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Does marketing on facebook engage customers?

by Chris Reed on Apr 19, 2012
Does a "like" on facebook mean a consumer has engaged with your brand? Two recent surveys apparently say no.Although a recent eVoc survery said that 59% of respondents have liked a brand on ...

Blogger profile: Chris Reed

Chris J Reed has 25 years of senior marketing experience on both the client and agency side in the UK and now in Asia-Pacific based in Singapore. He is the CEO and founder of Black Marketing.

Does a "like" on facebook mean a consumer has engaged with your brand? Two recent surveys apparently say no.

Although a recent eVoc survery said that 59% of respondents have liked a brand on facebook in the past 6 months. Most likes are for food brands, TV shows, music, movies and clothing.

So all good, millions of new buying consumers? Apparently not. There appears to be a difference between someone liking your brand on facebook and actually buying it.

According to a study from the Ehrenberg- Bass Institute just 1% of fans of the biggest brands on facebook actually bother to engage with the brands on the site.

They studied the top 200 brands and through examination of activities such as likes, comments, posts, shares the research group found that there was nothing substantial to link a brand’s facebook presence with loyalty.

Virtually no consumer engagement with brands on Facebook suggests that there is a massive disconnect between reasons why consumers actually “like” a brand and the reasons brands think consumers are “liking” their page.

When the CMO Council asked Facebook users in Q4 2011 about their expectations after “liking” a brand on Facebook, the top expectation (67%) was to be “eligible for exclusive offers.”

However, when the CMO Council asked marketers what they thought it meant when a consumer “liked” their brand page, a quarter of marketer respondents answered, “because they are loyal customers.” Clearly some miscommunication here.

Is this any surprise in reality as most people are driven to “like” a brand on facebook as a direct result of being given a “free” offer of some kind. So yes of course, like Pavlov’s dog, consumers have been conditioned  to expect more offers as a result of “liking” the brand as that is how the relationship started.

There is no facebook loyalty, the consumer will move onto the next brand as long as they do offer more freebies and money off promotions than the last brand. Where’s the loyalty and why would CMO’s think otherwise?

The link between “likes” and loyalty remains unclear. Although consumers respond favorably about their likelihood to purchase from a brand they follow on Facebook, that’s not overly evident on their Facebook time lines and actual actions.

Marketers should keep in mind that for consumers, Facebook remains primarily a place to interact with peers and share experiences. Although many consumers have opened up to brands that are present on Facebook, brand marketers should not expect loyalty each time a consumer clicks the “like” button. They have to work a hell of a lot harder to gain that.

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