What to Expect from Facebook

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What to Expect from Facebook

  1. 1. What to Expectfrom Facebook
  2. 2. What To Expect from FacebookFacebook has been attractive to marketers due to its unprecedented reach and scale.But what does it really mean for your brand? While 56% of the Fortune 500 now havea Facebook page, they continue to struggle with deriving real ROI from their Facebookinvestments. Analysts remain divided on whether or not tangible benefits exist formarketers in the Facebook channel.Nevertheless, a Facebook presence has becomea destination for many global brands. To not Lithium defines socialhave a Facebook page today means not showing success as driving realup to the social party. Hence, Lithium has set business outcomesout to help brands discover how to best address through socialFacebook marketing. customer engagement.Here’s what we learned:What Top Brands Are Doing on FacebookWith 600 million users worldwide, if it were a country, Facebook would be the world’sthird largest. Spots and all, Facebook represents an enormous opportunity formarketers to engage with their audiences to build deeper and longer lastingsocial relationships.So, how exactly do companies go about engaging their Facebook audiences? What’s thebest way to get started? Who’s doing it right?To answer those questions, we researched the Facebook pages of over 600 brands. Welooked at number of pages, fans, fan posts, company posts, likes, and custom appsavailable, and we came up with the Facebook ACTivity Score—a comparative scale thatshows how brands are engaging their social customers on Facebook.Here’s how we sliced it:The Careful—Companies with a Facebook page and a few fans, but not doing anythingto drive engagement.The Curious—Those who have devoted some resources to maintaining their Facebookpresence and are dabbling with customer engagement. Some fans, multiple fan pages,a few posts from both fans, and the company.The Invested—Brands with a clear Facebook strategy and in the early phases ofexecution. The company is more engaged and posts often, the fans are more engagedand post often. They’re exploring custom Facebook apps. 1
  3. 3. The Committed—Companies dedicated to growth on Facebook and have investedsignificant resources to build a thriving fan base. Both fans and the company activelypost and a number of Facebook apps are offered.The Obsessed—Brands who are in it to win it. Trail-blazers with a rich Facebookengagement strategy, targeted, custom Facebook apps, a large and active Facebookfollowing. The FACT Score Chart shows example brands at each level of engagementon Facebook, from the Curious to the Obsessed. So, this is what they’re up to. But arethey successful? What does success mean on Facebook?Lithium defines social success as driving real business outcomes through socialcustomer engagement. So let’s talk about Facebook and outcomes. 2
  4. 4. What Works and What Doesn’t on FacebookWe looked to brands with deep experience engaging customers through a variety ofsocial channels to help us answer that question. We wanted to know how experiencedcommunity managers, customer engagement, and social strategists saw Facebookas part of their overall engagement strategy, so we asked our customers.In a Social Customer Survey early in 2011, we asked leading marketers about theirexpectations for Facebook, their successes and challenges with the channel, and howtheir endeavors there compared with those in their Lithium brand community. Here’swhat they told us—they said that Facebook is:1. Great for outbound communication. Indeed, the reach and scale of Facebook provides a real benefit to marketers. When it comes to creating awareness, Lithium customers say Facebook delivers.2. The place to create social goodwill for the brand. Here again, for size and visibility, a Facebook presence is a “must have” for presenting a sense of social goodwill.3. Not useful for gathering customer feedback. When it comes to keeping a finger on the pulse on customer sentiment, gathering ideas for product innovation, measuring customer loyalty, finding influencers and advocates, or conducting market research, our customers told us that Facebook has room to grow. 3
  5. 5. 4. Lacking in opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement. Peer-to-peer engagement is a driving force behind getting social customers to create the content that allows brands to benefit from social media. When customers engage with each other, they build the content that drives SEO, that can be used for unassisted customer support, etc, and they become more loyal and more satisfied. With comments and status updates disappearing from the Facebook Wall in minutes and hours, opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement is limited.5. Not a tool for building trust among social customers. Without peer-to-peer engagement, there is no opportunity to motivate and reward behavior—two key components of trust-building in social networks.What Brands Should Expect from FacebookNow that we know what top brands are doing on Facebook, what’s working and whatisn’t, how can we align our expectations appropriately for our Facebook initiatives?Here’s what we think brands should expect from Facebook in the current environment:Expect your customers to want you to be on Facebook.Most industry analysts and social media thought leaders agree, Facebook is a platformnot to be dismissed. If you have no Facebook presence at all, get one. AverageInternet users spend more time on Facebook than Google, Yahoo! Wikipedia, Amazonand Microsoft combined according to Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang. Socialcustomers especially expect brands to engage them where they already are, and theyare already on Facebook in droves.Expect Facebook to help expand your reach.For its sheer size and viral features, Facebook is generally considered a smashingsuccess at the dissemination of marketing messages. Our customers tell us Facebookprovides them with real awareness benefits and the key channel for demonstrating aposture of social goodwill.Expect to participate—often.We all know by now that jumping on Facebook or grabbing a Twitter handle for yourcompany isn’t a social strategy. Frequent posts, lots of sharing and liking—even customFacebook apps—are in order if you hope to get the most benefit from Facebook page(s).New visitors want to know your brand is present and existing followers need to hearfrom you in order to stay engaged. Consistently updated, fresh, and timely content areespecially crucial as Facebook Wall content decays very quickly. 4
  6. 6. Expect to serve your customers on Facebook.With 91% of social customers reporting the abandonment of at least one brand onFacebook or Twitter, we can see that the audience is fickle. As we’ve seen in onlinevenues before, driving people to a social site without providing an outlet for theirneeds invites a peak-and-trough customerengagement cycle rather than a path towardsustained increases in customer lifetime value. Creating opportunities to identify and amplifyQ&A, moderation, and recognition features trusted voices on Facebookenable the peer-to-peer interactions needed will help to derive realto get your Facebook fans to start helping each business outcomes fromother so they can real value from their visits the channel.to your Facebook page—either by finding theinformation they need or by being recognized fortheir contributions.ConclusionExperienced social marketers report that a campaign-based approach to Facebookfocused on simple dissemination of discrete marketing messages is worth the effort.But if you’re looking for real business outcomes—increased customer loyalty, deepercustomer insights, increased demand, more sales leads, competitive advantage—marketers must move beyond simply counting fans and likes.Systems of rank and reward motivate social customers to contribute and act onyour behalf, building a sustained, profitable enthusiasm for your brand. Creatingopportunities to identify and amplify trusted voices on Facebook will help to derive realbusiness outcomes from the channel. Fostering productive peer-to-peer relationshipsamong fans is essential for turning your Facebook presence from a staticdestinationinto a vibrant community that meets customer needs, rewards visitors for theirparticipation, and motivates Facebook fans to become your brand advocates.Lithiumlithium.com | 6121 Hollis Street, Suite 4, Emeryville, CA 94608 | tel 510.653.6800 | fax 510.653.6801© 2011 Lithium Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 5

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