While many marketers have fully embraced social media and are maximizing their consumer engagement strategies, a new Facebook global best practices study conducted by advertising agency Wongdoody shows that many of them could do more.
The study investigated the activity of the top 100 brands according to Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2010. While most brands have a Facebook listing, only 84 have corporate-run Facebook pages. The study analyzed only the official corporate brand Facebook pages, rather than any fan-generated pages or any paid advertising. From the 84 official pages, the study analyzed 60,276 wall posts, 12,872 comments, and 119,404 "Likes" to see how companies are utilizing the social network.
Most brand pages offered new content or comments nearly every day (average of 24 posts per month) and actively responded to consumer questions (66 percent). They also actively solicited fan comments (82 percent). Additionally, many posted branded video content (not user generated) to their pages (88 percent). However, the study noted a gap in original content created specifically for Facebook. Much of what brand marketers are electing to use is video content that has been repurposed from other sources, such as posting the newest product advertisements.
One of the key findings is that many companies are still cautious about how much they allow fans to participate and are limiting engagement with only 39 percent soliciting photo submissions, 33 percent promoting contests, 39 percent posting polls and quizzes for fun, and an additional 32 percent posting surveys to gain consumer feedback.
"As marketers, we need to create experiences that convince fans to go beyond 'Liking' our brands and encourage interaction. Converting fans to engaged customers helps build loyalty and create Facebook brand evangelists," says Ben Wiener, CEO of Wongdoody. "Whether it is out of fear to protect the brand from any negative posts, a lack of funding to create content, or an absence of talent to develop and manage the program, marketers are missing out on an opportunity here."
The 84 official Facebook pages boasted an average of 1.8 million fans. In a single month, fans contributed on average 857 fan posts to each corporate wall, and each corporate wall post averaged 1,456 Likes and 157 comments.