Facebook reach and virality: comScore study backs up importance of wall-posting strategy

Posted on: July 27, 2011

I have written previously about the need for brands to adequately emphasize developing their Facebook news feed strategy – rather than focusing on fancy, whizzy page apps. This is because most people see brand activity on Facebook via wall posts, rather than by visiting brand’s pages. (Although it is possible to develop apps that prompt wall post interaction).

A case study released today by Comscore of three brands (SouthWest Airlines, Bing and Starbucks) on Facebook provides more data to back up this view.

Importantly it looks beyond exposure of a brand to its Facebook likees, also taking into account their friends – thus exploring the effects of the viral nature of Facebook posts (when a fan comments on a brand’s wall post this shows up in their own news feed). Mike Rich from Comscore Seattle explains that the data has been drawn from their new social media management platform – which interrogates Facebook effectiveness along the lines of reach, frequency and GRPs:

Reach and exposure: This chart shows a massive difference in exposure to each brand for fans and friends of fans via the newsfeed (at least 40 to 1), compared to exposure via its Facebook page:

Facebook virality: This chart shows how far wall posts reach on Facebook, beyond fans, to impressions on friends’ walls:

Web visits: Beyond Facebook this chart shows visits to a brand’s website made by the average web user, versus Facebook fans and friends of those fans. It shows that even friends of fans are far more likely to visit a brand’s website than other web users:

All in all this study proves how getting it right on the wall means high exposure on and off Facebook for brands. But as Mike Rich suggests, separate studies are needed to determine which of a brand’s messages drive most engagement and subsequent site traffic. Ultimately, brands need to know what will work best for them on their Facebook walls – and can do this by combining:

Knowing this represents a holy grail of information upon which a Facebook wall-posting strategy can be developed and tweaked according to its effectiveness.

Follow this link to watch Mike Rich explain Comscore’s findings in more detail on video, and download their white paper, The Power of Like: How Brands Reach and Influence Fans Through Social Media Marketing. Also read Josh Constine’s article on Inside Facebook – which pulls out further insightful graphs and charts from the full report.

Multicoloured wall picture by stonegoat


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