The secret to successful Facebook fan pages: pre-existing popularity

What’s the secret to success on Facebook? Having a pre-existing fan base. It also helps if you’re a Fortune 500 company. At least that seems to be the conclusion of new research on the social network.

While brands have helped increase their reach and engagement, research from both Slate and social media monitoring and analytics firm Sysomos show that it’s big brands that get the most out of Facebook — not upstarts that get the word out through their Facebook pages.

According to Slate’s The Big Money, massive brands that combine their own content with user uploads have seen the best results on Facebook.