This report “Evaluation Framework for Social Media Brand Presence” (.pdf) by Auto-ID Labs, contains a trove of useful information on how to effectively manage a Facebook business page. The 42-page report contains a very useful model to follow when managing a Facebook business page, including setting proper KPIs, aligning community management tactics to corporate business objectives, measuring success, and benchmarking. I will focus on two sections of the report: Sections 5.1.3 and 5.4. These sections contain statistical proof that “active” moderation of a community increases overall brand engagement by consumers who participate in the community.
The study focuses on the brand OK.- and uses Facebook Insights and Facebook Graph API from the brand’s Facebook page as the data sources for the findings in the report. To give you a sense as to how powerful the Graph API is, watch this video of real time visualization of a micro Facebook network:
Section 5.1.3 demonstrates that targeted moderation of a community can increase brand awareness and engagement and should be considered as a core component of a social network marketing matrix. Without active moderation, the community drifts and an opportunity to increase engagement and identify brand advocates drifts away too. Similarly, the larger a community gets, the less the community tends to interact with a moderator. Thus, brands need to get a plan in place to maintain the proper balance between community size and moderator, where additional subject matter moderators manage related sub-communities as the overall community continues to grow. For example, see how RedBull has several micro-communities that it manages within its broader Facebook presence:
The preceding, of course, is a precursor to driving purchase behavior, as it is through a community that brands can also identify advocates, promoters, and likely-loyal customers. And it is through data visualization tactics, like the kind shown in the video, that community moderators can identify the top actors within the community.
Section 5.4 contains a chart that compares top brands. If you look at Monster Energy, Dr Pepper, WalMart, and Kmart you will notice a positive correlation between active moderation, fan growth, percentage of fans posting, and average number of posts per day by fans (WalMart is the clear winner). You will also notice, however, that data reported for Coca-Cola, Disney, Starbucks, Target and Walgreens cuts against some of the premises in the research paper. Coca-Cola and Disney have high fan growth with little moderation (but they each have low engagement, which makes sense). Starbucks, Target, and Walgreens have relatively good fan growth and engagement despite somewhat low efforts at moderation. Thus, these brands require further analysis. M-Budget is a total outlier.
Regardless, I think the study demonstrates the value of actively managing targeted sub-communities as a core component of a social network marketing matrix. An interesting strategy would be tease out brand advocates from these targeted communities and bump this data up against a brand’s already existing rewards and loyalty programs for further targeting and promotions (for example, giving advocates an immersive mobile experience with a tie-in to a brand’s social commerce and gaming environments).