How to Effectively Communicate With People Who “Like” Your Brand
For brands today, leveraging online conversations is no longer an option—it’s an essential mode of communication and a key way to connect with consumers in our digital age.
It’s no secret that everyone is on Facebook. With more than half a billion users and counting, marketers have flooded the world’s most popular social network touting everything from household brands to “mom-and-pop” shops. And all of them have Pages—along with fans that can receive news and messages and spread it to their friends. It’s every marketer’s dream, right?
We all want to transform our fans into brand evangelists. But how do you ensure that your brand’s messages aren’t getting lost in the cacophony of a cluttered News Feed, simply being ignored or, worst of all, actively “hidden” altogether? Gupta Media wanted to find out. So, we conducted a study to discover just how successful Facebook posts were in reaching fans—and why.
Gupta Media started by looking at the Facebook Pages of 115 different entertainment brands, including: major artists, music festivals, television networks and shows, films, and consumer brands. Each of them had one thing in common: bit.ly links. These shortened URLs, which automatically track and publish basic statistics—and are included in countless Wall posts—provided us with the essential, public information regarding the number of fans clicking these links on Facebook every day. These links ran the gamut from free downloads, to blogs, videos, magazine articles, contests and more.
The data we gathered for this report included:
- Clicks where Facebook is the referring site via bit.ly link analysis.
- Fans connected to each Page on the day of each Wall post using our internal social media tracking tool, Metrics.
- Impressions on specific posts, gathered from Facebook, which is only available to administrators of Pages.
- Post Reach, defined as the projected number of Facebook fans who saw the Wall posts.
- Post Impact, measured by comparing clicks on bit.ly links to total Facebook fans.
In order to determine the fans who saw specific posts, we sought out impression numbers for select Pages using the administrator access we held. With this information, we could measure the percentage of the audience who viewed each Wall post in question. Since these results included a wide range of percentages, including some outliers, we calculated the geometric mean to determine our estimated percentage of fans who viewed the Wall posts. We then multiplied this percentage by the total Fan audiences for the remaining Pages on our list. This helped us determine the approximate total audience who viewed the postings. We called this number the Post Reach.
Next, we wanted to find out the percentage of each fan base who clicked on the links we evaluated. To get this, we divided the total number of clicks from Facebook on the bit.ly-shortened URLs by the number of total fans. This percentage became the Post Impact.
Data & Analysis
Here's what we found:
|Artist or Brand||Post Date||Facebook Fans on Post Date||Post Reach||Post Clicks||Post Impact|
|Band of Horses||10/22/2010||354,764||200,949||168||0.05%|
|Ben & Jerry's||7/5/2010||1,975,403||1,118,928||3,281||0.17%|
|Big Time Rush||10/20/2010||581,752||329,522||3,689||0.63%|
|Black Eyed Peas||6/9/2010||1,667,893||944,745||2,937||0.18%|
|Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival||7/2/2010||132,048||74,796||882||0.67%|
|Boys Like Girls||10/26/2010||1,655,093||937,494||147||0.01%|
|Bullet for My Valentine||10/8/2010||1,946,076||1,102,316||7,614||0.39%|
|Dave Matthews Band||9/30/2010||1,504,660||852,285||1,631||0.11%|
|David Crowder Band||9/15/2010||315,402||178,653||628||0.20%|
|Diddy - Dirty Money||9/21/2010||12,399||7,023||329||2.65%|
|Far East Movement||10/27/2010||278,470||157,734||759||0.27%|
|Five for Fighting||10/19/2010||121,912||69,055||624||0.51%|
|Four Year Strong||10/15/2010||163,157||92,417||1,560||0.96%|
|Jimmy Eat World||10/25/2010||566,603||320,941||930||0.16%|
|Kings of Leon||10/22/2010||5,583,943||3,162,913||9,335||0.17%|
|Mary J. Blige||10/19/2010||1,758,321||995,966||955||0.05%|
|NOW That's Music!||4/29/2010||49,552||28,068||64||0.13%|
|Real Housewives of New Jersey||10/28/2010||458,402||259,653||3,314||0.72%|
|Sons of Sylvia||10/21/2010||10,807||6,121||103||0.95%|
|The Twilight Saga||9/10/2010||16,640,482||9,425,668||44,604||0.27%|
Getting your message seen is the easy part. Getting “heard” is much harder.
Although the average Post Reach percentage—calculated by taking the geometric mean of impressions over fans for the Pages we administer—was a fairly high 56.6 percent, the Post Impact was, on average, dramatically lower at a click count of 284,332 for 346,324,361 fans: just 0.23 percent. Our findings offer marketers a much-needed reality check. For every 442 fans you have, it’s a good bet only one of them is actually engaged enough to click your link.
In other words, regardless of your Facebook fan count, it’s difficult to ensure that your message will make an impact. The step from casually “liking” a Page to actively clicking a link is bigger than you think.
Our study uncovered an inconvenient truth: Facebook Wall posts alone will only impact a fraction of your total audience. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. By improving your overall strategy on Facebook, you can maximize your Post Impact—and make all of your Facebook actions count.
You get what you pay for.
Leverage the power of paid media to reach the 99.77% percent of fans who aren’t impacted by your post.
If you’re not engaged, don’t expect your fans to be.
Posting sporadically isn’t enough. Share interesting, relevant content frequently so that your audience doesn’t get bored and remove your updates from their News Feeds or “unlike” your Page altogether.
“Hey! Great News!” You don’t have to be a spammer.
It’s possible to SPAM your followers, even if that’s not your intention. While it’s important to frequently post messages to your Page, you can overdo it. Post frequently, but exercise good judgment—and restraint.
Repetitions are great for workouts, but exhausting for fans.
Boring, monotonous content makes your audience disengage. They need variety. Post a mix of message types that make them love your brand more, not less. Think videos, articles, games, interactive polls, and free downloads.
In Summary, Marketers Should Think Like Farmers...
Plant the seeds for a fertile Page by diversifying your marketing efforts. Running Facebook ads, posting strategic updates on your Page’s Wall, messaging your fans, and including engaging content will foster organic fan growth.
Tend to your audience by providing them with interesting—and varied—content. Remember: too little and you’ll have a drought; too much and they’ll drown in it. Post frequent links and messages to your Wall and send direct messages to your fan base to keep them interested and coming back for more.
Harvest your fan base by using standard, retail-focused Facebook ads targeted to your core audience. Even the most devoted users aren’t glued to your Page, so this tactic ensures users will still get your message no matter where they’re looking.
- The information from each of the bit.ly links we analyzed—including click numbers and details on referring sites—is made public by bit.ly and is available online. This data helped us determine the number of clicks originating from Facebook.
- Our social media tracking tool, Metrics, provided us with public information on Facebook fan numbers for each of the different Facebook Pages we evaluated.
- As Page administrators for a number of the brands we evaluated, we had access to private information regarding post impressions. These numbers remain private and are not shared in our report.
- We defined Post Reach as the projected number of Facebook fans who saw the posts.
- We defined Post Impact as the percentage of fans who clicked on each post.
- Page Administrators are able to share posts with members of the total fan base, as well as with subsets categorized by geography or language. Because Gupta Media counted the entire fan audience on Facebook instead of looking at views based on location, in some cases, our data may be inaccurate.