Social Media Must: Quality over QuanityWritten by Michael Levanduski
October 21, 2012 # 5:35 pm # Industry News, Specials # 5 Comments
We all remember the fake likes, the fake followers, the fake video views, and pretty much fake everything involved with a social media following. The phonies seem endless, and they have all existed for a sole reason. That reason is that the brands and companies using these fake fans want to appear as if they have a larger fan base. It is as simple as that. In theory, a larger fan base means more user engagement, and overall it makes the company or brand look better. These brands and companies are those that believe the key to social media success lies solely in the quantity of their fans, assuming that if someone sees that they have a huge amount of fans that they too will want to be the company’s fan. However, what these companies usually fail to take into consideration is the quality of these fans.
A recent ClickZ article details the results of a study performed by Napkin Labs, a Facebook app developer. The study tells us that the amount of fans that any one company has does not necessarily affect the amount of user engagement for the better. The study was of 52 Facebook brand pages, pinpointing those with between 200,000 and 1 million fans over eight weeks. From the study, Napkin Labs found a different relationship between quantity of fans and user engagement than most would expect.
The numbers were actually very surprising, showing that almost everyone’s idea of how Facebook fans worked was wrong. It found that brand pages with 900,000 fans to 1 million fans saw 60 percent less engagement than did those with 500,000 to 600,000 fans. As if that were not enough of a shock, the study also found that only about 6 percent of a brand’s fans will actually engage with said page.
Now, these results are definitely a surprise, and they go against most of the common ideas of social media marketing that are followed by most marketers. However, Napkin Labs suggests that brands and marketers should focus more on the quality of their fans, mentioning the ever-famous “superfan.”
These Superfans are those fans that are in the top 20 of page engagement, and the company says that these may be the key to social media marketing. By reaching these fans, and giving them ways to more effectively engage with the brand’s page, brands can potentially reach more users in a more effective way.
So, there were those who had their arguments in defense of fake fans on various social media platforms, but now the facts are right in front of us. These fake fans will lead almost nowhere, because even though they show in numbers, they cannot engage and real users will notice. It is the superfans that engage the most that will bring more user engagement, and finding these superfans is what should be priority number one for any brand on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform.