Marketers should make the mistake of assuming that a Facebook "like" equates to a sale or even a loyal customer.
I want to share some findings I came across via eMarketer re: a study conducted by eVoc Insights on the value of a Facebook "like." I also want to make note of something else I saw in the same eMarketer article which sounded a little too much like something I wrote not long ago...
First, the study...
In their article, eMarketer makes reference to particular finding from the study, the one which speaks directly to whether or not a Facebook "like" equates to a sale. Of course they (eMarketer) took the findings and applied their infamous and quite ubiquitous red & black graph.
Here's the original...
Now, in their article they decided to lump the 41% who said they were "somewhat more likely to buy" with the 13% who said they were "much more likely to buy" a brand they "liked" on Facebook.
From the eMarketer article: "When surveyed by eVoc, 54% of Facebook users who "liked" the page of a brand or company that sells a product or service said they were somewhat or much more likely to purchase from that brand."
I, however, completely disagree with this "rolling together" of these two percentages. If anything, the two percentages that should be rolled together should be the two higher ones.
And here's why...
If you're a brand manager or keeper of a brand flame, etc., wouldn't you be under the impression AND assumption that if someone "likes" your brand on Facebook that same someone is also a buyer of your brand?
Of course you are... You have to think to yourself 'why else would someone like my brand if they didn't also buy it?'
To me the word "somewhat" is about as ambiguous as it gets. To me the word "somewhat" means "maybe" but certainly not "definitely."
Never assume (no I won't say what happens when we assume) that just because someone clicked "like" means you can now add them to your Rolodex of loyal, faithful and money-spending customers.
Is eMarketer Reading My Articles...?
They say "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and I want you to tell me if I am way off base here but it sure seems like the folks at eMarketer are reading my articles, which if they are, I'm flattered... :)
In the second half of their article, eMarketer makes reference to another study which showed that very few fans of some of the biggest brands in the world actually engage with them on their Facebook Page.
Here's an excerpt from the eMarketer article about this...
"Limited consumer engagement with brands on Facebook suggests there may be a disconnect between the reasons why consumers actually "like" a brand and the reasons brands think consumers are "liking" their page. When the CMO Council asked Facebook users in Q4 2011 about their expectations after "liking" a brand on Facebook, the top expectation (67%) was to be 'eligible for exclusive offers.'"
Now here's an excerpt from one of my recent articles:
"A survey conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium, a social media tech firm, revealed a huge divide between what marketers think consumers want vs. what consumers really want when it comes to social media."
I actually wrote TWO articles on the "disconnect" between brands and consumers re: social media...
So am I delusional? Is it just a coincidence?
Like I said, I would be flattered if the folks at eMarketer were reading my articles.
But enough about me... no one really cares, I know.
What people - brand managers, brand evangelists, and so on do care about is Facebook and why a consumer likes a brand on Facebook and if that "like" translates into sales.
The answer is no... surely said consumer may eventually buy a given brand but the fact is consumers like a given brand because they want and expect something in return.
A chart from the CMO/Lithium study:
Do you agree?
Tell me why...
Steve Olenski is a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via email, Twitter , LinkedIn or his website.