More than two-thirds (70.1%) of Facebook brand pages are updated less than once a month, according to a new study from Recommend.ly.

This is despite the fact that best practice suggests that brands need to post frequent updates in order to maintain engagement with their fans.

In recent months Facebook has released a host of features such as the Timeline view, Offers, post scheduling and targeting, a redesigned ad network and Facebook Exchange to make its pages more attractive to businesses.

But the study of 5.7m Facebook Pages suggests that most businesses are still struggling to drive any real consumer engagement through the social network.

Among the different categories on Facebook, community pages are most likely to be inactive (79.3%), followed by company pages (73.5%).

Furthermore, celebrity pages have seen an increase in the average number of fans from 9,144 in March up to 11,713 in October, but business pages have seen a steep fall from 6,407 to 3,233 fans in the same period. 

Engagement rates

As well as discovering that 85.3% of companies ignore conversations on their own pages, Recommend.ly found that engagement rates on brand pages has dropped by 8.5% since March.

It defines engagement as feedback given by fans on page posts in the form of comments, likes and shares.

On company pages, fan engagement on posts has dropped from 0.74% to 0.38%.

Looking at the type of content that is most appealing to fans, photos seem to get much higher engagement than other types.

Overall, visual content (photos and videos) generated 65% to 350% higher engagement than non-visual content across the different categories.

Yesterday Facebook tried to sell the potential benefits of its advertising platform with a new study looking at how affluent people use social networks.

It identified five different user segments among Europe’s most affluent demographics and suggested that a large proportion of them are willing to engage with brands on Facebook.