Anders Schönberg
CEO and co-founder, WaveMetrix
Anders is the CEO and co-founder of WaveMetrix. His vision is to use the wealth of information available in social media to help brands solve a wide range of problems
Driving social media engagement: there is no ‘one size fits all’

Driving social media engagement: there is no ‘one size fits all’

Brands need to invest in understanding exactly what gets their fans involved.

A few weeks ago, we introduced the Engagement Curve, showing that the proportion of people engaged within a Facebook community drops as the fanbase gets larger. The clients I meet often ask what the key is to an engaged community and there are many best practices out there claiming to provide the perfect recipe, but we wanted to explore this issue ourselves to help provide clients with actionable advice.

We investigated successful brands’ strategies, including Mercedes-Benz USA, ASDA and Game of Thrones, to really understand how they get their fans involved. We also looked at less successful communities to understand what they have in common. Here are our observations:

In my opinion, number 2 is the most important takeaway as it is the reason why some brands engage 10% of their community, whilst others only get traction among 1-2% of their fans:
  • When we explored the success of the Mercedes-Benz USA Facebook community, we saw that many automotive brands post pictures of car models. However, closer inspection revealed that pictures of new car models specifically receive on average a third more engagement. Mercedes-Benz USA use this strategy in 40% of their posts, whilst other automotive brands use it in 27% of posts or less. This allows Mercedes-Benz USA to achieve higher engagement than other brands
  • Analysis of the Games of Thrones Facebook page compared to The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and 90210 reveals that engagement soars when the countdown posts to a new premiere begin. However, Game of Thrones started their countdown three weeks before the premiere, versus seven days before for other shows. Whilst smaller shows may not achieve engagement as high as Game of Thrones, this demonstrates that starting the countdown earlier can help snowball excitement ahead of the premiere
With each industry having very specific drivers of engagement, brands should invest in understanding exactly what makes their fans tick. Improving the return on their large social communities means embarking on a three-step empirical study:

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