Monday, December 3, 2012

Why I Like "the Like"

by Shirley Pechthold

A recent study was conducted by Napkin Labs (a Facebook app developer) to measure the effectiveness of a brand’s Facebook page. Through an investigation of over 50 brand Facebook pages, the study concluded that only6% of the people who “liked” the page actually interacted with it (in terms of likes shares and comments). Furthermore, the study concluded that the interaction of the majority of the 6% was only once every eight weeks. Napkin Labs assessed that brands need to focus more on maintaining their relationships with “superfans” who interacted much more than the average. They also suggest that brands should focus less on achieving a high number of likes for their page, and focus more on creating more likes and comments by the already existing fans.

I think that that the conclusions of this study are important. After all, marketers have long known to focus on the most valuable customers. Yet, this study seems to be missing a critical component of a "like" and its relation to a Facebook brand page. 

Awareness building is expensive
Of course, it's true that a brand that has built a Facebook page is using that social community page to build relationships. That being said, the value of a Facebook page is not only to stimulate a track-able response via likes and comments (i.e. the outcomes of a relationship), but also stimulates awareness of the brand. By being "liked", the brand's identity is exposed to other Facebook users. Suggesting that there is no value to this exposure, is like saying there is no value to a brand logo being displayed on the boards at a hockey game. Yet, the market indicates that this exposure is worth a lot of money. Exposure of a logo on 8 feet of boards of the blind-side (non-camera side) of an NHL game is about $30,000 for the regular season home games.

But wait- there's something else too. When someone likes a brand’s Facebook page, news and updates are presented on their newsfeed from the brand. For me personally, I liked on Facebook a lot of clothing brands. When I open my own Facebook page, I get to see the brand's new products and hear firsthand about the brand's promotions. Often, these links will lead me outside of the Facebook environment to the brand's website (where I have made purchases). Other times, however, I will be linked to the brand's Facebook page (where I have made purchases). I assume that the brand can track how many clicks were generated off of this news update, and in turn measure how many purchases were made. But the research presented done by Napkin Labs zeros in on the Facebook environment.

The conclusion that I am drawing is this: Marketers ought to "Like" a  Facebook "Like" a lot more than Napkin Labs would have them believe!


  1. I've worked at 3 different agencies in the last 3 years and ever single one tracks the likes. They are easy measures that everyone understands.

  2. I think FB introduced the like so that it could target the ads more.

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