Not too long ago, Performance Marketing Insider wrote a post based on a study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science that Facebook fans are basically worthless, citing that for the top 200 brands on Facebook, the engagement of their users is only 1.2%, meaning that 99% of their fans are completely useless and add no value to the brand. This “study,” however, is completely baseless and it’s results are completely inaccurate. The results of the study should actually read – “The top 200 brands on Facebook are completely clueless about what to do with their audience and have no clue about how to engage their audience.”
Now, I don’t claim to be any kind of “social media guru” by any stretch of the imagination, but it would seem to me, that if you spend your hard earned cash earning the likes of hundreds of thousands of “fans,” then you should also spend a little bit of your resources turning this audience into a valuable resource. It’s just common sense. If you’re standing on a podium in front of a thousand people that came to hear what you have to say, shouldn’t you say something, interesting?
I’m the co-founder of a company called PetFlow.com, an online retailer of pet food. We have over 300,000 fans on Facebook on our fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/petflow. We certainly don’t have 300,000 customers yet, however, we constantly advertise to build our fanbase. For us, our fan page has been both a great source of ideas, a place where our existing customers can share their experiences with potential customers, as well as a place where we constantly generate new customers for our business.
How? We engage our audience! If those top 200 brands only had 1.2% engagement from their users, look at ours:
Over 20% of our users have interacted with us in some way in the last week, by commenting on a photo of a cute animal that we post, by commenting on a question that we’ve asked, or by participating in some sort of promotion. Every single day, we post about 8-10 times and ask our fans to comment on our posts, like them, and express their opinion, and they do! We also hold many contests on our fan page, asking users to jump onto our site at www.PetFlow.com, find a product that they like, and post a link to that product in a response – and we then pick a winner of the contest, and give them $20-$30 worth of products for free. But guess what? After thousands of people visit our site and see our prices by browsing products – we get customers!
Just last week, we introducing a new homepage, and prior to launching this homepage, we asked our 300,000+ fans for their comments on it, and got invaluable feedback. We gave no prizes for giving feedback – people genuinely care, and if they’re engaged, they’ll support your brand.
So, to make a long story short, just because some “insititue” does a “study,” it doesn’t make it true. Facebook fans are most certainly not “worthless,” and if any of the top 200 brands need advice on how to engage their audience, please don’t ask me – but head on over to www.facebook.com/petflow and see what we do.
Oh, and buy some food for your cats and dogs too, just visit www.PetFlow.com – I spent time writing this, at least you can buy something.
Back to selling dog food!