Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
The Cost of Engagement
Posted on December 20th 2012
I stumbled across some data about Facebook engagement rates the other day. Apparently Michael Leander has been analyzing how Facebook fans react to brand posts based on how big a following that brand has on Facebook. It’s made me wonder – If we know engagement rates, and we know how much it costs to acquire a Facebook like, we should be able to calculate the cost of fan engagement. How much does it cost? And is it really worth it?
Leander found that the rate of people who like or comment on a post starts at less than 1% for a brand of 10,000 Facebook followers and then plummets the larger the audience. Here are his statistics:
Number Of Fans/Likes
Average Engagement Rate
Compared with banner ad engagement rates, those numbers might look good. I’m also starting to wonder what the cost of all this is. For the sake of simplicity, I’m not going to calculate the cost of what it takes to manage the Facebook channel or to create all of that content people are engaging or not engaging with.
Instead, I’m going to look at the cost of attaining those fans and calculating what the cost per interaction is.
Let’s take one year. I’m going to assume that brands might reasonably attain 10,000 fans without buying any likes (a leap, I know, but bear with me). For each number above 10,000, I’m going to assume that 1/3 of those total fans were purchased. That is, brands spent money on Facebook ads to get people to “Like” them.
According to a WebTrends report in 2011, the average cost for a Facebook Like acquisition was $1.07. Maybe that’s gone up or down since then, but let’s use that as a starting point.
Let’s also assume that, on average, a brand posts on Facebook once a day, or a total of 250 posts per year. With that, the cost per interaction for a smaller Facebook brand starts at $0.49/interaction over the year. For a big brand, the cost jumps to $1.59/interaction for a year.
Posts Per Year
Cost Per Interaction
Remember, that’s not covering the cost of managing the channel or creating content. That’s just the interaction cost. Of course this is only for a year, if you spread that over 2 years it gets a little cheaper.
The number of interactions isn’t terribly impressive either. But it starts putting things into perspective, such as:
- What is the real impact of an engagement?
- If people engage more with emotional imagery, say of kittens, is it worth the cost to the brand?
- None of this starts connecting interactions to real business goals. Does that matter?
- Is it really worth it to purchase fans on Facebook?
Actually, it’s that last question that’s important. Based on this calculation, however imprecise, I’d say no.
What do you think?