What's the value of a Like?
Most companies these days are trying to establish an active social media presence. In fact, 80% of Fortune 500 companies have active Facebook pages.
You would have heard the saying that Content is king, and companies who are active on social media spend thousands creating value adding content.
From a marketing perspective, this is usually justified by:
And this could be the case. Research is often published showing that people who are like a companies Facebook page are more likely to buy from them. For example, people who liked Starbucks Facebook page, or who have a friend who liked the page are spend 8% more than other customers and buy 11% more frequently than customers who did not.
But is this putting the egg before the chicken? People who like companies pages would already know them, and most likely have positive feelings towards organisation.
A recent study by the Harvard Business School set out to find out what the value of a like is from someone who has no prior exposure to the brand.
What is the value of a like?
There were several key findings from the study:
- Following a brand on social media is not linked in any way to changed purchasing behaviour.
- A Like is not a strong endorsement of social proof, and friends liking a Facebook page are unlikely to be a deciding factor in purchase decisions.
- If someone Likes your Facebook page, they are still unlikely to see your content.
How to use Facebook effectively?
The most successful way to convert likes into meaningful behaviour is to advertise. That's right, without Advertising, any effort spent on reaching new or existing audiences on Facebook is unlikely to succeed.
This is because of Facebook's algorithms, which determine which content users will see. If these algorithms weren't present, then the average user would be shown an average of 1,500 posts from businesses they follow each day.