It’s no secret that Facebook has transformed from a social media platform to a pay-to-play media outlet. Nowhere is that more evident than in the declining participation rates among specialty retailers. Interaction rates have dropped for 75% of brands in L2’s 2014 Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail.

Yet, several brands have managed to keep their each high with a mix of quality content and paid placements. Aero and Michael Kors had the highest engagement rates among brands in the L2 Index. Zara, Levis, and H&M were underachievers that failed to leverage their high fan numbers to keep engagement levels high.

text (8)All six brands located far on the overachiever side of the graph (Tiffany & Co., Ikea, Aeorpostale, Michael Kors, Forever 21 and Desigual) consistently use sponsored posts, proving that content alone can no longer boost fan participation.

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