Ostensibly, Facebook is an online marketers dream: a vocal community where users literally give your company the “thumbs-up,” and then put that approval on display to their online like-minded friends. While exposure to 500 million frequent users can certainly increase business and brand awareness, a number of recently released studies show why companies shouldn’t lose too much sleep over how many “likes” they rack up, and the true effectiveness of new media marketing.
Recent research shows that Facebookers are more likely to spend money on brands that appear in friend’s status updates. For example, Ticketmaster purchases posted to Facebook’s news feed generated an additional $5.30 in direct ticket sales when friends also purchased tickets. Eventbrite earned $2.52 for every link shared on the social media site. Moreover, users are 60% more likely to remember status update ads, and are more than four times more likely to purchase those products or services.
Encouraging statistics aside, another survey reveals that email newsletters and good old-fashioned print ads advance consumer relationships more than company Facebook pages. Even the “like” button isn’t as effective as Facebook would lead us to believe: users often “like” brands for one-time discounts or promotions, then rarely revisit the page.
The underlying theme of this research is simply put: people use Facebook to connect with other people, not companies. Consumers complain that corporate Facebook pages have too much clutter, not enough polish, and repetitive postings.
A clear vision about your online presence and what you hope to accomplish — whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube — can combat consumer fatigue. And don’t forget to do your research: studies show that Facebook receives the most traffic on Thursdays and Fridays, while Twitter users are more active on Fridays.
Using social networks constructively and creatively is merely one part of the solution: complement your social media efforts with a strong marketing campaign in more traditional forms of online media such as email newsletters, paid online ads and a solid website. Try developing an iPhone app, or even better, let NJI Media design it for you.