Facebook 102: Let’s Talk About Likes
Companies around the globe spend billions of dollars on social media campaigns, and the question that is always up for debate is “Do those campaigns actually relate to increased revenue dollars”? It is truly a slippery slope when it comes to how to answer that question, because people using Facebook to market often get confused as to what they are achieving.
As digital marketers, we are always taught that Facebook is the preferred social media platform for over 80% of Fortune 500 companies. We know that these companies invest heavily on posting brand generated content everyday with the express purpose of motivating people to engage with them, follow their brand, and ultimately convert into a sale.
Where the debate starts to come into play is trying to perform closed loop marketing to see where the sale lead came from, and what the cost of that lead was. Essentially it is a discussion over cause and consequence. It is possible that by getting someone to “like” and follow a brand that they are more likely to buy more because they are engaged with that brand; however, it may also be possible that individuals who already have positive feelings toward a brand are more likely to purchase products because they feel a loyalty to do so.
I have a friend who uses Facebook likes to quantify how well his business is doing. He believes that by increasing the number of “likes” that he gets per week, his business will grow as a direct result of the increased number of people following his company. He and I have continued discussions about how we both use Facebook, and how we define measuring the ROI of Facebook likes.
I prefer to use a push/ pull style of marketing when using Facebook. Essentially, I am using Facebook as an A/B testing ground, and a vehicle, to conduct market research on courses that I want to run through Q College and Q Academy. I am always a huge fan of organic results versus forced or paid results.
By push/ pull I mean a method of marketing where I push out quality posts to test my follower’s engagement, and pull marketing where I produce posts that trigger them to engage with my brand. I prefer the pull style of marketing as it provides me with the ability to effectively engage in A/B testing for marketing purposes.
I find that Facebook provides the ability to conduct as much market research as I want for a minimal amount of funds expended. What I try to do is come up with a standard of measuring the ROI of Facebook likes.
Measuring the Return of a Facebook Like
- First there needs to be a metric: If it can’t be measured, then it should not be done. The metric that you choose should be reflective of the behaviour that you want to measure. Surveys work great for this type of metric. You can target your followers and survey them on the positioning that you used for a particular marketing campaign.
- How to invite people to your page: Select a simple method of soliciting the email address and following of the people in your target market.
- Split your target into a control group and a treatment group: Invite half the people that you want to target for a certain campaign, and then invite the other half with a different message. A/B testing. By doing this you can determine which positioning works best to engage your perspective clients, and then target them with more direct messages.
What this article is meant to do is spur a conversation about Facebook “likes”. Just because someone likes your page does not mean that they will convert to a sale. A lead by any other name is still a lead. Leads need to continue to be cultured weather they come from Facebook, of through more conventional marketing methods. Someone who likes your brand moves down the sales pipeline from warm to hot, but it is still in the hands of the marketer to convert that lead into a hot lead for sales. That is done through constant engagement, and through culturing brand loyalty.
It is not simply about building it and letting them come. It is not about forcing people to like your page as these people may have no interest in your business. What the win is for a “like” is to have someone engage with you brand, offer comments on how you can improve your customer experience, and build them up as a digital champion. Someone who is motivated to talk about your brand because they “like” you is worth their weight in gold. There is no price on these people, and they are extremely powerful influencers in moving your business forward.