The goal of social media activities for many companies is to raise brand awareness and to engage with their audiences. We wanted to find out how some of the biggest Finnish brands drive engagement with their customers — and potential customers — in social media.

We conducted a study in which we analyzed the Facebook posts of the 100 biggest Finnish brands from last spring.* The goal was to find out how brands can maximize engagement (likes, reactions, comments and shares) with their target audiences. Engagement helps your brand become more visible in social media by spreading organically through your followers’ networks.

5 effective ways to engage with your audiences

From our study, we identified 5 key factors that drive social media engagement:

1. Everyone likes to win! Out of the top 30 posts, two out of three were competitions. And it didn’t even matter that much what the prize was. Both an expensive gaming desktop worth 1000 euros and a 10 euro gift card to a burger joint created high amount of engagement. However, the prize should always be related to your own business and resonate with your target audiences.

2. People tend to make their strongest connections with other human beings — not with brands or logos. Influencer marketing campaigns, interesting celebrities or iconic figures can help businesses connect with their target audience.

3. Videos and strong images get you noticed and liked. Out of the 30 most popular posts, 9 included video material. Other types of striking visual content seemed to engage audiences as well.

4. Another type of content that generated high interest was festive posts about current events, seasonal recipes or congratulatory messages to teams, like posts supporting the Finnish ice hockey team during the World Championships.

5. Launching a new product also creates social media buzz. Product releases and new innovations arouse interest and create a lot of reactions. So let your followers know when something new is coming up!

How many times did people interact with these posts?

The total amount of engagement from a single Facebook post is the number of interactions that post drove with its audience through likes, reactions, shares and comments. From all the posts in our study, we came up with the following statistics:

  • The average number of engagements per post was 266 — across the 6,259 posts analyzed there were over 1.6 million engagements.
  • The average number of engagement amongst the top 30 posts was 12,899.
  • The top post with the highest total engagement had 51,858 likes or other reactions, comments and shares.

Social media strategies are always evolving, but some of the biggest brands in Finland have figured out some remarkably effective ways to drive engagement.

*Information about the study

The data for our study came from all the Facebook posts of the 100 biggest brands in Finland in the months of January, March and June of 2016, for a total of 6,259 individual posts. We determined the biggest brands from Socialbakers statistics on the top 100 Facebook pages in Finland.

We chose 30 of the most engaging posts from every month for a closer look and analyzed them using Okimo Clinic’s own engagement metrics and tools. Engagement consists of the number of interactions people have with content, including likes, other reactions, comments and shares.