The Numbers Don’t Lie—Think of Facebook Engagement as a 10K Race

Maria Baugh

The use of Facebook to promote your brand is nothing new. But while most brands are active on Facebook, are they maximizing engagement? Facebook metrics can give an in-depth look at how consumers are interacting, or not, on a brand’s page. Maria Baugh oversees marketing, PR and social media as the co-owner of Butter Lane Cupcakes. In the following Q&A, Baugh, a featured speaker at PR News’ Social Media Measurement Conference, discusses how your brand’s social content strategy can help grow your Facebook community.

PR News: What is the biggest challenge organizations face when trying to boost Facebook engagement?

Maria Baugh: For us it's been trying to figure out what works. There are so many variables—time of day, day of week, content, quality of photo, volume of posts, etc. There's a lot of information out there and a lot of it is helpful, but there doesn't seem to be one magic formula that works consistently.

PR News: Is there a specific number brands should aim for when considering the success or failure of a Facebook campaign?

Baugh: Our magic number simply in terms of "likes" is 10,000. We're almost at 9,000 now so we're closing in. But that's a big picture number. When it comes to specific posts or campaigns, you want to consider engagement rates (number likes and comments out of the total number of people who saw the post). For example, a 1% engagement rate is good if you're a brand with fewer than 10,000 likes. (An interesting aside--a recent study by a company called Socialbakers shows that more fans often results in a lower engagement rate. In fact, the drop in engagement rates from a brand with 1 to 10,000 fans to 10,000-20,000 fans is significant, going from 1% to .29%.) But for small business a rate of 1% is considered a success.

PR News: What’s one key point that should be included in every Facebook strategy?

Baugh: In our experience it's all about content. A great photo results in a much higher level of engagement. A fun question also often gives us good results. And posts that ask for opinions or suggestions are also good for us. So I'd say the key point is great content.

PR News: What’s a key idea/thought you want to leave the conference attendees with? 

Baugh: There's a ton of information out there and while a lot of it is valuable, sometimes you just get lost in a sea of data and opinions. There's no better way to crack the code than to experiment and see what works for your brand. So three takeaways are: Experiment, volume, content. In other words make sure you have great content and experiment with a lot of posts. You'll find a sweet spot or formula that works for you.

To learn more from social media experts like Maria Baugh, register to attend PR News’ Social Media Measurement Conference on Oct. 2 in New York.

Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson