BrainTrust Query: Surprising New Study on Facebook Marketing Effectiveness for Brands
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt from an article from the Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research blog.
I recently partnered with Compete, Inc. on what is believed to be the first study that precisely measures the effect of ‘liking’ a brand on Facebook. The study looked at the same person’s clickstream behavior towards a brand for 30 days before and 30 days after they liked that brand.
We studied 63 brands across four months in beauty, food/restaurant and retail (sectors where sessions on owned media lead directly to sales).
The first thing to note is that the assumption about people who like a brand on Facebook already being predisposed to that brand turned out to be true. They are eight times more likely to already be interacting with the brand’s website vs. non-fans. This creates an analytic challenge because you need to control for this in determining if liking a brand on Facebook causes any increase in value to the brand, otherwise you will overestimate the impact.
So here is what we found:
There is, in fact, an 85 percent lift in the number of sessions on a brand’s website within 30 days of becoming a fan of a brand on Facebook. Liking a brand on Facebook does matter. However, the effect all comes from the small subset who return to the fan page. For them, there is a four-fold increase in their visits to that brand’s website after liking the brand. Likers who did not return exhibited virtually no increase at all in website visits.
Our study also found that those returning to the brand page tend to be a small percentage of fans so the overall impact on brand website sessions is modest under current marketing approaches.
The fact that a second visit to the brand page is needed to create impact suggests that Facebook social impressions in a fan’s newsfeed have little impact beyond their role in encouraging a return visit to the fan page. The inferences I draw from this is that every Facebook brand newsfeed update should offer a reason for a fan to go back to their brand fan page and the page itself should encourage stickiness.
This research also has importance measurement implications. It supports the need for a metrics approach I have trademarked called "Tyme with brand"™ that is intended to measure the patterns and quantity of time people spend with a brand, going beyond the gross number of impressions that marketers get via social media. If you do not measure tyme with a brand, a marketer will certainly overestimate the importance of social media vs. owned media.
- Surprising New Study On Facebook Marketing Effectiveness For Brands – Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research
Discussion Questions: What do you think this study reveals about the impact of Facebook likes on the value of the brand? What lessons does it offer for retailers and brands looking to optimize Facebook pages and outreach?