The Facebook Like, do you “really” like us?

18Jun12

Do you really 'like' us?

There’s been a lot of emphasis and articles about how many ‘likes’ a Facebook page has and how these brands are leading the competition locally, nationally and for some globally. But, there’s been very little talk about the importance of engagement. There are many brands out there that continue to spend money and resources on sweepstakes and contests in an effort to build their ‘likes’ and then use the increased ‘likes’ as a successful ROI. But, just like Facebook isn’t a marketing strategy ‘likes’ aren’t the end-all to success.

As part of an overall marketing strategy with end goals, sweepstakes and contests are great ways to promote a brand, increase ‘likes’ and thank the loyal people that continue to come back. But, the real ROI is beyond the ‘like’ and is truly about the engagement.

Take a step back and think about it… social media is just what it sounds like, it’s a media that’s “social.” The difference between social media marketing and other types of marketing is that social is a two-way, push-pull marketing concept whereas TV and print are a push or one-way method of communicating to an audience.  Jay Baer, Social Media and Content Strategist said it best during one of his talks, “Be social, just don’t Do social.”

This month challenge your company to think about the end goals of the brand and why the the Facebook page was created in the first place. Think about the individuals that have opted-in or ‘liked’ that page, think about how together, the brand and the Facebook community can enrich each other’s lives. Think about exchanging relevant information and focus on the engagement rate as oppose to how quickly and large you can increase the number of over-all ‘likes.’

Simply put, think about quality over quantity.

Measuring the engagement rate:
One way to measure the engagement rate is to divide the Facebook ‘Talking About This’ number by the total number of ‘likes’. This will give you a rolling seven day snapshot of your status. Another way to measure is to look at your highest ‘Talking About This’ number for the month and try to beat that every month. And finally, for those that are hyper-focused, choose a target ‘engagement rate’ and try to meet or beat that number on your daily posts. If the ‘Talking About This’ number is increasing, your ‘likes’ will increase as well.

Examples of local brand Facebook pages and their *engagement rates: 

- 3TV Phoenix - 11,700 Talking / 59% engagement – 19K Likes

3TV Phoenix Facebook Engagement Rate

- ABC15 - 9,400 Talking / 10% engagement – 89K Likes

ABC15 Facebook Engagement Rate

- NBC News – 2,200 Talking / 6.3% engagement – 35K Likes

NBC News Facebook Engagement Rate

- Huffington Post -  100,000 Talking / 16% engagement – 616K Likes

Huffington Post Facebook Engagement Rate

- Coca-Cola – 367,000 Talking / .8% engagement – 42M Likes

Coca Cola Facebook Engagement Rate

- Pepsi -  55,000 Talking / .6% engagement – 8.3M Likes

Pepsi Facebook Engagement Rate

*Engagement rates calculated on June 18, 2012 are a snapshot of a rolling seven-day look at page engagement.

The beauty about focusing on engagement is that the increase in ‘likes’ is happening organically. This is a great way to maintain the new audience from a contest or sweepstakes and avoid the ‘like and leave’ syndrome that happens with brands focused too much on the ‘like’ as their success rate.

Companies that stay true to the “social” media medium and focus on growing with the audience will have a community built of quality members that will maintain a relationship with the brand. From there, it’s the brand’s responsibility to guide and nurture that audience in the direction of the company’s end goals or ROI that the company set out to meet when they created this channel of communication.

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