By Rieva Lesonsky
What does it really mean for your business when someone “likes” your page on Facebook? eMarketer.com recently took a look at users’ behavior when they like a brand and what you can expect them to do (and how your business can benefit).
A January 2011 survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey and Constant Contact found Facebook users were mostly passive in how they interacted with brands on the site. The vast majority (77%) read a company’s posts, but just 17 percent ever shared information about the business with their friends.
But a more recent survey, The Evolution of Facebook Brand Fans study by DDB Worldwide and OpinionWay Research, found that 83% of U.S. Facebook users who “like” a brand have also “liked” specific content the brand has published on its Facebook page. In addition, 60 percent had recommended that their friends “like” the brand, 57 percent had passed along information published by the brand and 53 percent had left comments on the brand’s posts.
Although to different degrees, both of the surveys show users continuing to interact with companies on Facebook beyond just initially “liking” them. But why do users stop liking a business on Facebook? The survey by DDB Worldwide and OpinionWay Research study looked into this question.
Apparently, information was key. The top two reasons for U.S. Facebook users to “unlike” a brand was if the information the company presented wasn’t interesting (46 percent) or if the company posted too often (also 46 percent). The second most common reason for unliking a brand was simply losing interest in the company. Far behind, brands that didn’t post often enough were at risk of being “unliked” by 14 percent of Facebook users.
What does it all mean for your business? When it comes to Facebook, there’s a delicate balancing act required. Post content regularly, but don’t overwhelm your audience. Include a mix of content that users can simply take in, and some that calls them to interact with you (such as polls or contests). And provide information that’s valuable enough that they’ll want to pass it on, share it with other users and generally tell the world about you.
Image by Flickr user Sean McEntee (Creative Commons)