Study Finds Most Big Brands “Liked” on Facebook Are Ignored

by on March 7th, 2015
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Social media researcher Dr. Karen Nelson-Field and her colleagues have undertaken a study whereby they say that have found, much to the disappointment of corporate Facebook advertisers, that most people who “like” a brand, tend to ignore it thereafter. This according to a paper on the University of South Australia’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science.

In the report, the researchers describe how they used a Facebook feature called “People Talking About” to count user-initiated activities on pages, including posts, photo-tagging, “liking” content on the page, shares, check-ins and new fan “likes,” for over 200 top big name brands during a six week period. In so doing they were able to note what sorts of activities users who “liked” them engaged in as a means of maintaining contact or communicating about that product or company with someone else.

In reviewing the report, IT Gawker noted that of all the brands that get “liked” those having to do with NASCAR, are far and away the most popular.

All told, they found that the average growth of “likes” for a brand was close to one percent for the duration of the study, but when looking at how people who had “liked” a brand ever made contact with the brand again, or anyone regarding the brand, the number fell to less than a half of one percent. For corporate giants that manage to get millions to “like” them or something they’ve advertised, that might add up to a lot, but for most such brands, Nelson-Field says, it may not justify the expense of maintaining a Facebook presence. They also noted that for brand “likes” in general, which amounted to 1.3 percent, most of the activity centered around new likes, rather than following up on those they have liked as they click through other sites.

As part of her report, Nelson-Field suggested that for many people who use Facebook, keeping up with what is going on with a brand may seem like too much work for the benefit given, and has heard of reports of users growing annoyed or even angry about the number of posts that make it to their wall from corporate brands advertising their wares, leading to their removal. She also suggested that most buyers aren’t really all that interested in what is going on with a brand, and only “like” something they see, to show their friends what sorts of things they like. She concludes by adding that corporate advertisers shouldn’t be dissuaded from using Facebook, but should instead try to lean to use the social networking site in more user friendly ways.


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