People Prefer Brand Facebook Pages To Brand Websites. Don’t Blow It.

    September 27, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Facebook has over 900 million active users around the world. That is a lot of potential exposure for brands, and a Facebook Page/Timeline is a heck of a lot easier to set up than a website. Results from a survey from Lab42 indicate that 50% of people find brands’ Facebook pages more useful than their websites. If you aren’t putting much time, effort or thought into your Facebook presence, that should make you sit up and consider it.

Do customers interact with you more through your site or through Facebook? Let us know in the comments.

“Only five years ago, the term ‘like’ was just another word used to describe one’s preferences,” the firm says .”In today’s digital universe, however, the notion of ‘liking’ something has become ubiquitous. Liking is one of the primary ways people exert their tastes and preferences online, and it has created an entirely new type of conversation – one between consumers and brands.”

“Lately we’ve heard a lot of debate about the value of a Facebook like,” the firm adds. “Some have tried to calculate the ROI of a like for a brand, while others argue that the intrinsic value of a like can’t be quantified. With so many competing opinions on the value of a like, our team decided this was a topic worth investigating further.”

They surveyed 1,000 social media users about their brand-related activity on Facebook. 1,000 is a pretty small portion of 900 million, but it’s a big enough number to pay attention to.

Lab42 found that 87% of users like brands on Facebook. 13% do not. 69% say they have liked a brand just because a friend did. That third number is particularly noteworthy given the social nature of Facebook. Every time you get a new person to like your brand on Facebook, there’s a significant chance you’ll also attract some of that person’s friends. On top of that, friends with common interests create discussion, so there’s also a good chance this could spark some conversation about your brand or product.

Of those who like brands on Facebook, 82% say that Facebook is a good place to interact with brands. Out of these people, 35% of them feel that brands listent o them more on Facebook. 75% of them say they feel more connected to the brand on Facebook.

Those who like brands on Facebook

The biggest motivators for liking a brand on Facebook, according to the survey, are: promotions/discounts (34%), free giveaways (21%), being a loyal customer (14%), brand trust (11%), and other (20%).

The top three ways consumers interact with brands on Facebook are: 1. Printing coupons 2. Liking/commenting on brand’s page 3. Learning about new products.

Like motivations

If you can save people money, you have a much better shot at getting a Facebook fan. As a result of liking brands on Facebook, 77% say they have saved money. Of those people, 66% say they have saved $20 or more in the past year. 17% say they have saved over $100.

46% of people liked a brand, but had no intention of buying from them, according to the survey. 52% said because they want a free item, 65% said said because they like the brand, but can’t afford the brand’s products, and 24% said they liked a brand to help out a friend – again, the social nature of Facebook working to your advantage.

Don’t post to your Page too frequently. You may be driving customers away. 73% of people say they have unliked brands because the brands post too frequently, they stopped liking the brand, and/or they had a bad customer experience.

22% said they have been too embarrassed to like a certain brand. The top products people are embarrassed about are adult novelty items, diet/weight-loss products and health/wellness. I’m not sure there is much you can do about this if you happen to be selling items in one of these categories. You might want to focus more on your website.

According to the survey, the top three ways brands could get non-likers to like them on Facebook are: 1. More giveaways 2. Post less often 3. Let them hide that they like the brand.

Again, don’t post too frequently. This is clearly something that users find irritating. When asked directly: “Why don’t you like a brand on Facebook?” 47% said, “They clutter my newsfeed. 36% said, “Don’t want to be contacted.” 30% said, “Concerned about my privacy.” 27% said, “I only post things relevant to my life.”

Don't like brands

That’s a lot of helpful information about how people interact with brand on Facebook, and if half of people would rather interact with a brand on Facebook than on a website, these are all things that should be taken into consideration.

Of course, not everyone is on Facebook. You’ll never reach the non-users if you rely solely on a Facebook page and not a site. Still, 900 million active users is a whole lot of people, especially considering how hard it can be to rank in search these days. Google is only making it harder too. They’re even showing less organic results for more searches.

Another thing to consider is that Facebook is working on search. We don’t know what all this will entail or how it will be implemented, but it is happening one way or another. That likely means Facebook will become a better way to find businesses like yours than it is now. If this many people would already rather interact with you on Facebook than on your site, it stands to reason that as Facebook improves discoverability, this will only increase. Then there’s the likely forthcoming ad network.

The lesson here is that your Facebook presence should serve your customers’ needs just as well as your site does, if not better. It’s as simple as that. Considering that more and more people are using Facebook from their mobile devices, and that the mobile web still often leaves a bit to be desired in the user experience department, you’re likely missing out on a great deal of opportunity to gain new fans, and to interact with your best customers if you’re not giving it enough focus.

Hat tip to AllFacebook for pointing to the survey.

Are you seeing significant results from your Facebook Page? Let us know in the comments.

  • http://www.netprofitmarketing.com/cleveland/ jared

    For brands, Facebook pages have turned into their landing pages for marketing campaigns they do and have something that has value to their followers will make the campaign that match better.

  • http://www.marcomnewmedia.com mike keeslin

    Facebook does not convert into sales. People may like Facebook but they don’t put their money where there mouth is. The only thing I’ve found Facebook to work at is getting refunds from companies by complaining on their Facebook page. So, in that sense, Facebook actually costs companies money.

  • http://www.cablesatellitesales.com Rich

    I think whomever did this survey is a crackhead. Why are so many large corporations dropping FB advertising like a hot-rock loser? Why do the majority of companies that ARE successfully marketing on FB target 13 year-old little girls? Because that’s who uses FB.

    I make a living doing digital marketing (and yes, that includes FB)and I don’t know a soul, that, when looking for a product or service says “Oh, wait, let me check Facebook first!

