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November 28, 2011, 4:38 am UTC
Numerous Indian marketers today build their brand’s page on Facebook and try and deflect people to like it and they believe it to be the benchmark to count the brand’s popularity online. Brands and individuals have shared space on Facebook for some time, blurring the line between social networking and marketing. Both types of users rely on “likes” as a yardstick for popularity, even if their intentions for being on the social networking site differ.
Facebook brand pages have been 'liked' by only 9% of Internet users trailing the number of 'likes' for all other Facebook elements, according to the latest JustAsk! survey from audience research and targeting company Crowd Science (http://crowdscience.com).
But no single type of Facebook feature has attracted 'likes' from more than 20% of all survey respondents in the study, one potential reason why Facebook is moving to its new Timeline layout. "These findings show that while users have been willing to 'like' Facebook items to some extent, they're far from loving the idea," says Sandra Marshall, VP of Research at Crowd Science.
The report further reveals that wall posts, pictures and comments led the 'likes' list, each having been 'liked' by 16% of respondents. These were followed by videos (12%), non-branded pages (10%) and branded pages (9%).
Those who have 'liked' branded pages tended to skew younger and spend more time on the Internet.
When asked their reasons for liking Facebook items, over one-quarter reported 'liking' Facebook items because "I wanted to show my support" and/or "I enjoyed what was being said or shown." These statements were shared by twice as many people as those who stated they did so "Because I like the brand" (14%), and followed by "To keep informed about the brand" (10%), "To inform my friends of the brand" (7%), "To get discounts on the brand's offerings" (6%) and "To enter a sweepstakes" (5%).
Those over 65 were significantly less likely to 'like' items in order to keep informed about brands (1% compared to those ages 18 - 64 ranging between 9% and 13%). But while 23% of those under 17 said they would 'like' a Facebook item "because I like the brand," this number dropped steadily as the age of respondents increased, down to 9% for seniors.
One in 10 has 'liked' wall posts, pictures, comments and/or videos on Facebook. The kinds of items 'liked' were consistent across gender and income groups. However, proportionally more respondents between 18 and 34 have 'liked' videos (14% compared to 9% for those 55-64) and pictures (18% compared to 11% for those over 65).
Online buyers in a PowerReviews survey were more inclined to “like” a retailer, brand or product page—showing no preference to any one type—even if the majority did not engage in the activity. The most common frequency was one to five times per month.
Among the online buyers who had “liked” a retailer’s Facebook page, the most important feature was the presence of sales and promo codes—not a surprising response from social media users who shop online. But more than half also considered the customer service aspect of a brand’s Facebook page to be important, showing that those who “like” brands also like sharing experiences, whether positive or negative.
It is not easy for brands to compete with friends and family on Facebook since firms are essentially faceless. Then again, social media users are not seeking friendship from brands and retailers either. Instead, marketers would do better to focus on being there to answer questions, provide customer service support and broadcast promotions.
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