figure represents the percentage of a fan base that is actually interacting with each published post. If you look at it, the reality changes dramatically, doesn’ it?

First, on Figure 1, we did have Justin Bieber occupying position #5 among the “Top 20 Engagers” and then you have him, on Figure 2, sitting down at the bottom, on position # 18. Why the difference?

Let’s start by defining “engagement”, shall we? Engagement refers to commitment and when it comes to marketing, especially on social media, it’s about how eager or reluctant a person is to interacting with a particular brand or company, taking as “signals” of this eagerness the times a person “likes” a post, comments on it or shares it with his friends or acquaintances.

And here you have my thoughts about it and the reason why I’m writing this post: Who is the “Top Engager”? Is it the one generating the highest number of comments, or is it the one with the highest percentage of users commenting each of the post published?

As you can see, we’ve came down to the “quality vs. quantity” debate. What’s truly the point of it? To have a huge amount of users who don’t talk with you? Or to have a decent amount of users that in their majority are actively and regularly talking with you each time you post new and relevant information? In which situation the relationship will be richer? Where will you find more potential for growth?

If you look at the “Real Engagement” column on figure 2, let me know if you can also come to the following conclusions:
  • Surprisingly, content generating the strongest engagement continues to be related with religion. It could probably be due to it being so highly emotional, but we’ll talk about that later.
  • Jesus Daily is no longer on the Top position but maintains a really healthy 45% of “Real Engagement” rate. Forty five percent, meaning that out of every 100 users, 45 actively interact with their content. In brief, almost half of its fan base!
  • Justin Bieber is no longer among the top 5 and descends 13 spots to end up at position # 18 and, even though one million comments per post continue to be an impressive figure, it only represents 3% of his total fan base. That is only 3 out of 100 fans react to his posts, meaning that 97 fans remain silent at every post.
And that’s a key difference!

Even though having a huge fan base for your facebook page clearly offers you the opportunity to directly reach more and more people (and the more people you reach, the better chances you have), it’s really the “Real Engagement” factor or the real commitment of each of your fans what will show you that the content you are sharing is going right to their hearts.

Can you see the difference? Even when your ego can have a great time realizing you have came to made a million fans and generating thousands of comments, knowing how many of your users are truly committed with your product or brand, will definitely help you consider whether you’re doing things the proper way or not, or to make it more simple, help you better define your goals.

In your social media plan, where are your priorities set? Is it on quantity or quality?

Related post: Interaction: Why your comments are so important?

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