Measuring Facebook engagement: What is good?

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2011/03/14 · 26 comments 13,765 views

in a analytics smarter & actionable KPIs,e marketing 101 cost-benefit ROI,social media diary

Several weeks ago we launched the ComMetrics social media cost classification model (see also 2011 trends: The social media cost-benefit pyramid). Previous posts have addressed

- the social business maturity model,

- how to achieve better cost management, particularly while maintaining a high-quality Facebook page, and

-  setting up a Facebook fanpage.

We also outlined how to achieve better cost control of your Facebook activities and promote your brand on Facebook while staying on budget (watch another of our award-winning webinars and check out the slides).

Your feedback has been so encouraging that we decided to tackle engagement in this ComMetrics weekly review.

Article source –Measuring Facebook engagement: What is good?

A consumer brand can offer exclusive deals and discounts to its Facebook fans, but if you manufacture trains or planes, giving away free samples probably will not work. So how do you engage your fans?

Well first we may want to define what engagement is, because most people who talk about it fail to define it:

What is a good Engagement Rate on a Facebook Page? Here is a benchmark for you

What is a good Engagement Rate on a Facebook Page?

The Oxford Dictionary defines engagement as follows:

noun
a formal agreement to get married.

the duration of an agreement to get married:
a good long engagement to give you time to be sure

2 an arrangement to do something or go somewhere at a fixed time:
a dinner engagement

3 [mass noun] the action of engaging or being engaged:
Britain’s continued engagement in open trading

4 a fight or battle between armed forces.

As this definition shows, things are neither black or white. For instance, even an engagement to be married does not refer to a predetermined length of time. Accordingly, it all depends on the couple and their families to decide how long they will be engaged before getting married.

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Unlike molecules in chemistry, engagement cannot be measured with precision or in a unified way, one reason being that it describes a whole range of applications and possibilities (for a great discussion on this see Jason Falls’ January 2010 blog post – be sure to read the comments, too!).

We could argue that engagement begins when the customer contacts you, for example by leaving a comment on your corporate weblog. Accordingly, we must define the objective we seek to achieve with engagement on a blog or a Facebook page, whether

- building up an email database,

- getting feedback on a product,

- selling movie tickets, or

- solving customer problems, etc.

Each of these objectives requires a unique type of engagement, meaning that each social media campaign’s results must be measured using different metrics (see upcoming blog posts on this topic).

Clearly, it does not matter what anyone else claims social business engagement through your corporate blog or Facebook page should consist of. Instead, it is critical for your organization to define the term within its own context:

      1. Know what you is trying to achieve, and
    2. Understand and agree how to go about reaching those objectives.

Larger organizations will differ in how this term is defined across divisions or even departments, but that should not be a problem as long as we understand and accept this reality of social business.

Based on this, we could define engagement as follows:

Social media engagement represents the action of engaging with others using computer-mediated communication tools. Engagement means establishing and sustaining relationships, while developing a level of trust that makes people comfortable enough to do business with you.
Continued engagement through social media could manifest in a ‘conversation’, such as a blogger replying to a reader’s blog comment, or as a discussion of a user-posed question about or evaluation of one’s product in an online community.

Bottom line

The challenge is that people need to believe that you can help them AND that you truly really care about them, as demonstrated in the Facebook comment below.
Image - Facebook engagement - Listen, acknowledge AND learn to improve. GET IT RIGHT - it helps improve ROI.
Nevertheless, if more than 1 percent of your 3 million fans provide helpful feedback like this, coping with such an onslaught will be a real challenge for your people. But you have to do your best, because no one will want to engage with through Twitter or Facebook unless they believe you care.

An upcoming post will tackle another challenge: What is your primary use of Facebook?

By the way, if you want to find more of our posts and white papers on this or any other topic, just enter a keyword and our name on your favorite search engine, such as ROI ComMetrics Facebook.

Okay, here are the questions I have for you:

      - How do you define engagement?
    - Does the concept have more merit than I outline here?

The comments, as always, are yours!

