To improve engagement and encourage user activity on Facebook, telecoms brands should increase the number of branding posts compared to sales marketing posts. Generally video works better than photos for branding purposes, but look out for cultural differences.

Telecoms brands are primarily national: although a brand may exist in several markets, its operations will be separate in each, tailored to the local language, culture and regulatory system. Here we look at the five biggest telecoms brands on Facebook in four key markets. There is very little overlap here – only two brands (O2 and Vodafone) are present in more than one market, and no brand is present in three.

We have plotted the proportion of fans that are active users of each brand’s Facebook page. This refers to the number of users who have liked or commented on a post, or made their own post, on a brand page. This is a much more useful indicator of engagement with a brand page than the number of fans. Facebook filters each user’s news feed to show them only the posts it considers most relevant to them, so many fans may not see individual posts at all. Some brands are much more successful at turning their passive fans in active users than others. Across these four markets, the proportion of active users among fans varies from essentially zero to 71%, and averages 1.5%.

Publicis Media’s Socialtools database allows us to look at the brands that are most successful at attracting active users, and examine how they do this. We can look at the types of post they make, whether they are simple text updates (status posts), and whether they include links, photos and videos. The charts below look at the types of posts that are made by all telecoms brands in each market, and compares them with the posts made by the three brands with the highest number of active users.

It is clear that simple status posts are rare among all brand pages, and are not used at all among many of the most active pages. They are not very engaging, and do not lead to further consumer actions.

Broadly speaking, link posts lead to offers, products and other forms of sales marketing, while photo and video posts are made for branding purposes. Across all four markets, the most active pages make fewer link posts than is the market norm, but they still post a lot of links – up to 41% of posts in Germany. In three markets, the active pages post fewer photos than average, but a lot more videos: 2.0 times more in the US, 1.5 in the UK and 2.1 in Germany. France is different: the most active pages make even more photo posts than average (1.3 times the norm), accounting for 55% of their total posts, as well as 1.3 times the number of video posts. Branding posts are the key to engaging fans and turning them into active users, and in most markets video does this most effectively.

Read more in the second edition of Global Intelligence, which you can download here.

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