Facebook engagement case study: Heineken vs Carlsberg

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Last year both Heineken and Carlsberg declared their intention to increase their marketing spend and so we thought it would be interesting to use analytics tool socialbakers to look at how both brands have fared in terms of their Facebook engagement strategy for the last quarter of this year (for the period 1st September – 13th December 2011).

1. Fans

At face value Heineken is leading the way in terms of fans with 4,740,759 fans, while Carlsberg only has 231,641 fans, giving Heineken 4,509,117 more fans than Carlsberg.


In fact, in just over three months Heineken’s fans grew by a massive 2,098,504 with a steady, average fan growth of 20,178 fans per day.

2. Engagement

As anyone who has read our blog before knows, we’re all about real engagement on Facebook rather than the number of fans and so it’s interesting to look at both Carlsberg and Heineken in terms of engagement levels.

Using Facebook’s “Talking About” metric, during the last 3 months significantly more people were “Talking about” Heineken over Carlsberg. In fact, the number of people talking about Carlsberg daily has been consistently low at an average of only around 2,500 people per day.

As the chart below shows, the peak on 25th November and then subsequent decline in the number of people talking about Heineken was probably due to people interacting with Heineken’s Thanksgiving post, as well as the fact that Incubus, an American rock band, had to cancel their performance at the the Heineken music hall in Amsterdam on this day.

As for Carlsberg’s low people talking about rate, this could attributed to a lack of posts from the page admin. The Carlsberg page admin has only posted content 42 times in just over three months. But while Heineken has posted double this amount, the amount of content used by both brands is lower than that of Coca-Cola and Pepsi’s Facebook engagement strategyand Heineken only really posted multiple times per day on 13th November in response to customer enquires about tickets for a performance at Heineken Green Spheres in Dublin (though this is a good example of using social media for customer service).

However, what is interesting to note is that when you look at both Heineken and Carlsberg’s Facebook pages in relation to their average engagement rate over time in the last three months it seems as if Carlsberg, at the start of the quater, had a higher average engagement rate than Heineken.

As you can see, there is a massive dip in the engagement rate on Carlsberg’s page around 7th October which they never quite recover from. This coincides with the day that Carlsberg announced it was rolling out the next stage of its marketing campaign for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament on Facebook and so it could be that people started engaging with Carlsberg Football Facebook page to the detriment of engagement levels on the main Carlsberg page itself.

However, with Heineken’s average engagement rate decreasing and Carlsberg’s levels potentially looking as though it could increase again over time, it will be interesting to track both brands in terms of their Facebook engagement strategy over the coming months.

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