Facebook has turned many brands into a neurotic mess. Like some smothering and needy friend, brands are constantly asking us to show our allegiance to them with a “like.” And we do. In fact, according the CBS News, people post 2 billion “likes” to the social network every day. The problem is that a Facebook “like” is not a good measure of social media success.
From the Fortune 500 to the local shop down the road, marketers are scrambling for your “likes.” According to AdAge, some marketers consider a Facebook “like” to be worth anywhere from $10 to $136. But the true value of a Facebook “like” has more to do with how that “like” was obtained versus how many.
Some brands offer a reward in exchange for a “like,” such as Quiznos’ offer of a free sandwich. There are even services that allow brands to buy “likes” for your page. But these marketers are missing the point.As Forrester Analyst Augie Ray states:
“Acquisition matters: How a fan is acquired makes a difference. A fan that organically “likes” a brand has more potential value than one that is encouraged to click the “like” button in exchange for a coupon or some Farmville bucks.”
And it is this “potential value” that is important.
Every person who “likes” a brand has the potential to buy from that brand. The role of Facebook then is to increase that potential as much as possible. This is where engaging content becomes key.
The best way to develop engaging content is to think of it in personal terms. Would you value a friend that only talks about himself? Probably not. Conversely, think about a friend who shares a variety of cool ideas, sites, or other relevant content. Your attitude toward this friend is probably more positive. The same is true with brands. Engaging content strengthens the relationship and increases the potential of that customer.
The fact is that a single Facebook “like” doesn’t mean “I’ll buy from you.” This is why just looking at the number of “likes” as a measure of success is misleading. But dismissing a Facebook “like” as having absolutely no value is equally misguided. Our advice for marketing with Facebook is to focus on quality not quantity. Active engagement over acquisition. A customer-centric approach to your Facebook page will not only lead to more organic “likes,” but also build affinity and loyalty for the brand over time. If you are interested in capturing the right “likes,” give us a call.