comScore has released a whitepaper titled The Power of Like Europe: How Social Marketing Works for Retail Brands which looks at the impact Facebook fans have on brands in Europe.
Here I take a look at the impact Facebook likes have specifically on UK brands, using the examples of Asos and Topshop from the whitepaper.
Europe is one of the largest market for social networking, it also has the largest proportion of total minutes spent per visitor.
Social networks are used by all ages, not just limited to young people, however females are spending 2 hours more per month on social networks than males.
Retail sites are performing well on Facebook, for example, a Facebook user is 20% more likely to visit a clothing site than the average online user.
Facebook Engagement in the UK
The Newsfeed is where Facebook users spend most of their time, nearly a third of all time spent on Facebook is spent on the Newsfeed.
When a user ‘likes’ a brand they start to receive the brand’s content in their Newsfeed, when they interact with it, their network of friends also see the content, as this cycle continues through friends of fans, the “Power of Like” begins to emerge.
Friends of Fans
An analysis of the top 100 brand pages on Facebook revealed, for every one fan an additional 34 friends of fans can be reached.
In the case of Asos, they are able to reach 44 additional friends of fans from one Asos fan.
Brands face a number of challenges to take advantage of this Facebook network effect.
First, they need to make sure they get their post frequency right, too little means fans are not seeing their content, but too much content means fans are overexposed to their content, resulting in possible lower engagement.
Second, the content must be awesome and compelling enough to share.
Despite Facebook users spending most of their time on their Newsfeed, the 2011 study of the “Power of Like” indicated that on average only 16% of fans were reached by branded content from a brand that posted five days out of seven.
Brands also need to understand EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm for determining what to show on a users Newsfeed.
Social media reach, frequency and GRPs
When comparing Facebook activity to other media comparisons social media brand impressions can be quantified and translated into traditional media planning variables such as reach, frequency and gross rating points (GRPs). These metrics were calculated for the retail brands studied based on the number of social media brand impressions delivered against Fans and Friends of Fans.
Boosted by a high frequency of exposure amongst Fans, ASOS delivered the largest combined GRPs amongst the brands studied at 34.2 GRPs.
Social media audience analysis
It is important for marketers to understand their Facebook audience, not only of their fans but their wider network. Facebook makes this information available to page administrators within their page insights.
La Redoute found their Facebook fans and friends of fans were considerably younger than the general internet population of France. Understanding your audience will allow you to tailor your content better.
comScore looked at how likely much more likely Fans and Friends of Fans were to visit their brands’ websites compared to the average internet user.
Both Asos and Topshop found their fans and friends of fans were disproportionately more likely to visit their websites than the average internet user. In the case of Asos, fans were 3.6x as likely to visit the ASOS website than non-fans, and friends of fans were 2.7x as likely to visit their site as well.
comScore also analysed the likelihood of making a purchase on the Asos site for a Facebook fan and friend of fan compared to an Asos site visitor who was not a fan.
The test revealed the Asos site visitor who was a Facebook fan and friend of fan was 10% more likely to make a purchase than an Asos site visitor who wasn’t a fan.
In a second test comScore analysed the likelihood of conducting a purchase on the ASOS site after exposure to a paid impression on Facebook.
These results show that Facebook ads can also pay off and deliver ROI. In this campaign, 1.7 percent of those exposed to an ASOS sponsored ad on Facebook purchased from the ASOS site at least once in the four weeks after first exposure to the campaign; compared to only 0.7 percent of those not exposed to the campaign. Facebook advertising generated an uplift of 130 percent in purchase behaviour on the ASOS site.
The whitepaper draws three key conclusions for brands:
1. Brands should focus on measuring the reach of their branded content, so they can better understand and optimise way in which they leverage their presence on Facebook
2. Brands should try and understand friends of fans, their profiles and try to reach out to them.
3. Brands shouldn’t ignore the potential of Facebook paid media, as demonstrated above it does drive site transactions.
Here is what Luca Benini, Managing Director of Buddy Media Europe suggests:
“comScore’s latest report clearly demonstrate that advertisers need to move beyond traditional digital measures like click through rates, and begin to view Facebook as an important driver of sales through greater brand engagement and exposure. In particular, we can now see the power of friends of fans, who are 2.7 x more likely to visit a brand page than those with no links to the brand page. Fans are worth more than simply their ‘Like’ – they’re worth an entire extended network of potential customers.
“With this in mind, brands should be thinking in an integrated way about their paid, owned and earned activity on Facebook. Ads need to be carefully tailored to the target audience – within a context of good quality, engaging Page content – to generate the most consistently effective results. We’ve seen this approach working time and again for brands that want to generate deeper, more lasting relationships with consumers.”