Businesses large and small have been putting more and more focus into Facebook as a means of marketing. And it makes sense. Businesses that do it well have access to a huge audience for a relatively small amount of money. The problem is that most businesses don’t do it well.
Unfortunately, businesses tend to focus on adding as many fans as possible. Most people incorrectly equate effectiveness with the size of their fan base, and they don’t understand the differences between Fans, Reach and Engagement.
So let’s take a moment to go through it:
Fans are the number of people who have liked your page. People like a lot of things for a lot of different reasons. And unfortunately, just because someone is your fan doesn’t mean they are responding to—or even seeing—your content. Your fan base might not even fit into your business’ target demographics. If your average customer is a 24 year old married female who lives within city limits and the majority of your fans are 18 year old single men in Russia, that’s a problem.
Reach is the number of people who are exposed to your content. That’s important because most of your fans will never see your posts. You have to remember that you’re competing with every other page that person likes, and with their friends.
For most businesses, Reach averages somewhere around 5 to 10 percent of their fan base. It’ll be higher if the person managing your Facebook page knows what they’re doing—maybe as high as 30 percent.
Keep in mind that Reach is the POTENTIAL number of people who are exposed to your content. Remember that news feeds are full of lots of other information and that humans are amazing adept at ignoring things they don’t want to see.
Engagement is the number of people who interact with your content. So if you make a post, viewers “engage” with it when they like it, comment on it, share it or click it. Engagement is the best indicator of effectiveness because you are actually eliciting a response.
As you can see, they are similar, but also very, very different.
When you focus on building fan base, you are—theoretically—increasing the amount of people you can influence and impact. But if the effort isn’t put into engagement, you’ll never really see a return on that investment.
So get out there! Build your audience, and engage them daily!