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  • Elwira Nowakowska

    Yes, you’re right. The metrics must deliver real value, not buzz.nThat means that we must begin with the: monitoring, mapping,nmanagement, middleware, and measurement.nAnd the measurement should be based on business objective like improved satisfaction,nspread of message.n

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Elwira, nnThanks for your comment about the need for monitoring and mapping Facebook engagement. nnI find your idea of linking measurement to what you intend to accomplish. So if it improved satisfaction than we need to focus on how engagement on Facebook can do anything for our lunch hour customers at the local restaurant or burger joint.nnHence, the number of people following and even the raw impressions one gets on the brand’s Facebook page are nice navel gazing metrics but do little if anything for your bottom line.nnEngagement is so tough, even in our business and these days if you sell power plants (think safety) its nearly impossible. Thanks for sharing.n

      • Elwira Nowakowska

        Of course, to sell power plants it’s not possible. But we can change the way of thinking about the sources of energy, about the brand. FB it’s a good tool to sell the ideas. Of course if we have a good concept we can add a link to our e-shop or website and try to sell our products or services on a mass market.But what is good for the B2C it is not good for B2B. And that’s why we can’t sell the power plants.But we can change the point of view about the power plants in our public opinion.I think that if we want to measure we can try to create something like a social CRM.

        • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

          Fully agreed, selling power plants via Facebook will not work but building image, reputation and brand might just work nicely.nnAgain it depends who we are talking about: The manufacturer of turbines or the operator/owner of a power plant. The latter will engage with the households that get electricity from the plant using Facebook.nnBut if you are an engineering firm building the turbines, how can you use Facebook building brand or help educate people about the technology?

        • Elwira Nowakowska

          This is a job for marketers. We use various tools to promote the ideas or to educate, etcWe can wrtie a text, announce a competition or make a quiz, add the links, etc Everything depends on our unique concepts of communication with our market targets.The most important are our market targets. And our message depends on the target groups. You can’t use the same material when you talk to the students and when you talk to professionals, when you talk to young or seniors, etc.nnEach group has different needs, a different level of perception, etc

        • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

          ElwirannIf I hear you correctly Facebook will work for the turbine company if it uses a quiz, special text and so forth.nnOf course, it depends upon the target audience and what these individuals see as valuable content.nnThanks for sharing.

        • Elwira Nowakowska

          Urs, nI also thank you for sharing this topic with me. nIt’s interesting and valuable when we can compare our professional experience.nI wish you a great afternoon:)n

        • Elwira Nowakowska

          Urs, nI also thank you for sharing this topic with me. nIt’s interesting and valuable when we can compare our professional experience.nI wish you a great afternoon:)n

        • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

          ThanksrnrnOf course I had to reply again :-)rnrnMerci

  • http://www.kommboutiqu.com Gaby Feile

    Great post – very technical. It helps me to see if the engagement rates on my small Facebook page are in line. And actually, they are! Even if one would think engagement there is low with a few clicks and little feedback only. So, I guess, it is about the perspective and the expectations you have. A page with 10.000 fans that gets an average of 10 likes per post hence rates lower than a page with 100 fans with an average of 3 likes. Am I calculating correctly?nnAnyway, to me engagement not only means posting something or reacting to something. When people read my posts and remember them later or click on my website or Twitter account, this is engagement as well. And, what we forget: if they talk about my company and my services – in real life – this is the best engagement they can give! We just cannot measure it (yet).nnI recently met a former colleague who does not even have a Facebook account and has switched industries long ago. We had not met for approx. 5 years and she told me that she keeps following my updates on XING and likes my website and what I do very much! Can you imagine my surprise, as I had no idea (cause there was no track record)?nnSo, let’s not forget that Social Media is about people. And people meet people and talk to them. Even if they do not show their support online (which some people do not like due to doubts or fear), they might be engaging a lot in real life. This, however, we can not measure.nnIs that good or bad?nnGaby FeilenChief Communication Stylistnwww.kommboutique.comnnPS: Have a look at http://www.facebook.com/kommboutique if you are interested in how I foster engagement – or try to.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      GabynnThanks for sharing and yes your assumption is correct if you have 100,000 fans you tend to get a far lower rate of engagement (regardless of how we measure) than with 100 fans.nnThanks also for the great example about how your colleague follows your #Xing updates very much. Yes we know very littl about how this works with social media – staying in touch or being connected while being disconnected.nnNevertheless, recently I came across a study with online shoppers visiting a retail website (top 40 in the US and UK) that were asked to fill out a survey what influenced their visit to the website. The study reports some interesting data, such as:nnn- 38% familiarity with brandn- 19% promotional e-mailsn- 8% search engine results same percentage for TV, newspaper, radio and magazine adsn- 7% Internet advertisingn- 5% for US and 3% for UK sample for interaction on social networksn- 3% blogs or discussion forumsnnCheck out the Results Report on Social Media Marketing for more detail. (There is a US and UK version of the report available.)nnOf course, the above makes several assumptions such as if people really remember what got them to come to a website and if they are even willing to share this information with a pollster…. Things are not always as they seem. nnHowever, social networks and the Internet in general may not be as influential when it comes to consumer purchases as we hope…. They may be just about insignificant for B2B and capital goods purchases.

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