TV and radio show how to do Facebook

By Damian Francis | 20 September 2013

TV and radio social media teams are teaching some big brands a lesson on how to engage on Facebook, according to statistics from ZenithOptimedia. Data for August shows that four of the top five brands by Australian fan numbers were consumer brands but the only one able to make any impact on engagement charts was the one non-consumer brand, TV personality Bear Grylls.

While M&M’s, Bear Grylls, Cricket Australia, Nando’s and Bubble O’ Bill ice creams make up the top five most ‘liked’ brands on Facebook by Australians, it was none other than Tony Abbott that stole the limelight with the second-highest amount of post shares and fifth-highest accumulator of ‘likes’, comments or posts. TV shows and radio were also stand-out stars with 60 Minutes, The X Factor, Fifi and Jules and Sunrise recording impressive figures.

According to ZenithOptimedia open data director Adam Cooney, there is a science to doing Facebook. “If you have 2.9 million fans like M&M’s does, it’s very hard to activate them,” he said. “Facebook doesn’t show your posts to the whole group and the visibility of those posts is limited, so getting a good level of interaction is a challenge. I think they are just trying to get a lot of people to like them.”

Cooney wasn’t surprised to see TV and radio star, explaining that the entertainment category records the highest level of engagement globally because they are continually talking about pressing issues and stories that “unite and divide a nation”.

When it comes to Tony Abbott’s appearance in the charts, Cooney offered a simple explanation. “He is very polarising. These figures can’t cover sentiment, so you find that posts from the community manager for Tony Abbott will be ‘liked’ and panned which is pushing his engagement rate up.”

From the statistics it is painfully obvious that consumer brands have work to do to get their fans to engage. The industry is in the content age but it’s still not necessarily getting it right.

“It’s not about chasing fans,” Cooney said. “The more fans you have doesn’t mean they are the right people to talk to. There is a lot of ‘like’-bait out there. Smaller brands are the best to learn from. Their engagement rates are high because most are more innovative. Be Natural is a good example of a small brand with high engagement.”

This article first appeared in the 20 September 2013 edition of AdNews, in print and on iPad. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.

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