In an ideal Facebook marketing world, fans would like our pages, leave sweet comments on our amusing daily updates, and share their joy with their friends.
In the real world, it doesn’t work that way. You already knew that, but did you know how much it doesn’t work that way?
AdAge recently published the results of a study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and here’s what they found.
1.3% of brand fans on Facebook are actively engaging with the brands they like. (Meaning I fudged the 99% in the headline slightly, but it’s more about the point than the number.) The study tracked the top 200 brands for six weeks, counting all of those actions that go into the “People Talking About This” number. That means shares, likes, comments, posts and tags.
Take that number, divided by the number of brand fans, and you get the 1.3%. Then the study takes it down even further by removing new likes and it drops to .45%.
A spokesperson for the study says this is not bad news. I wouldn’t say good or bad. I’d go with irrelevant. It’s common sense that the majority of people who like a brand are already loyal customers. So even if they don’t leave a comment, they’re still buying the brand. What Facebook does so elegantly, is it acts as a gentle reminder. I love my local Chick-fil-A, but I might not have lunch there today. Then I see a Facebook post about a special on the menu and that makes me change my plans.
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I didn’t leave a comment. I didn’t share the news, but I’m still going to give them my money.
This brings us back to yesterday’s discussion about how to measure ROI. If all you’re counting is brand interaction, then I come up as a “zero” for today. But if you’re counting dollars, then kaching – that Facebook post was a success.
It’s all about balance, folks. A fun, engaging Facebook fan page is nice, but if you’re not bringing in new customers, then you’re not really doing your job.