Visibli Facebook Study: Can Brands Become Rock Stars?

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rockADOTAS – It seems to be a slow Friday in the interactive advertising industry, which gives us the perfect chance to catch up on some studies. Case in point, Visibli’s study of 200 million Facebook users’ interaction with the pages of artists, media organizations and brands based on the resliency of posts — i.e., the amount of comments and likes over time.

Visibli discovered that posts from artists receive generally receive twice as many likes as those from media organizations, while media organizations receive 2.5 times as many comments as artists and 5 times as many as brands. On average, brands received 54 likes and 9 comments for every 100,000 fans, while media pages received 57 likes and 43 comments. Artists, on the other hand, average 92 likes per every 100,000 fans, but only 17 comments.

But a brand page actually topped the engagement charts — of pages with more than 100,000 Facebook fans, Audi averaged 228 likes per every 100,000 fans, followed by Bieber with 181, Chamillionaire (Really? Is he still ridin’ dirty?) with 142, Lady Gaga with 136 and… American Airlines with 128.

So what’s Audi doing right? A quick glimpse at its Facebook page doesn’t provide any answers — Audi USA has more than 3 million followers and most of the updates show pictures of new models and highlights from auto shows.

But keep in mind that certain people — ahem, men — obsess about cars just as much as teen girls fawn over Justin Bieber and are very loyal to their preferred brands. As an ex-girlfriend once phrased it, “With boys, its either cars or guitars.” She was glad I chose the latter — until I dragged her to five music stores in a row to see who would give me the best deal on a specific effect pedal.

Another interesting finding from the study was that for brands and media organization, “Pages with fewer fans have greater engagement on a per capita basis than Pages with a higher number of fans. Conversely, as the number of fans on Pages increase, engagement levels decrease.” American Airlines proves good evidence for this with only 150,000 fans. I still think there’s something wrong with you if you actually “like” an airline — have these people actually ever flown commercially?

Visibli suggests that brand fans who get in the door early are likely to be more engaged with the company than the ones who jump on the popularity train later — these would be the diehards that actually seek out the brand fan page rather than seeing a little ad that says “Eight of your friends like Kleenex!”

However, as artists’ fan bases grow, the engagement grows. Visibli suggests artists are “doing it right” — doing what right? Artists have a persona that tends to be echoed (likely through the hands of a capable publicist) on their various social media pages. If a brand could exhibit a magnetic persona — that is, become a “rock star” — through its Facebook page, would that boost engagement along with fanbase?

One could argue Old Spice accomplished this through “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign — though its page only boasts 1.3 million fans, the interaction is instantly noticeable. Could this tactic work for more brands? I’d think yes — if a deodorant can produce a rock star, can’t any company?

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