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Here at FreshNetworks we’ve always argued that engagement is a much more interesting metric than popularity, which is why we’re big fans of Socialbaker’s Engagement Analytics tool, as it provides granular information on a variety of  Facebook related engagement statistics.

We used Socialbakers to compare two large rival Facebook pages (both are approaching 2 million fans) for two similar consumer products – Unilever’s AXE and P&G‘s  Old Spice – in order to test the tool and compare the different strategies employed by each brand during September.

1. Content strategies

A comparison of both AXE and Old Spice Facebook walls show the different content strategies that the brands are using:

Axe facebook wallOld Spice Facebook wall











AXE’s landing page is their ‘Premature Perspiration’ tab, which plays a video and links to an app, which certainly diverts fans from their wall.

Clicking through to AXE’s wall displays all posts, meaning that a first time visitor is unlikely to see any of the brand’s posted content; this is bound to be detrimental to engagement levels.

Old Spice, on the other hand, give priority to their own posts. This not only means their latest post is always prominent, but so too are older ones, making them “stickier” in the eyes of a visitor. Old Spice have clearly worked with their recognisable tone of voice of the “Old Spice Guy”, which is reflected in the nature of their updates. AXE’s updates are much more eclectic, designed and intended for a specific young, male audience.

Winner: Old Spice

2. Post frequency and variety

Aside from the different ways of displaying their walls, AXE and Old Spice have a pronounced difference in terms of how often they post, and what types of content they share.

content strategy axe oldspice

Throughout September, Old Spice made 20 posts, while AXE bordered on three times as much activity with 54 posts, often posting twice daily.

In terms of the breakdown of content, Old Spice made 16 text updates, 2 links and 2 videos (Socialbakers analysed all videos for both pages as “links”).

AXE on the other hand, has a much broader approach with 42 photo updates (including albums), followed by 7 videos, 3 links, 1 poll and just 1 text update.

Winner: AXE

3. Engagement

At a first glance, you would imagine the variety of updates posted by AXE to offers deeper engagement, yet this is not reflected in Socialbakers’ calculation as it takes into account the number of posts being made.

By posting less frequently, and drawing more attention to their posts, Old Spice are able to leverage a greater rate of engagement from a lower amount of posts.

axe and old spice facebook engagement overview

Winner: Old Spice

4. Response rates

While Old Spice is able to remain highly engaging, it is significantly weaker than AXE when it comes to responding to fans.  AXE’s two community managers, Dan and Laura, sign off each post personally and even appear in various photos and videos. This gives fans an opportunity for a dialogue with real people, whereas Old Spice posts remain in the tone of voice of the Old Spice Guy and are rarely followed up.

Old Spice are clearly successful with their ongoing use of the Old Spice Guy’s persona, while AXE has two real people acting as the contact point for the fans. It could be argued that Old Spice’s engagement is mostly passive, while AXE has actual interaction between their fans and community managers.

Winner: AXE

Old Spice AXE response rate


Average facebook engagement rateIt’s  not simple to say that one page is superior to the other.  Old Spice is way ahead of Axe in terms of engagement, but according to Socialbakers’ metrics (in the table to the right) they are not doing anything exceptional.

What is clear, though, is that merely looking at the prominent numbers on a Facebook page will not give much information as to its effectiveness.