Today, comScore released a report entitled “The Power of Like 2: How Social Media Works.” This particular report was created after a 4-week study, determining the effects of paid advertising on Facebook from large companies such as Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.
Essentially, comScore tried to create test groups to determine shopping behavior from those who “liked” a company’s Facebook page and received messages on their Facebook Feed or if they did not receive that exposure.
I hope Facebook or anyone else did not pay for this obvious study. If a Facebook fan of a company did see regular feeds from a company they liked, of course, they would respond. This is called “branding.” And that’s one of the key leverage any social media agency uses.
For example, when my local pizza place puts out a great coupon, as they do about once a month, not only will I notice it, but I will share it with my friends on my own Facebook page and make plans to go out on that coupon day and treat myself!
Social media is a great way for companies, large and small, to connect with their clients. From my own positive experience, as a small business owner, I have had a lot of success with Facebook. I have found that when I talk about what is new with my business or share a new item, I get customer feedback and increased sales. Most of all, I get to know my customer and they know who I am, as an artist and business.
On the other hand, friends and I discussed the side advertisements. We were inspired by a segment from NPR entitled “Pizza Delicious Bought An Ad On Facebook. How’d It Do?” The story was of a small pizza place that purchases an ad on Facebook and although they added more Facebook fans, they did not know how many were added because of the Facebook ad. None of us had ever clicked on a Facebook ad, nor had we known anyone who did. Yet, we all agreed that we were a bit curious as to what lurked when we clicked. At the same time, we all follow and interact with our favorite businesses on Facebook.
Are we influenced by the advertisers on Facebook? Perhaps. Often, I will see the names of companies that I am not familiar with and will pay attention when I see their advertisements elsewhere. Is Facebook the only reason I pay attention? No. Yet, I believe that Facebook is part of the media package that captures my interest. In the world of sales, every salesperson knows that a customer needs to see your ad at least 12 times before acting on it. So, to me, there is no doubt that name familiarity is a benefit of Facebook ads.
My friends and I are not the perfect test group, yet we all loyal consumers. At the same time, I do understand marketing in general–and Facebook is a great way to brand a business. Heck, maybe I will satisfy my curiosity and click on one of these ads!