Thursday, January 19, 2012

When 'Likes' are not Loves


We’ve all had the brief:  the client wants to build a fan base on Facebook (new or existing), and we must challenge the audience with new and exciting (as well as tried and tested) advertising avenues to achieve this goal.  Basically, the client wants more Facebook Likes.  The success of the campaign is measured in Likes, often exclusively.

But what does this actually mean for the client, to have more people Liking their brand page?  PHDiQ attended the MSN Digital Marketing Summit in Auckland in November, and many of the speakers emphasised the role social media plays in advertising.  Thomas Scovell (Clemenger BBDO) discussed the idea that “Likes don’t equal sales” which is something we should consider when planning campaigns (see clips of his speech as well as others here).

BBDO in the United States recently conducted a study that found people who Like a brand on Facebook are anywhere between +40% to -5% likely to spend money on the brand product.  So while Likes certainly drive some sales, many people probably never look at the page again, having Liked it on a whim.  And some people are -5% less likely to buy the product than they were in the first place (most likely due to irrelevant brand page posts, or being bombarded by posts).

Carrie Hill has written an interesting blog post on how Likes can be misconstrued.  She talks about how some companies are being paid to generate Likes which are redundant, and the negative effects of redundant or ‘fluff’ status updates.  She also mentions that the bounce rate skyrockets by up to 600% when status updates are made which are unrelated to the brand.  You can read her full blog here.

Nobody is suggesting that Likes are useless in terms of brand awareness and pushing sales; but sometimes a Facebook Like is used as a measure of success, when in fact the Like is doing nothing for the brand, or even worse than nothing.


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