Facebook page likes vs engagement rate and 5 ways how to keep engagement up

newcastle_brown-ale_likes_ptat_feffe_kaufmann_engagement_facebook_blogDuring my many encounters with new clients I discovered the overwhelming faith in page likes. The number that really doesn’t say much. Especially since many likes are inactive in sleeping mode, gained by fan gated competitions or in worst case scenario are even bought from some obscure page for a small amount of money. 

Newcastele Brown Ale got almost a million likes on their page. They got to reach so many people out there!

This is far from the truth and doesn’t really reflect much even though a large fanbase is something to strive for. What is more important for you is to make the fans engage with your page and posts. By doing so you make sure that they will see your future posts and also your given the opportunity that new fans might see your content and engage. But most important is that if you have a high engagement rate then you know your communication is bringing value to your fans.

Bringing value to your fans in the first place empowers the likelihood of them engaging with your content. There’s no escape from that! Liking, commenting and sharing your content is all positive actions for your pages EdgeRank, engagement rate and your reach. The metric for this is called People Talking About This, PTAT, and are a summery and the state of wellbeing on your fan page. The above picture have the PTAT underlined with a purple line, the amount of likes with a red.

In the new look PTAT is hidden and you have to click on the amount of likes on the page for the PTAT to be revealed. The more people engage with you page the higher the PTAT number will be and the better the pages impact is on your fans will be. But remember that the PTAT is not the whole truth since all clicks a measured by Facebook as a positive engagement but are not calculated in the PTAT so there for the engagement rate per post in the insight will differ a most probably be higher.

How to calculate the engagement rate on your page

If you want to know the engagement rate on you page all you need to do is to divide PTAT with the amount of likes on your page like the example below.

To make it easier let us say that Newcastle Brown Ale have 1 000 000 page likes and there is 6 000 PTAT that means that 0.6 precent of the fanbase is engaged with their content. (6 000/1 000 000 = 0.006). Thats not that good, not good at all! But remember that the real number might be very different when you include clicks to the engagement. We seen this happen when you post multiple pictures (not as an album) and the post engagement skyrockets above 30 percent engagement.

If your page is doing 10 precent of engagement or better I would say your page is doing good but it could always do better. 15 – 20 precent and you know your doing really well, as long your not using Facebook Ads to boost up the numbers.


Keep an eye on your competition and their engagement rates

While many compare the amount of likes with their competitions… Yepp, you guessed right. I don´t really have to write it since you came this far into the post. But here it comes; It’s all about the engagement rate. Have a high engagement rate means that your fans are dedicated, that you are delivering value for them and they care about your content. Compare the engagement rates and for the ones doing well – learn from them. Don’t forget to check the individual posts.


Many large and successful brands actually have really low engagement rates, often below 1%. Even Coca Cola with their astonishing fanbase above 80 million fans only have 0.75%. Even though they have an extensive content strategy.

Monitor the wellbeing of your competitors fan pages and learn from their successes and fails. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel  all over again.

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5 ways to keep your engagement rate up

1. Know your audience
Find out what your target group likes and engages in. Find the thin balance between that and your brand to stay relevant to your product and service.

2. Humanize your brand
People build relationships with people, not brands. There for its essential to humanize your brand. Front your communication with a person. Uber, the new disrupting taxi company, uses their local community manager on Twitter as the profil picture. Thats a great way of humanize your brand.

Don’t forget to use behind the scens pictures and interviews as content. If your a bus company, tell a story about your bus drivers. If your a bar let your personel become digital personas on your page and give their best tips on beverages. Then your customers can identify with one of the your staff, like Beer Jonas, the guy that knows everything about beers. Or White spirits Lisa that always recommend the best drinks containing gin, vodka, tequila, triple sec and so on.

3. Time your posts
No matter how great your content is it won’t do much good if your community is offline when you post it. Get to know your community and their time patterns. When are they online? Digg into your statistics and gain knowledge from that.

4. Be positive and use humour
Everyone likes a good laugh or smile. Make you audience smile and have a bit of self distance. Even a governmental page can use this from time to time. There’s no restriction but stay ethical to humanity and your brand and you’ll be ok.

5. Wake up hibernating fans
Winter has come to your fan page. Many of your fans are hibernating and haven’t interacted with you for a long while. Wake them up by using a combination of great content and ad power. Target only your fans and their friends and gently wake them up from their quiet slumber.

Good luck!