The research is based on publicly available data which were collected from Facebook company
fan pages of four major IT companies in Poland from a period of three months (April,
1 to June, 30 2013). The components within each post were analyzed and classified as well as
engagement rate was calculated individually per each post testing each component’s influence
on engagement rate. 474 posts in total were analyzed.
The conclusions of this research do not limit only to the IT sector. Though it is possible that
analysis of Facebook content from a different industry or country can produce slightly different
Nevertheless checklists created as a result of this analysis are universal and can be used
Media Marketing Managers and Facebook Administrators for
Facebook Content Creation for any industry and in any country.
Facebook is the world’s biggest
social media platform and an
industry leader with 1.11 billion
monthly active users worldwide as
of March 2013 .
Era of Social Media Marketing
“A brand is no longer what we tell
the consumer it is – it is what
consumers tell each other it is.”
Co-Founder of Intuit
Facebook as an advertising medium
From an advertising point of view Facebook is a unified platform which represents a
combination of TV (videos), Radio (voice for ex. music from Spotify) and printed media
options (text and image posts).
Facebook Content Must Be …
Relevant to fans
Aligned with company’s marketing goals and activities
People use Facebook for both personal and practical reasons: from browsing through their
friends’ vacation photos to commenting on an article about features of a new iPhone.
Conversations are created as a course of people’s interaction with a brand or with each other.
For marketers those conversations contain a wealth of information on consumer insights and
market in general.
Social searching and social browsing
Information exchange with others about brands
Belong to a group of people who share same interest
Keep in touch with friends
Share and create content Stay up to date with brand ‘s promotional campaigns
Researching products to buy Learn more about products
Social Media Conversations
At Samsung there are 4,000
conversations every day. In
contrast, Dell monitors 25,000
conversations daily and keeps
tabs on online chatter with a
Social Media Listening
Command Centre that
operates out of Austin, Texas.
A similar centre is now in the
pipeline for Samsung.
Brands and Companies
For companies Facebook is a place where
they can not only market their products,
but also sell products by linking their posts
directly to their online store.
Brand is fans’ new “friend” with whom they
can talk to whenever they have a problem or
a question, a sort of Customer Service
Dept. : a place to file complaints, ask
questions about a product etc.
Both negative and positive conversations
contain data for further analysis from a
point of view of future product / service
modifications and innovations: Research
Social Media Center
In 2012 Samsung set up a social
media centre, with one community
manager and one account manager
per country, and two social media
directors and an analytics team per
regional headquarters. It was
supported by an outsourced headcount
of 200 on the agency side.
That same year, Samsung was named
as one of the top 10 top global
companies with the most online
Why Engagement Rate is important?
Engagement Rate is a measurement
individual post. The higher the better.
of popularity of a
company fan page or an
On a daily basis Facebook on average shows in your News Feed only 20% of all posts
published by a user’s friends and “liked” fan pages. Explained in laymen’s terms, Facebook
looks at several criteria at the same time: your activity with this person / fan page posts
(your likes, shares, comments etc.) and history of your engagement.
Only posts of friends and fan pages that you actively interacted for quite some time will
fall into these 20 %. Since most of people view their content in the News Feed, if
content fails to attract fan’s attention, it will most likely be hidden in preference of a more
Engagement Rate Formula
Each post’s popularity can be measured or its Engagement Rate (ER) calculated using
available data from Facebook itself. It expresses how engaged fans were with the post: a
total sum of their likes, comments and shares per post divided by a total amount of fans on
a given day. Formula below has several versions, but more or less is an industry’s standard.
Likes + Comments + Shares
Total fans on a given day
Facebook Post: Text & Image
Facebook Posts is comprised of
and image components. Image
can be either a photo or an image from
the preview generated from a video or
93% of posts have additional
textual description to an image or a
link. For companies texts give an
opportunity to say more about products,
its features etc.
advertising message just in a social
It is a form of
Facebook Post Type
Facebook started as a site where college
students voted on photos. Not surprisingly,
years after visual
elements are present
in 96% of posts. Only 4 % of all
posts are plain text posts without an
image accompanying it.
Most popular is a photo image, with 9 %
of photo albums. Links to articles and other
pages which also contain an image
preview stand for 4 %.
In 2012 Facebook was second
after YouTube to watch videos, but
videos are only 9% of all posts.
Text Syntax: Questions
Textual part of a post carries additional
information for the image it
accompanies. As in a real life conversation,
a dialogue is comprised of questions and
Texts which contain questions (20% of
all posts) showed to generate
comments, because they show that a
brand is interested in fans’ opinion/
response by starting a
Text Components: Emoticons
Emoticons were invented to mimic a real
life facial expression in texts. Brands
sometimes are afraid to use them in their
28 % of all posts).
Fans expect “human conversation”
with a brand.
Emoticons add emotional element to the
conversation. Posts containing emoticons
have higher Engagement Rates per
posts than posts without emoticons.
Facebook has several additional features which enhance post text with extra functionality or
Hashtags are a new tool for marketers, but truth is that most of brand fans still don’t know
how to use them. Only 3% of posts contained hashtags.
Additional Links are usually links to company’s own pages, partner’s web pages, articles on
other websites, videos, and tags to other social media platforms (Pintrest, Twitter, Instagram etc.).
