Beyond, a digital consultancy which is part of the NextFifteen group has just published the findings of a study on how people interact with brands on Facebook.

The study analysed more than 14,000 posts on the corporate Facebook fan pages of the world’s 100 most valuable brands and conducted a consumer poll of 4,000 people based in the UK and the US. The purpose of the study was to find out why people become fans, what keeps them engaged on fan pages, what the true sentiment of people’s contributions are, and how users can become brand advocates. There are four main recommendations to brands:

  • Provide Facebook fans with offers and discounts. Forty-two per cent of people friend a brand to get a discount or offer.
  • Reputational risk is lower than you think; focus on the positive. Only 5% of all Facebook page comments are negative. If you find a complaint, address it, and if you can, direct an extended conversation in private, away from the main page.
  • Empower fans. Fans are nine times more likely to help another fan than a brand itself. It’s off-putting when companies respond too often to fan comments. The page is a place for fans.
  • Fans prefer images over video. Posts that contain a mixture of media types (e.g., an image and text) tend to receive the most ‘likes’. This may have to do with the time it takes to watch video versus seeing a quick photo with an accompanying quote.

Here’s a great video that showcases the study’s findings: