New Analysis: Increasing Engagement Rates on Facebook

September 22, 2014
By Anna Brill Jørgensen, Strategic Communications Manager

While Fan penetration on Facebook is still dropping, Engagement rates are increasing! That’s good news for business value which we mean is created when there’s is a true dialogue with the fans.

The potential viral reach of a Facebook post has inspired many marketers to create a brand Page.  However, lots of branded messages are focused on what the brands want to tell consumers – not necessarily what the consumers or Facebook users think is interesting.

As a way for Facebook to stay the preferred social network for its users, Facebook is constantly changing their algorithms to make sure the most relevant posts from pages are shown to Facebook’s users.

To monitor how these changes affect our customers and to adapt our social media marketing suite to match the challenges for marketers, we continuously look into the data of the thousands of Facebook pages connected to Komfo.

New analysis shows increasing engagement
This time we compared current data with data from a year ago, and when we looked at the engagement across more than 8,000 pages in our system, we saw that the engagement rate – measured as CTR (Click Through Rate) – has increased.

Image of CTR increased

This tells us that social media marketers are transitioning from seeing Facebook as a free platform for brand messages, where the success criteria is to get as many updates pushed out to as many people as possible, into focusing on the value of true dialogue and engagement.

Of course, Facebook is also encouraging brands to make more engaging content by rewarding page posts with high CTR by showing them to more users.

However, engaging content is what we believe offer real business value, so increasing engagement rates is good news for businesses.

Global Trend: Lower Fan Penetration
Engagement is not the only social media marketing KPI. Another important KPI is Fan Penetration – or how many of your fans you reach with your posts on Facebook.

Fan Penetration is important, as your fans have already indicated that they have an interest in your messages, so it’s of course important to make sure your messages reach as many fans as possible.

However, our data analysis shows that Facebook pages are still reaching only 11.34% of their fans.

This reaffirms the general trend – brands have experience lower fan penetration but higher engagement during the past calendar year. Ever since Facebook changed their algorithms in August 2013 business pages saw significant decrease in their fan reach.

Last year, by the end of the summer, brands were reaching 25.20% of their audience versus 14.53% in November 2013 and now 11.34% by August 2014.

Picture of Fan Penetration August 2013-August 2014

Spotlight: The Netherlands
Since it is Social Media Week this week and we are excited to visit Rotterdam for it, we decided to take a closer look at the Dutch Facebook scene and examined the Dutch pages more closely.

Brands in the Netherlands seem to follow the global trend of decreasing Fan penetration and increasing engagement. The pages reach 10% of their audience on average and their CTR is 5.45% as shown in the table below if you look at the total average.

However, the Dutch Facebook pages reach a little fewer fans than the average global level, and the average CTR is also lower than the global average.

Another interesting fact that our analysis shows is that smaller communities perform better on Facebook both when it comes to fan reach and engagement. This supports our findings from one of our previous analyses that showed higher engagement in smaller communities.

Table showing Dutch Facebook stats August 2014

What do you think of our findings? Are the Facebook communities in the Netherlands really just less engaging? Share your opinion with us online at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.