What I learned
- Being a social consumer is tiring; 6 or more brands a day requested a Like.
- Your newsfeed quickly becomes impossibly ‘noisy’ once you start Liking brands.
- Too many brands are driving people to Facebook without giving a reason.
- Telling me to “search” or “find” you on Facebook is no use if you aren’t the top result.
- Social media links are slowly becoming the default sign-off to advertising…
- .…but it’s extremely disappointing when the Facebook page is ‘off campaign’.
- Brands need to incentivise people to move from email updates to Facebook engagement.
- Being told that your friends like a page is a powerful motivator.
Calls to Action
Research from DDB Paris found that some of the top reasons for “Liking” a brand on Facebook are related to promotions, new products and exclusive information.
Research by IBM backed up this view by comparing what consumers want from social media vs. what brands THINK consumers want from social media. They discovered a huge perception gap.
These studies, along with my week of social consumption, beg the question, “why aren’t brands telling people what to expect from their social media?” It stands to reason that suffixing “Find us on Facebook…” with “…for exclusive offers” would increase the rate at which consumers become fans.
Another discovery from my week of social consumption is the sheer amount of brands requesting that I join them for a multi-channel experience (email, Facebook, Twitter, brand websites) without providing a compelling reason why.
These brands already have my attention in a single channel, their email newsletters, which I have chosen to subscribe to – what they aren’t telling me is what I stand to gain from choosing to partake in further interactions in other channels. How will my experience improve?
Some brands have already found smart ways to incentivise this move from email only to email + social media (source: Mashable):
- Dingo, a dog food brand from Ohio, included a promotion that would only kick-in when the Facebook page reached 5,000 fans (from a base of 300). They had an unprecedented take-up, with fans forwarding on the email to their friends and encouraging sign-ups to get the offer. They hit the 5,000 mark in just 3 days.
- Bag retailer Timbuk2 included an opportunity to win a bike, helmet and messenger bag in an email to its 100,000 newsletter subscribers. It received 6,500 clickthroughs vs. just 9 from its generic social call to action.
- In my study, just 1 brand offered me something in return for making the move from email to Facebook – Ocado gave me the chance to win £100 worth of groceries. Something I felt I had no chance of winning, but was a simple enough action to do on the off-chance that I might get lucky.
Death of the microsite
It’s early days, but there is a slow move towards signing off brand advertising not with a link to a microsite or even a full-blown brand website, but to a social media link:
The reasons why brands would want to do this are clear: firstly, consumers are already there (Facebook is now even more popular than online pornography in the UK) and already log in multiple times a day, with an average social media session lasting 22 minutes (Experian Hitwise research 2011) .
On top of that, if a consumer “Likes” your brand, they are opting in to receive a steady stream of updates, content and engagement, the likes of which they wouldn’t receive from a microsite (most of which are visited only once) unless they signed up to a newsletter.
I’m off to go and Unlike 46 brands…catch you soon, thanks for reading. Any questions please contact Andrew Blakeley - @ablakeley on Twitter.