Tags are “links” to other pages of partners, companies or people on Facebook (32% of
Check-in is an option to indicate a place for an event or location . Companies seldom use
them (1% of posts).
Text: Additional Links
28% of posts have additional links.
52% of those are links to other company
related pages (Official webpage, Facebook
page etc.). The rest are links to other URLs:
partners’ Facebook pages or webpage,
articles or videos on YouTube or Vimeo
Since texts have to be short, links are a good
way to give more information to
those interested and not bore those who are
happy with just a few lines of text.
Text: Own Company Pages Links
Now almost every company has a wide array of own media to start with: Internet websites,
applications, social media accounts etc. with each of them having different functionality and
While planning an advertising campaign, it is a social media manager’s job to wisely use features
of each of them in order to enhance campaign’s message.
Texts: Other Businesses Tags
55% of all posts
mention partners or
other businesses who
have Facebook pages. It
is a shop, a newspaper
or a famous person. But
only 32% of them
use tags to their
Not in all cases Facebook allows you to use this feature, but brands which use it increase
Facebook reach dramatically by making posts visible for both fan groups.
Though fans “liked” a company or
a brand to see more of its
products, it turns out that they
product “to live a
Images which show a product in a
context or surrounded by other
objects, people, backgrounds have
higher Engagement Rates
than those which just show a
product against white background.
Image Contains Product
67% of posts contain images of products (both only product(s) and product
in the context).
Image Contains Product
Posts which contain
images of products have
higher fans’ Engagement Rate almost by
Fans like to see products in posts by company.
Facebook has recently become one of the first places
for product launches. For companies it gives
immediate view of market reaction.
Image Contains Only Product
Additional Text provides options for further
description of the image and enhancement of posts
with extra information.
80% of posts show product “living a life”: practical application,
an existing problem, against different background and with other objects .
Image Contains Only Product
Fans engage almost 3 times more with images
which show a product “living a life”.
Images which show a product in a context or
surrounded by other objects, people, backgrounds
have higher Engagement Rates than those
which just show a product against white background.
Content Planning: Focus, Type and Affective Component
Content Planning: Post Focus
Post Focus is a central theme of an individual
post. Same as in traditional advertising, most
of Facebook posts are focused on marketing of
a product and its features(45%). Second
category are contests (21%) because social
media gives an opportunity to moderate them
almost in real time making it interesting for
fans to participate.
Sales (promotion, shop)
Content Planning: Post Focus ER
Social nature of Facebook predetermines which
types of posts will be more popular than the
others. Posts with a focus on products and their
features have the highest
rate with the audience because this is why fans
became fans in the first place.
Though fans like to be informed, they still like to
be entertained. Second most engaging content is
“unrelated” category or posts which have
jokes or funny images usually related to the
industry in general but do not feature neither
company nor its products or services.
Content Planning: Post Type
Social media managers can choose from
wide variety of Facebook features while
Photos are absolute
winners representing 74% of all posts.
Videos and Photo albums rank
second with 9% each. Links usually also
contain photos as part of the article/ other
website preview stand for 4 %.
stand for 4% of all posts.
Content Planning: Post Type
Photos have significantly higher Engagement Rate compared
to other post types. Texts and videos have almost the same.
Though Facebook was second place for watching online
videos, fans engagement is still quite low.
This can be explained by Facebook usage patterns.
Facebook’s prime time is from 9 to 11 and this is the time
when people are at work. Videos require sound and it is
not possible for most of people to view them at work.
Affective Component in advertising
Advertising messages can roughly be described as functional (features and application
of the product) or experiential (appeals to your feelings, emotions about the product). Social
Media platforms are places where people mainly entertain and the same is expected from the
content. Even features of the product have to be shown in an adventurous way. This created a new
type of advertising messages functional-experiential..
Each company chooses its own tone of voice and way
to promote its products. Some of the choices
marketers have to make are influenced by the
industry’s standard, some by company’s
marketing strategy goals.
Different industries will have different types of
affective components prevailing in their social media
Marketer’s dilemma: How to
communicate technical features of a new
memory card and make it fun and engaging
for it fans?
The answer is not easy. Fans obviously
prefer to be entertained rather than lectured.
Social media marketers just have to plan that
some content will be in the “FYI” category
meaning that it has to be seen by fans (for ex.
company news) but it will not generate high
Content Planning Checklist
Content Planning Checklist in social media is nothing more but a revised version of regular
advertising campaign planning checklist. Marketers have to keep the right proportion of
everything and learn what is relevant and interesting for their target audience.
Combination of several types of content to express the same idea helps bring dimensions to the
advertising campaign. Fans appreciate this constant innovation and an element of surprise.
Social media gives feedback in real time on successes and failures for marketers to adjust
Product / Social Responsibility / Company News / Sales / Sponsoring / Contest / Unrelated
Photo / Photo Album / Video / Text / Link
Tone of voice
Functional / Experiential / Functional-experiential
Content Creation Checklist
From planning to execution. After the alignment comes a stage of actual planning of
posts publishing which involves decisions on how to use all Facebook features and advertising
content to their fullest potential.
Same idea can be expressed in a variety of ways using words, images, video etc.
Advertising message’s idea can be further enhanced using loads of available Facebook features
which had previously been discussed.
The Content Creation Checklist structures this decision making process and helps align
content and Facebook features with the marketing objectives.
Content Creation Checklist