Size or engagement: Which is the true measure of Facebook success?

By By Frank Chung | 11 September 2012

Facebook brand experts, here's one for you. What's more important – total fan count, total engagement or engagement as a proportion of total fans?

According to Slingshot Digital's second Facebook Fast 100 survey, Streets Bubble O' Bill was still the leading Australian brand page in terms of overall fans with 1,220,956, but saw just 0.3% engagement as a proportion of those fans, putting it way down at number 59.

However, in terms of total engagement – shares, likes and comments – the ice cream with the gumball nose was in second place behind Home and Away.

The leading brand pages when ranked by weighted engagement – that is, the average proportion of the fan base that engages with a brand's post – were coffee brand Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break. (Big disclaimer: both are Slingshot Digital clients.)

Other strong performers based on this metric were, 2DayFM, Holden Motorsport, BMW Australia and Witchery. Domino's Pizza ranked right down the bottom on weighted engagement at just 0.12%, along with Myer, Estee Lauder, Stolichnya, Pepsi and Absolut.

Slingshot Digital social media manager Jack Smyth said: "The only way to enjoy ROI on this scale is to nurture a fan base over time. The Muffin Break page continues to outperform bigger brands with bigger budgets because of this insistence on engagement as the true metric of success."

According to Shona Mackin, chief engagement officer of specialist Facebook agency SocialFace, engagement is more important that total fans. "Engagement is where it's at – 97% of your activity happens when you appear on someone's news feed," she said. "It doesn't matter how you make that happen, whether it's organically or through paid promotion."

What do you think is the true metric of Facebook brand success? Cast your vote and leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

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