Posted June 22, 2011 2:04 pm by with 8 comments

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On average, 7.9% of Facebook fans see fan page updates on a daily basis. When you look specifically at Facebook pages with over a million fans, the number drops to 2.79%.

Wow, that’s depressing. And just yesterday we were telling you how Facebook is booming and moms follow lots of brand pages and they’re being influenced to buy. So how can that be?

The numbers come from PageLever, but they’re in a closed beta right now, so we’re getting it second hand from All Facebook. Even without being able to dive deeply into the original report, I believe what I’m seeing.

First off, Facebook makes it very easy to “like” a page, but “unliking” is a little tricky. Many people aren’t aware that you can use that X next to an update to hide posts or “unlike” the page. Because of this, they continue to subscribe with no interest in reading or responding to updates.

If you don’t interact, and you haven’t changed your defaults, those page updates aren’t going to show up in your newsfeed. Even if you have set your default to ALL, Facebook still defaults to Top News over Recent, so only the cream is above the fold. Great for Facebook users, not so great for marketers.

Still, we can’t blame all of this on Facebook. Because these numbers are averages, the dead weight is pulling down the hard workers. Conventional wisdom says you should be posting at least once a day but preferably up to five times. People who update their Facebook pages less than once a day are skewing the number. Since I can’t see exactly how they came at these numbers, I have to assume some dead pages were counted, too which would skew the numbers even more.

The point of posting these numbers isn’t to scare you away from Facebook. It’s to prove that running a Facebook campaign isn’t easy. Doing it right takes time and creativity and continual effort. Creating a Facebook fan page isn’t a set it and forget it project. It has to be constantly nurtured. If you do that, then you can beat this numbers game.

  • This is confirmed that Twitter and Linkedin are much more useful compared to Facebook. The relationship are closer on Twitter and Linkedin.

    I advice my customers, if you produce funny videos to post on your wall and let facebook users to spread rather than ask them go to your fan pages.

  • The social space seems to adhere to more of a 90/10 rule where 10% (or less) of “accounts” or “users’ actually fog a mirror with respect to doing anything. I have always been highly skeptical of the 700 million account number for Facebook because having an account means literally nothing. It’s about activity and engagement. It’s FB’s version of followers where the number is inflated and used to hide a number that is considerably smaller when talking about engaged users and those of real interest to marketers.

    Now with Twitter, the 200 million account number is a complete misnomer. I wouldn’t be surprised if less than 25% of those accounts were truly active or even manned by a human.

    Marketers need to be on their toes when getting stats from these social networks directly. Fluff in these numbers is part of their game.

  • I certainly agree with the numbers posted above. Several Facebook users are just liking the page just because they like what it says but after that, they won’t bother to visit the page anymore to check for some more status updates. This really happens so often.

  • Hey I’m one of the PageLever cofounders.

    If Marketing Pilgrim wants access to our private beta, just drop me a note.

    And we’ve got more stats than just this–happy to share some of our data with you guys if you’re interested. For an example, see the latest post in InsideFacebook:


  • Nice post, and certainly an interesting statistic! I think there’s a trend happening in social where the “page” isn’t necessarily going to be the focus. Pages serve a purpose of a landing page of information, but they don’t correctly foster the interactivity that seems to be coming on strong. It’s a pain to go to a Facebook page and actually interact with it…and it takes you out of your daily social flow.

    I like where they’re going with “groups”, and I think groups in general is an area that has a lot of room for improvement. The interactivity piece is there, but I think there’s still an issue with making it easy for the user to interact.

    Thanks for the article!

  • liking a page is becoming an old fashion wanted result for any fan page.
    likes don’t give anything special. we see it along the way and this post makes the point even stronger.

    the true thing to take into account especially when working with customers is how many interaction are there with the posts inside the page and how many impressions each post gains.

    the results of a good campaign usually gets more brand awareness then the classic SEO campaign which its conversion rates are far more higher.

    now days i tend to clear out this point to customers who are blinded by the promising Facebook campaign as their gate to new customers. i don’t say that hard work don’t get you there but there is still to keep in mind that search engines are far more convertible than Facebook activities.

    Thanks for the true post.

  • This is not new. After all facebook returns “impressions” which are not really an indication of what’s really going on. When I was managing a Facebook page, clicks were very limited from the fan page, while impressions were constantly growing every day.
    Also, some pages purchased their fans.. have a look at this

    • Hi coccytw,

      Do you have any accurate measurement or tool to measure the facebook page?