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How to Create Brand Engagement on Facebook

Brands have embraced Facebook Inc. as a key marketing channel to drive engagement and brand awareness. The question is whether some brand content creates more brand engagement on Facebook than others. A recent study coded more than 1,000 wall posts from 98 global brands, aiming for a better understanding of how different wall-post attributes impact the number of "likes," comments and "shares" a post receives. This article offers up the results of that study, for brand managers to act on.

As it happens, the same types of posts that were "liked" were often also shared — with a few interesting exceptions. Whereas length decreases the likelihood of being "liked," length did not influence whether a post was shared. Additionally, there were no negative effects on "shares" for posts announcing contests, advocating social causes or asking questions. There were two types of posts that drove "shares" more than "likes." First, while posts with video content were not "liked" more, they were shared significantly more than non-video posts. Second, whereas posts announcing deals did not receive high "like" totals, these posts were shared much more often. It seems as if consumers chose to share attractive deal information rather than indicating appreciation.

Regardless of whether a Facebook fan "likes," comments, shares or does some combination thereof, engagement through Facebook is becoming a critical element of any organization's marketing strategy. An opportunity exists to leverage wall posts more effectively to generate greater propagation and richer conversation — and to convert more consumers into brand advocates. In the highly networked social world we live in today, such brand advocates are priceless.

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