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The art of Facebook: 30 of its biggest brands analysed

For personal use, Facebook is an excellent way to communicate with friends, keep up to date with event lists, and of course, sneak around others’ personal lives. But how do some of the world’s biggest brands use the social network?

A study, conducted by analytics firm Quintly, aims to do just that, looking at 30 of the world’s biggest brands and their unique uses of Facebook in the first half of 2016. These brands include the likes of Monster Energy, Intel, BMW, Zara and Skittles, to name but a few. Have a look at the full list below:

BMW, Starbucks, Disney, Victoria’s Secret, Facebook, RedBull, MTV, Oreo, YouTube, Mercedes Benz, Monster Energy, Subway, adidas Originals, Nike, Zara, Xbox, Converse, Skittles, PlayStation, EA Sports FIFA, Intel, Amazon, Walmart, Samsung Mobile USA, Samsung Mobile, Louis Vuitton, Sony Mobile, Target, Coca Cola Brazil, WhatsApp.

In total, these brands have a combined 38.5-million likes (which incidentally, has grown by around 400 000 since January 2016). Facebook itself, has around 1.13-billion active daily users, and 1.7-billion active monthly users as of June 2016.

“The findings reveal how the biggest brands, in terms of Facebook fans, communicate on Facebook and how their posted content is perceived by users,” Quintly adds.

So, what did the company discover? We take a look at some of the report’s highlights.

There’s no magical number of posts per day

Should you post just once a day? Perhaps once an hour? Well, there’s no right answer.

quintly facebook study h2 2016 daily posts

While Disney averaged around 4.5 posts a day, the likes of Red Bull published 21 posts per day, while MTV hit close to 68 — nearly a post every 20 minutes. The page with the least number of posts per day, you ask? WhatsApp, with none.

Overall post frequency across the 30 brands is however dropping. According to Quintly, “the average of the global top players changed their behaviour on how often they post on Facebook” with nearly 50 posts less posted by all 30 pages in January, compared to June.

On Facebook, posting more frequently doesn’t guarantee more user interaction

We can’t help but think MTV’s social media manager was on leave that month.

Video is the new currency

The digital world is reveling in its new love for the visual, and the likes of Instagram and Snapchat exist to feed that. But Facebook plays an integral role in this too. According to Quintly, video posts are slowly overtaking images in terms of popularity on Facebook.

Around 55% of the brands’ posts in H1 2016 were video, while just 45% contained images. According to the firm, this is largely thanks to the nature of consumption by unique browsers.

“Images are consumed by the user in the blink of an eye, whereas videos are able to bring more emotions across and make people spend more time with the brand’s story,” explains Quintly.

So many questions, so little time

Annoyed that brands don’t always answer your burning questions? Quintly notes that even the biggest brands are struggling to keep up with demand.

quintly facebook study h2 2016 user interactions

The “amount of fast replies, meaning replies made within two hours, decreased significantly since the beginning of the year”, Quintly found, which is a marked drop in May 2016 after April’s spike.

This number seems to have stabilised in June 2016, and Quintly notes this spike shouldn’t have an effect on brand perception in the long run.

More posts don’t always mean more likes

Be it the weather or the general happenings in a month, user interactions never seem to remain constant or predictable. Ever.

In March 2016, the 30 brands saw a drop in user interactions (which includes likes, comments and shares), which doesn’t quite correlate with the frequency of posts for the month.

“This could also be true on a more general level, meaning that less posts do not necessarily lead to fewer interactions,” Quintly explains.

You can find Quintly’s full study here.

Author | Andy Walker: Editor

Andy Walker: Editor
Camper by day, run-and-gunner by night, Andy prefers his toast like his coffee -- dark and crunchy. Specialising in spotting the next big Instagram cat star, Andy also dabbles in smartphone and game reviews over on Gearburn. More