Which brand in South Africa holds the enviable position as having the best Facebook page in the country? This is a critical question all social media planners and managers should ask themselves when planning their strategies. HaveYouHeard's joint managing director, Jason Stewart, takes you through his thinking when he's asked the same question by a client...
The first step is to get a grip on what makes a great Facebook page. In HaveYouHeard's opinion, it is not all about 'likes'. Likes mean very little, as the majority of those who have liked a page forget that they have done so and seldom visit that page again. In fact, the average return rate in South Africa is very low, with only 2% of any given brand's Facebook community actually returning to the page and engaging with it.
Possibly the best indicator for a good performing page is 'engagement'. The quickest way to determine engagement is to divide the number of 'People Talking About This' by the number of Total Fans. This only, however, provides an indication of engagement as the number can be boosted by paid-for new likes.
The true indicator for engagement, and thereby best performance, is engagement per post; in other words, how many post likes, comments and shares are taking place on your page. This should also be based on natural engagement, not competition or incentivised engagement.
To find South Africa's best performing Facebook page, we therefore looked for the page that had generated the most interactions within their community. By default, this meant that the bigger the page was, the more likely it was to have higher interactions.
Using Social Bakers' Analytics tool
, we pulled reports on the largest 40 Facebook pages in South Africa. We excluded smaller pages, with high engagement rates because we wanted to identify South Africa's best performing page based on generating the most total interactions in number, not as a percentage of total community size.
The table below lists the 20 largest pages in South Africa as of 16 November, based on Total Likes and only looking at fans from South Africa, as follows:
|Brand SA name||SA likes||Total interactions|
|1. What's for Dinner?||707,525||660,681|
|2. MTN South Africa||517,966||660,476|
|3. Mercedes Benz SA||512,392||931,527|
|4. Shoprite South Africa||484,205||524,204|
|7. Samsung South Africa||447,849||406,193|
|10. Mango Airlines||392,796||153,570|
|11. DHL Africa||366,961||213,304|
|12. Cadbury Dairy Milk||365,797||457,239|
|14. Debonairs Pizza||328,172||125,036|
|16. Toyota SA||316,368||373,532|
|17. Land Rover SA||312,389||382,238|
|18. Travel Start SA||304,039||302,835|
|19. Robertsons Herbs & Spices||285,753||130,083|
The next table lists the top performing pages using Total Interactions (second column), and provides a more meaningful picture of which brands are doing well relative to their community size. In this instance, auto brands are very strong (5 in the top 20).
|Brand page name||SA likes||Total interactions||Interaction %|
|Mercedes Benz SA||512,392||931,527||181.80%|
|What's for Dinner?||707,525||660,681||93.38%|
|MTN South Africa||517,966||660,476||127.51%|
|Shoprite South Africa||484,205||524,204||108.26%|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk||365,797||457,239||125.00%|
|Samsung South Africa||447,849||406,193||90.70%|
|Land Rover South Africa||312,389||382,238||122.36%|
|Travel Start SA||304,039||302,835||99.60%|
|Jaguar South Africa||212,424||264,438||124.49%|
|Carling Black Label||221,791||206,886||93.28%|
We also looked at the type of interaction taking place on the page.
In the case of the auto pages, there was an enormous amount of passion and interest expressed by these fans. Most people would regard the topics they talk about as rather ordinary, but these are fans who absolutely love almost everything about these cars.
By contrast, when it came to the service brands, enquiries and service issues accounted for this interaction.
It therefore stands to reason that measuring 'sentiment' is important when determining which is South Africa's best Facebook page.
One of the measures of great content is Shares, so we opted to track which page had the most 'shares', as shares are indicative of this and are the highest form of flattery for a brand.
