If you run a Facebook page and you're main focus involves increasing your total number of "likes," you're doing it wrong.
That's the takeaway from a new study from Napkin Labs. According to their findings, a large majority of your "fans" aren't really interacting with your content at all.
Napkin Labs looked at 52 different Facebook pages that sport between 200,000 and 1 million likes, for a total of over 31 million fans. What they found is pretty staggering: only 6% of Facebook fans actually engage with a page's content (liking, commenting, sharing, etc.). They also found that the more likes you have, the less engagement you probably have from them. For example, a brand page with 500K-600K likes has 60% more fan engagement, on average, than those pages with 900K-1 million likes.
According to these results, your 1 million fans don't really add up to much - it's those 60,000 that you really need to be focused on.
But Napkin Labs says that page owners need to narrow down their focus even more.
Apparently, "Superfans" are the real target. Defined as the top 20 most engaged fans on any Facebook page, Superfans are 75x more engaged than the average fan. And they can also spur others to engage, as they receive 2.3x more likes and 1.8x more comments on any content they post on your page.
“Superfans are vitally important to telling a brand’s story,” said Riley Gibson, co-founder CEO of Napkin Labs. “These numbers show that brand marketers need to focus less on the volume of fans and more on engaging the fans that they have. Involving engaged fans in richer experiences rather than just pushing messages is one key way to keep communities active and interested.”
Translation: don't just post stuff and walk away, expecting your fans to share it. "Superficial interactions," are the death of any page that wants to be successful, they say.
Having a ton of likes is never a bad thing. If a Facebook user is on the fence about liking your page, interacting with, or even choosing you for a service or product outside of Facebook, having hundreds or thousands of likes can't hurt. It serves as a mass advertisement - "Hey, 1 million people can't be wrong, right?"
But the content that a page puts out has to be focused and engaging. Knowing that only 6% of your likes really care about what your posting should probably make you want to produce better content - or at least not worry so much about having just a few more fans than your nearest competitor.
And I guess we have to talk about Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts too. If only 6% of your fans are going to engage with content, you might have to consider making your content a little more prevalent on the site. A recent survey showed that 88% of marketers would forgo advertising on Facebook and simply "implement Facebook content" - or in other words, just maintain a page and push updates. Sure, it's free promotion. But with this little interest and engagement, is simply having a page for your brand going to be enough?