A recent study from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute analyzed the engagement of Facebook fans. The results aren’t great. Only 1.3% of fans actually engage with brands within Facebook. The metric used for the study is the “People Talking About This” metric, a number generated from users taking actions on Facebook.
The research looked at the top 200 brands over a six week period in October breaking down the overall fans to the “People Talking About This” (PTAT) number. Karen Nelson-Field, senior research associate for Ehrenberg-Bass, stated:
“People need to understand what it can do for a brand and what it can’t do. Facebook doesn’t really differ from mass media. It’s great to get decent reach, but to change the way people interact with a brand overnight is just unrealistic.”
Now, this percentage can be misleading. The “People Talking About This” number doesn’t track clicked links, posts read or videos watched. It is basically tracking when someone takes an action (other than consuming content). So if a brand creates a post with a link and special Facebook coupon code and a fan clicks through and purchases it, it would not show up in the PTAT number. So if users are only looking at PTAT numbers or percentage of PTAT vs Fans they are likely missing out on off-Facebook engagements.
Additionally, the case study only looked at the top 200 brands rather than covering niche or specialty pages. Typically a passionate niche page will greatly outperform a global Facebook page like Coca-Cola – so expect a higher rate for more niche content.
The total report can be seen on AdAge