The table below highlights that What's for Dinner
does very well (its recipes are shared a lot) followed by Big Concerts. Again, the auto brands did well, with fans sharing car image after car image after car image.
|Brand page name||SA likes||Total interactions||Post shares|
|What's for Dinner?||707,525||660,681||95,731|
|Mercedes Benz SA||512,392||931,527||28,824|
|MTN South Africa||517,966||660,476||28,739|
|Travel Start SA||304,039||302,835||27,092|
|Comfort Zone South Africa||222,504||1138,74||17,938|
|Land Rover South Africa||312,389||382,238||14,826|
|Shoprite South Africa||484,205||524,204||14,465|
|Samsung South Africa||447,849||406,193||14,115|
|Robertsons Herbs & Spices||285,753||130,083||10,085|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk||365,797||457,239||9,934|
|Jaguar South Africa||212,424||264,438||9,311|
|Audi South Africa||237,972||149,688||8,682|
Comments about a post?
Comments about a post are regarded as second in importance, after sharing; but are still a great indication of good content. Many brands are generating this high comment amount through running competitions, and quick quiz response type posts.
However, we must note the great work done by Cadbury in engaging with its community and keeping the comment conversation going on past the first response.
|Brand page name||SA likes||Total interactions||Post comments|
|MTN South Africa||517,966||660,476||309,327|
|Shoprite South Africa||4842,05||524,204||173,007|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk||365,797||457,239||136,436|
|What's for Dinner?||707,525||660,681||111,920|
|Mercedes Benz South Africa||512,392||931,527||50,377|
|Travel Start SA||304,039||302,835||46,810|
|Robertsons Herbs & Spices||285,753||130,083||39,068|
|Land Rover South Africa||312,389||382,238||37,727|
|Carling Black Label||221,791||206,886||33,583|
|Samsung South Africa||447,849||406,193||30,514|
Posts made by fans, not comments?
Breaking down interaction further, in the table below, we explore Posts by Fans (not comments), and you can clearly see the top 5 positions are held by service-related brands. However, this interaction was most often in response to service-related queries.
|Brand page name||SA likes||Posts made by fans (not comments)|
|MTN South Africa||517,966||14,710|
|Shoprite South Africa||484,205||10,072|
|What's for Dinner?||707,525||3,550|
|Mercedes Benz South Africa||512,392||3,502|
|Samsung South Africa||447,849||2,840|
As it is more difficult for MTN to respond to over 14,000 fan posts than it is for Audi to respond to almost 900, for example, we looked at response rates within the context of posts made by fans (showing the top 30 pages now).
|Brand page name||SA likes||Posts made by fans||Response rate|
|Comfort Zone South Africa||222,504||415||95%|
|What's for Dinner?||707,525||3,550||94%|
|MTN South Africa||517,966||14,710||90%|
|Audi South Africa||237,972||894||90%|
|Travel Start SA||304,039||979||78%|
|Robertsons Herbs & Spices||285,753||523||73%|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk||365,797||1,592||71%|
|Shoprite South Africa||484,205||10,072||67%|
|Carling Black Label||221,791||1,460||54%|
|Lexus South Africa||204,347||934||51%|
|Mercedes Benz South Africa||512,392||3,502||48%|
|Land Rover South Africa||312,389||708||39%|
|Tropika South Africa||202,358||556||39%|
|Samsung South Africa||447,849||2,840||38%|
|Jaguar South Africa||212,424||319||15%|
|Hyundai South Africa||278,101||86||0%|
Kudos to the brands achieving over 90% response, as this is indicative of well managed pages.
What is concerning, however, are the very low response rates on many other pages. In fact, 70% of the pages reviewed here achieved a response rate of lower than 70%. The goal should always be 100% and not one brand has achieved over 95% during 2014.
So, which is the best brand on Facebook in South Africa?
HaveYouHeard would base its answer on which Facebook page generates natural and non-incentivised engaging content for its community (indicated by total interactions, post shares and post comments) as well as great page management (indicated by response rate).
Using that formula, it would mean that MTN and What's For Dinner? Would rank in the Top 2, however, if you look closer at their performance, based on the last three months as well as within context of their size and compare it to a fast, growing challenger like DHL Africa, the results don't seem as conclusive.
|Interaction / Fans %||13%||15%||5%|
|Interaction / Fans %||10%||8%||5%|
|Interaction||39 947||31 409||54,435|
|Interaction / Fans %||14%||9%||14%|
So rather than giving you the answer, why don't I let you decide? What metric is most important for you, and how does that influence the line up?