How Facebook Brand Page Media Exposure Affects Purchasing Behavior [Study]
A new report from comScore and Facebook examines how social media marketing works and offers some valuable insights with corresponding tips for marketers using Facebook Pages.
The 21-page report focuses on the impact of branded earned and paid media exposure on Facebook Fans and Friends of Fans, with data and analysis from comScore Social Essentials and AdEffx as well as Facebook Insights. Here are the highlights.
For Many Companies, the Facebook Page is the New Brand.com Website
Brand Facebook Pages are becoming the hub for companies like Skittles, whose primary consumer touchpoint is now their presence on Facebook. In March 2012, the Skittles website had 23,000 unique U.S. visitors. Compare that to the Skittles Brand Page on Facebook, which attracted 320,000 visitors in the same period.
Still, Brand Pages aren’t necessarily the primary means of brand engagement on Facebook, the report notes. Users spend the most time in the News Feed, so the number of brand exposures in the News Feed is exponentially higher.
Does this mean you should dump the company site and throw all of your resources into your Facebook Page? Of course not; it’s a shift in behavior but as the report notes, websites are still important, especially for verticals that focus on lead capture and transactions.
Number of Facebook Fans Isn’t a Key Performance Metric
There is still an over-reliance on using the number of Facebook Fans as a key performance indicator. What brands really need is a framework to help them understand how the brand message is delivered at scale, putting their reach, engagement, and amplification in the spotlight.
To increase reach, brands need to optimize their posts to increase the likelihood they’ll be seen at all in the News Feeds of Fans. Using the ad platform can also help brands increase their reach; the report cites the example of promoting a post to ensure it reaches a far larger percentage of a brand’s fan base than would be reached organically.
Engagement on Facebook, reportedly at about 1 percent on average, may seem incredibly low. However, consider how this stacks up against other forms of marketing, they remind readers. For example, DoubleClick reports a 0.1 percent click-through rate (on average) on display ads; Facebook’s 1 percent looks pretty good in comparison. Report authors urge marketers not to discount Facebook based on this metric alone.
Because of the social nature of Facebook, even a low rate of engagement allows for amplification, expanding the reach of the message across the engaged user’s network. Amplification is the most important factor in achieving brand reach, yet the least understood. The report cites an amplification rate of 81x for posts from the top 1,000 brands on Facebook, though they note that in actual practice, doubling the reach of Page Posts through Friends of Fans.