    What a freaking joke.

    • AnonyMouse

      +1 to your comment Rich, I had the same thought also.

  • http://www.simplyclicks.com David Burdon

    Given that marketers have total control over their own websites but only limited control over Facebook pages these results seem a little odd.

    I’ve still not worked out why anybody would send a hard won visitor off to a third party site such as Facebook. Maybe we’re all guilty of being fashion victims?

  • http://www.pittsburghmoves.com/janine.guthrie Janine
  • Fozzyuw

    I sent this to our Market Researcher. He had the same problems I had:

    a) Sample Bias. The survey states they surveyed “1000 social media users”. Ok, great. People who use self-identify themselves as such probably inflates the importance of FB answers.

    b) Poor phrasing. What does “more useful” mean to people? Probably different things to different people. It’s just too soft of a metric to me scientifically meaningful.

    Otherwise, ok. Nice survey. It shouldn’t really be taken seriously though.

    Ie. I use social media. I pretty much never look at branded FB pages. We’ve also seen little to no activity on our companies FB page. And it’s true throughout our industry. And it’s not just FB, it’s Twitter, Pintrest, LinkedIn and others.

    YouTube has been good but sparsely used also. It allows us to put our marketing videos and installation videos online and embed them in our own website.

    I wouldn’t discount the fact that we’re not spending enough time and money utilizing FB and social media but that’s also not going to happen until our industry starts asking for it.

  • AnonyMouse

    I do not use FB for brand searching and would not “like” anything. FB is for STALKING, not SHOPPING.

  • http://www.treasurechestconnections.com Carol

    My Website, Treasure Chest Connections has survived a year now. I also use my Facebook page for it. A little different shopping experience there, I guess.
    No sales have come from it.. not many visitors..
    I tried a campaign ad, that said I had such and such clicks but I didn’t see any action at all from it.
    From this stand point, although I still hold onto there Shoptab, I don’t see much coming from FB for Treasure Chest Connections.
    I do see alot of nice jewelry sites like mine being advertised there and wonder how those owners got visitors, unless like you say they have alot of friends!
    Perhaps, I need to do more research on the matter of FB…..


  • http://www.digitalmarketing.co.nz Kevin Trye

    I agree with David.

    However the reason many may find Facebook ‘better’ for sales or leads is more to do with how bad and antiquated their website is. Most business websites these days are boring, inactive environments that are more like a 1980 annual company report. A good test is to put the website through a free tool like http://www.grader.com

    However it’s not really a Facebook vs Website issue. Both are important, but how important varies from industry to industry. Sector to sector. Facebook itself also has strict rules round what you can do in terms of business promotions, advertising and ecommerce. Such limitation don’t occur with websites that are under local control.

  • http://storiestrendingnow.blogspot.com Stories Trending Now

    Facebook Brands seem to be more appealing these days than website brands and that’s because people easily visits a page on facebook while still doing other things like chat with Friends on the same page than opening several website pages and tabbing between them all

  • You’re Kidding With This Shill Piece for Facebook Right?

    I think you’e full of shit

  • https://www.facebook.com/PinCart Jordan Foutz


    The level of engagement that you get from your Facebook referral traffic depends largely on how much effort you put into your social media the posts and other interactions that you’re contributing on a regular basis. If 90% of my posts are pictures of our company BBQ, info-graphics, educational links, industry news, etc., I can much more easily post links to specific pages on our site to directly promote our services. When I added a link to our design services contact form on Facebook recently, it got several clicks, and the traffic was all very highly engaged with a super low bounce rate. Facebook has some interesting things going on. I am a marketer, so I actually do pay attention to the ads, you know…if people are still putting red borders around their ads, and if they’re showing three ads per page or if they’re doing five. Our FB PPC campaign resulted in a bunch of fake account likes, but today when we put the new Pinnacle Cart sign outside of our office here, we got instant feedback. People liked it and of the 15 people who liked it, untold hundreds if not thousands saw it from there. It is good for branding, but knowing your objectives and establishing expectations for Facebook advertising is key in measuring its effectiveness for your organization. Using Facebook is an organic, long-term play that requires patience and a willingness to respond to your users at all times.

  • http://www.tipsinablog.com Danny

    I am more interested in the Facebook move into search.

    Though, when they do make that leap, that in theory should help to broaden the appeal of Facebook for business(brands, marketing ,etc)…

    The problem is that, currently, Facebook is seen as no more than a social site for friends and family to hook up and share stories and images….so it’s going to take some work to change that perception….

  • http://www.goshawktours.com Eric Njoka

    Definitely a new way to market products on line and potentially meeting prospective clients.

  • http://www.allotmentplanner.org Martyn

    Facebook business pages are great for SEO. I don’t see much brand loyalty gained by running a string of gimmicky giveaways though.

  • http://kevinandkarenlynch.com/ Kevin and Karen

    Interesting article. My facebook fanpage is quite new so it is hard to tell as of yet. It will be something to watch as it grows! thank you!

  • http://mabuzi.com Kevin

    69% say they have liked a brand just because a friend did. Says it all really. A bit to jump on the bandwagon because every one else is nor do likes have anything tp do with success.

    Referrals are the best business but not Flakebook refferals.

    I recently had a wonderful experience with Cathay Pacific and left a positive review on there facebook page and it was immediate removed as comments are not allowed. So F Cathay and I will not use your service as you dont allow feedback.

    So is Facebook feeding the faceless corporations who wish for your time but willing to give back time.

  • http://www.auto-on.ro Piese Auto

    I am more interested in the Facebook move into search.

    Though, when they do make that leap, that in theory should help to broaden the appeal of Facebook for business..