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

    September 27, 2012
    Chris Crum

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.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.