Like is easy; loyalty takes work
Some companies think that getting someone to click the like
button is the end of the game, but in reality it is only the
opening kickoff. Consider the case of Adobe Photoshop. With little
corporate involvement, it was able to accumulate 240,000 Facebook
fans. Many companies would have called that a success. But Adobe
wanted to do more. So it enlisted its product management team to
run its Facebook page, asking fans what they wanted and learning
what topics and ideas resonated with them. Now, the page has more
than 2 million likes, and fans show their engagement by adding as
many as 3,000 comments when Adobe posts to the page.
"I think about it as if I'm designing the product," Maria Yap,
Adobe's director of product management, says of her Facebook
strategy. "I think about the user. Is this piece of content we're
about to share useful to them?"
You can't engage your fans if they don't see your posts.
Companies that post content on their Facebook pages outside normal
business hours see engagement rates that are 20% higher than
average, according to data from Facebook marketing software company
Buddy Media. By timing posts to when consumers are more likely to
be on Facebook, companies have a greater chance of being seen in a
fan's news feed.
Discounts are a tool, not a strategy
Yes, consumers still say coupons are one of their top reasons to
like a brand on Facebook, but as with any promotion, giving a
freebie in exchange for a like only gets someone in the door.
Having a firm long-term strategy is what keeps them a customer.
The Einstein Noah Restaurant Group has run several successful
promotions giving Facebook fans free products. But the company
doesn't just want to get traffic into its stores. Instead, it sees
the Facebook coupon as the first step to a positive relationship
that extends to the in-store experience and then back to the
Facebook page, as consumers ask questions and get answers and
receive even more benefits.
Likes aren't a measure of success
It's been said many times, but the message still hasn't sunk in:
Likes are not a gauge of consumer involvement with your company or
brand. But companies still insist on touting their total just like
they touted "hits" back in the early days of the web.
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Some companies have been working to link their Facebook presence
back to business results, sales leads and new customers. In
Hubspot's "State of Inbound Marketing"
report, 67% of business-to-consumer companies and 41% of
business-to-business companies said they had acquired customers via
Other ways companies can measure the success of social media
include tracking the redemption of coupons offered via the Facebook
page, gaining new email addresses and making sales. There has been
a significant increase in businesses using these sorts of
conversion metrics as a measure of success.
In the Bazaarvoice and CMO Club study "CMOs on Social Marketing Plans for
2011," site traffic was the top metric used by CMOs
worldwide to measure the value of social-media marketing
activities, at 68% of respondents. However, conversion ranked a
close second, at 65.7%, with nearly double the percentage of
respondents as in 2010.
The good news for marketers is that a like is a sign that
someone has raised their hand and indicated a willingness to
engage. What happens next is when the real marketing starts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is a principal analyst and covers social- media
marketing at eMarketer