Strategies for Turning “Likes” into Loyalty
Executive Summary: For many businesses, having a branded Facebook page has become a near-essential part of their marketing arsenal. In the year since Facebook began encouraging businesses to deploy the thumbs-up button across the web, brands have been racing to rack up “likes.”
Now the question is: With thousands or even millions of “likes,” what’s next? Research has shown that people who voluntarily click the “like” button are apt to recommend the brand to friends and may also be more willing to purchase the brand. But at the same time, the simplicity of the “like” button means that there may be no actual engagement beyond the fleeting moment of the click.
To be successful in this post-“like” phase of Facebook marketing, companies will need to excite their fanbase with compelling posts, interactions that spur a sense of community, and rewards for their ongoing support. Brands that do not make Facebook marketing a priority will risk seeing their hard-earned “likes” churn away.
- How are marketers using their Facebook pages?
- How do consumers interact with brands on Facebook?
- What can marketers do to encourage ongoing involvement once a consumer has “liked” a brand or page?
- How do brands such as Adobe, Chef Boyardee, Clarisonic and Discovery use Facebook?
April 2010, Facebook announced a new twist on its “like” button that enabled any website to add the thumbs-up symbol to any page. Since then, the “like” button has flooded the web. In December
2010, Facebook reported it was serving more than 2 billion “like” button clicks every day to more than 2 million websites that had implemented it. “Like” has become the de facto currency of
Facebook success, and marketers just can’t get enough. Meanwhile, some marketers, such as The Coca-Cola Co.’svitaminwater brand, have shuttered their corporate websitesin favor of a Facebook presence. Others routinely choose to promote their Facebook page instead of their corporate URL in print ads and TV commercials.
The rapid adoption of the “like” button and the rise of the Facebook “homepage” are indications that marketing on Facebook has become a necessity for businesses large and small. Yet the fact that some companies have made Facebook the primary way they engage with consumers online raises serious questions about the risks and rewards of marketing within another company’s structure and rules.
Because a Facebook page is an essential marketing tool, it is critical to get it right. According to Burson-Marsteller, 61% of global Fortune 100 companies have a Facebook page in 2011, up from 54% in 2010. In the US, the percentage is even higher: 72% in 2011. Not every company has found success on Facebook, however.
Facebook must be fully integrated into overall marketing plans. The days of the standalone Facebook campaign are over. Companies that have exhibited the most
success link their Facebook marketing not only with other social media but with offline marketing as well.
“Like” is only the beginning. Some companies mistakenly think that getting someone to click the “like” button is the end of the game, but in reality it is only the opening kickoff. It is
much harder to sustain the relationship post-click than it is to get consumers to make that first click.
There is still plenty of room for growth in consumer interactions with brands. According to Arbitron and Edison Research, only 25% of social network users say they follow companies or brands on social networks. That means there are still many opportunities for marketers to engage consumers.
This report covers the latest data on how marketers are using Facebook and how consumers are interacting with brands on the platform. It also features five case studies showing how a broad range of brands are using Facebook pages to add social elements to their marketing, enhance their business on and off the web, and go beyond the “like”:
- Adobe: With hardly any effort at all, Adobe Photoshop built a Facebook fanbase of more than 250,000 people. But it wanted to do more. It began reaching out to the community, taking a product-management approach to the page, and built an even stronger fanbase.
- Chef Boyardee: When the brand wanted to speak directly to moms about nutrition, it built two separate but integrated destinations: a Facebook page and companion website on AOL. The results of its campaign are a strong reminder that communities can exist and thrive in places besides Facebook.
- United Nations Development Programme: This UN organization uses Facebook to give its efforts a human face and educate consumers about its work, with the larger goal of influencing the countries that fund the organization. It has become a model for social media marketing within the UN.
- Clarisonic: To build brand awareness and support for its nonprofit partner, cancer charity Look Good…Feel Better, the beauty-products company conducted a “like” campaign that drove significant increases in a range of Facebook page metrics—and raised thousands of dollars for the nonprofit.
- Discovery Communications: With nearly 75 Facebook pages for its networks and TV shows, and a combined total of 31 million “likes,” the media company uses an eight-person social media team to ensure consistency across pages and plan cross-page promotions that encourage tune-in and conversation around its brands.