Are Facebook ‘likes’ a measure of customer loyalty? – Infographic

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Brand loyalty and likes for Facebook brand pages

Here at FreshNetworks we are big advocates of the concept that engagement makes for a better metric than the number of ‘likes’, and this infographic by Our Social Times provides a thought-provoking reminder to brands as to the reasons people declare themselves a fan. (Click the image to see it full-size).

Customer loyalty is the top consumer motivation for ‘liking’ a brand’s Facebook page. This is closely followed by the desire to keep on top of brand news and to receive rewards for engagement.

So you ‘like’ us, now what?

The crucial element is what happens after fan acquisition – converting this initial interest into long-term engagement.

Research into fan engagement suggests that only 1.3% of fans are actively engaged. The reason for this low figure? Brands are failing to deliver fans with what they expect, such as offers, interactions with other fans, and customer service. When you consider that on average, a page’s updates are only visible to 17% of its audience, it becomes even more important to provide a reason for fans to engage.

Give something back to your fans

I would not suggest that all brands use their Facebook page to distribute exclusive offers; this would not, for example, work for a luxury brand aiming to avoid diluting the value of their marque. It does show, though, that fans expect something in return for their loyalty, and they can be rewarded in other, exclusive ways, such as through receiving special content before anyone else.

…but don’t overload them

Knowing your audience and offering content that means something to them is crucial – irrelevant updates will just lead to fans “unliking” your page, however what is even more of a turn-0ff is when a page posts too often. This is where taking an analytic approach to your social media management is crucial – understanding the type of content that really connects with your fans, and the best time to post it, means that your efforts will go much further, and so will your levels of engagement.

Want to learn more about the science of social media?

Matt Rhodes, our Strategy Director, will be sharing his social media expertise in two free webinars:

  • 9th May – How to Analyse & Optimise Your ROI
  • 20th June – How to Identify and Reward True Advocates

Visit the Our Social Times page to view more details and register your place.

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3 Responses
  • Chris
    May 3, 2012

    When companies can essentially buy “likes” from a marketing company, doesn’t that make the value of those likes diminished and the data associated inaccurate?

    Chris May 3, 2012
  • May 10, 2012

    You make some really good points here, Jon!

    I totally agree that Facebook likes by themselves. If they’re not engaging after liking something, it really does nothing for your business or indicate any type of loyalty.

    I read another article recently on how the best types of engagement on Facebook come from photos and videos as they tend to encourage comments and shares rather than just likes. What are your thoughts on that?

    Sherrie Rohde May 10, 2012
  • Jon Stokes
    May 11, 2012

    Hi Sherrie, thanks for the comment. Our team have written a couple of posts about running an engaged page which you might find useful. Visual content is certainly a winner, but I would suggest keeping a mix of types of content.

    We found, for example, that a “fill in the blanks” text update generates lots of responses, so there’s potential to get comments from any update if you are creative!

    Jon Stokes May 11, 2012

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