Report: More Facebook fans equals lower engagement rates

A recent look at engagement rates on Facebook reveal some big surprises, such as the five most engaged brands on the site. You’ll never guess who made the cut.

Facebook engagement can be a tricky thing, especially when you consider that it’s often used to measure social media success. One way to gauge it is through the so-called engagement rate, which tracks the amount of people who are exposed to your post versus the number of people who take action with it.

For example, if 100 people see your post and five people “like,” comment on, or share your post, then your engagement rate is 5 percent. That example is rather optimistic, though. The exposure is usually much higher than 100 people, while the ratio of people who engage is usually under 1 percent.

Digital and social media analytics firm Socialbakers recently set out to determine which industries and brand pages have the most fans, and the highest engagement rates among those fans.

In general (with the exception of the fashion industry) a higher fan base means lower engagement.

When it comes to specific brands, the ones with the highest engagement rates may surprise you. Here are the top five brands in the fast moving consumer goods category by average engagement rate:

1. Viktor & Rolf – Official Page
2. Rhino’s Energy Drink
3. Lancome Make-Up Blog
4. Friskies
5. Clairins

It should be noted that these brands barely have half a million fans combined. The most popular brand on Facebook, Coca-Cola, has 41 million.

So what does this prove?

You don’t have to be one of the big boys to garner great engagement on your posts. You will, however, want to have a discussion internally about whether your reach is more important than your engagement. You can reach 100,000 people and have 500 “likes,” or you can reach 6 million people and have 500 “likes.” The former will have a higher engagement rate. The latter will have a higher reach but a lower engagement rate. Your social goals should reflect which is most important to your brand.

As The Next Web points out, you probably shouldn’t be too jealous of Friskies—the No. 4 brand on the list of brands by engagement rate:

“… there is no hard and fast rule. Friskies seems to be keeping up its daily engagement rate by sharing a lot of cute cat videos. Anywhere else on the Web, this would no doubt be mercilessly mocked, but among cat-lovers, it is an obvious hit.”

Here’s an infographic showing all of the details from the Socialbreakers report:


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