Findings from the ‘Australian Facebook Performance Report’, released by social media agency Online Circle, show that while snackfood brand pages are the most liked, they lag behind grocery brand pages in terms of engagement.

The report, which averages four point-in-time snapshots of fan and interaction numbers in January to generate like and engagement figures, found grocery brand page fans to be the most engaged with 10% of fans talking about the brand pages analysed in the study, compared to 2% for snackfoods.

Digital strategist at Online Circle, Lucio Ribeiro, says that due to their nature some industries have a greater opportunity to activate engagement than others.

He also says, “We know there were some issues for some brands throughout the year which may have affected some of those categories.”

Banks and financial institutions, a category that along with grocery retailing experienced its share of negative brand attention on social media during January, ranked second in terms of engagement at 5.2%.

The highest engagement rates, a simple equation of number ‘talking about this’ page divided by number of fans, were recorded by Rydges Hotels and Resorts at 28.0%, Air New Zealand – Australia at 27.4%, Gnc Living Well Australia at 25.8%, Breaka Flavoured Milk at 22.4%, David Jones at 18.7%and Hyundai Australia at 13.1%.

‘People talking about this’ is defined by Facebook as the number of unique people who have created a story about a page in the past week, by liking the page or one of its posts, posting on its wall, answering a question, responding to an event, mentioning the page, tagging the page in a photo or checkin, or recommending the page or place.

Citibank recorded an enormous 78.7% engagement rate off a low base of 1,171, indicating they either have uber-engaged fans or were impacted by a recent event.

Queen Victoria markets in Melbourne, which are currently running night food markets every Wednesday, came in with high engagement also (20.5%) illustrating how checkins can drive engagement levels.

The performance of brand pages on Facebook are shown by category below.


Most liked: Woolworths the Fresh Food People – 104,097 fans
Most talked about:
Woolworths the Fresh Food People – 26,934 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Woolworths the Fresh Food People – 25.9% engagement rate

Banking and Financial

Most liked: Commonwealth Bank – 103,725 fans
Most talked about:
Commonwealth Bank – 5694 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Citibank Australia – 78.7% engagement rate

Travel – Airlines

Most liked: Qantas – 131,358 fans
Most talked about:
Jetstar Australia – 3914 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Air Australia, 21.6% engagement rate

FMCG – Snackfoods

Most liked: Pringles Australia – 491,003 fans
Most talked about:
Streets Cornetto – 7746 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Streets Cornetto – 12.3% engagement rate

FMCG – Beverages

Most liked: Coca-Cola Australia – 694,811 fans
Most talked about:
V Energy Drink Australia – 5626 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Breaka Flavoured Milk – 22.4% engagement rate


Most liked: Holden – 241,967 fans
Most talked about:
Hyuandai Australia – 4680 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Hyundai Australia – 13.1% engagement rate

Energy and Utilities

Most liked: Lumo Energy – 25,030 fans
Most talked about:
Lumo Energy – 254 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
ActewAGL – 12.2% engagement rate


Most liked: Voadafone Australia – 130,251 fans
Most talked about:
Boost Mobile – 1512 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Spintel – 18.8% engagement rate


Most liked: Panadol Australia – 26,313 fans
Most talked about:
Panadol Australia – 950 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Official QV Skin Care – 13.2% engagement rate

Travel – Accommodation

Most liked: – 64,849 fans
Most talked about: – 1316 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Hamilton Island – 7.3% engagement rate

Retail – Departments stores

Most liked: – 185,395 fans
Most talked about:
David Jones – 6458 people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
David Jones – 7.1% engagement rate

Retail – Fashion

Most liked: SUPRE – 374,889 fans
Most talked about:
Lorna Jane – 12,939people talking about page
Most engaged audience:
Dotti – 16.4% engagement rate

The report, which its authors plan to conduct bimonthly (every two months), is the first of its kind in Australia and was developed as a benchmark for the Australian industry. It doesn’t analyse the sentiment of interactions with the brands nor look at other channels but there are plans to do so in the future, according to Ribeiro.

The report notes pages that have experienced high growth in fan numbers over the survey period were more likely to record high engagement rates, “The nature of this growth means that people are engaging with the brand page and so we see high growth pages having high engagement. This will settle once the fan growth consolidates and the challenge moves towards activating and engaging the fans.”

Share of engagement is also calculated for the top brands in each category by summing the top 20 pages’ (if there are 20 pages above the statistical confidence level) ‘people talking about’ figures and calculating each brand page’s share of that sum.

Online Circle, who consult to Kraft Foods and Cadbury, state in the report that the list of brands included is not exhaustive but intended to be “representative of those brands leading the way in each vertical”. They anticipate adding more brands to the study in subsequent reports and plan to incorporate other channels such as YouTube.

The data for this report was captured automatically using Facebook APIs at 12 midday on January 10, 17, 24 and 31. Averages of fan numbers and people talking about the brands across the four days for selected brand pages were used to generate the statistics.

Image credit: stoneysteiner.