Are Facebook ‘likes’ a measure of customer loyalty? - Infographic


Brand loyalty and likes for Facebook brand pages

Here at FreshNetworks we are big advocates of the concept that engagement makes for a better metric than the number of ‘likes’, and this infographic by Our Social Times provides a thought-provoking reminder to brands as to the reasons people declare themselves a fan. (Click the image to see it full-size).

Customer loyalty is the top consumer motivation for ‘liking’ a brand’s Facebook page. This is closely followed by the desire to keep on top of brand news and to receive rewards for engagement.

So you ‘like’ us, now what?

The crucial element is what happens after fan acquisition - converting this initial interest into long-term engagement.

Research into fan engagement suggests that only 1.3% of fans are actively engaged. The reason for this low figure? Brands are failing to deliver fans with what they expect, such as offers, interactions with other fans, and customer service. When you consider that on average, a page’s updates are only visible to 17% of its audience, it becomes even more important to provide a reason for fans to engage.

Give something back to your fans

I would not suggest that all brands use their Facebook page to distribute exclusive offers; this would not, for example, work for a luxury brand aiming to avoid diluting the value of their marque. It does show, though, that fans expect something in return for their loyalty, and they can be rewarded in other, exclusive ways, such as through receiving special content before anyone else.

…but don’t overload them

Knowing your audience and offering content that means something to them is crucial - irrelevant updates will just lead to fans “unliking” your page, however what is even more of a turn-0ff is when a page posts too often. This is where taking an analytic approach to your social media management is crucial - understanding the type of content that really connects with your fans, and the best time to post it, means that your efforts will go much further, and so will your levels of engagement.

Want to learn more about the science of social media?

Matt Rhodes, our Strategy Director, will be sharing his social media expertise in two free webinars:

  • 9th May - How to Analyse & Optimise Your ROI
  • 20th June - How to Identify and Reward True Advocates

Visit the Our Social Times page to view more details and register your place.

How do social media monitoring tools find influencers?


0Social media monitoring tools identify influencers through a series of algorithms. Each tool uses different parameters and metrics to help identify influencers online.

The different tools look at influencer in different ways. Some can help you find an influential person or influential people; some help you find a site of influence.

Not dissimilar to Google, most of the tools don’t openly talk about the algorithms they use to calculate influence, but the majority  do take into a account a number of factors that aren’t just based around popularity.

Most of the tools we tested, including  Sysomos and  Alterian SM2, use metrics that are dictated by social media channel or platform  - eg, the tools use “number of views” to find YouTube influencers, or “number of followers” for Twitter. Rather interestingly, Attensity 360 uses information from another influence identifier,  Klout, to identify Twitter influencers.

Some tools, like Social Radar,  determine influence based on the number of posts about a topic and the number of backlinks (the number of incoming links for external sites that link to a web page or website).

Other tools, like Brandwatch, not only look at the number of inbound links but also take into account the age of the site, the PageRank and traffic to the site.

As well as using some of the more standard metrics seen throughout the tools, some of the tool providers have also developed their own terminology and measurements to help brands find influencers.

Scoutlabs use an algorithm to determine what they call “importance”. This includes their own editorial opinion about a comment or post, as well as its relevance to the topic that is being searched for.

Meanwhile, Attensity 360 uses “impact” to define influencers. Impact is a proprietary metric created by Attensity to provide “a more accurate estimate of the impact/influence of coverage related to a specific topic”. Attensity also offer users the chance to add “user defined metrics” to their search, allowing clients to customize metrics to the needs of their businesses.

It is this ability to sort and customize influencer data for individual business requirements that makes the tools valuable.  Synthesio, Radian6 and Sysomos are the most flexible when it comes to to drilling down into information about influence as users can sort and interact with the data using a variety of metrics.

As the tools all identify influencers and then segment data in different ways, it is important to carry out your own research into the tools before you use them. Research the tools before investing time and money in using them. Talk to the tool providers about your objectives so that you can really find the right fit for your brand and your social media strategy.

The final version of our social media influencers report 2010 will include detailed information about how each tool identifies influencers.

The report will be released online on 3rd December following on from the launch of the report at our breakfast seminar on 2nd December. You can sign up for the event by clicking on the button below:

You can register for the event by clicking on the button below:

Register for How to target social media influencers in London, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

4 steps to finding social media influencers


five-stepsIt’s all very well knowing what an influencer is; the real value only comes when you can identify them for your brand or business.

Here’s our four step guide to helping you find social media influencers:

1) Set clear goals

The most important step to finding influencers is to have clear goals for why you want to engage with them, and what you want to achieve. Take a step back and really think about this.

Do you want to increase visits to your website or ecommerce site? Or would you prefer your influencers to spread word-of-mouth about a new product you have launched?

Do you want to increase conversion? Or would you rather influence consideration/decision making?

Influencers can play a part in several different points of  interaction with your brand, so it’s important that your goals align with your overall social media strategy.

Whatever you decide, it’s important that you develop a two-way relationship with your influencers; it’s not just about transmitting your own brand messages.

2) Listen to your target audience

Once you have your goals in place, listen to your target audience.

For those brands who are already using social media monitoring, you may already have the insights that will help you find the right influencers for your business.

For those companies that are not monitoring social media: get going NOW.

Unless you know what your audience are saying about your business or market, where they are saying it, where they go to find information, and whose message resonates with them, you will not be able to identify the most appropriate influencers to reach your target audience.

3) Choose your tools carefully

There are an abundance of social media monitoring tools on the market: both free and paid-for. Do your research into the tools - our social media monitoring tools report may help with this.

The tools vary quite considerably and there are many nuances involved in selecting a tool. So when you decide which one is best suited to your goals, keep in mind who your audience is, as well as how and where they communicate in social media (we’ll be covering how the different tools perform in a later blog posts, as well as our final influencers report which will launch on 3rd December).

4) Be realistic about time and resource

Think about what resources you can dedicate to the task of identifying  influencers - don’t underestimate the manpower involved.

While social media monitoring tools certainly reduce the manual work involved, you’ll still need someone who understands your social media strategy and can choose the most appropriate influencers from the results returned by the tool.

Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, that person you choose will also need to know the right way to engage with them online.

Our next blog posts will look at influencer scores.

To find out more about social media influencers look out for our detailed social media influencers report 2010 which tests nine of the leading social media monitoring tools to assess how effective they are at identifying influencers. The full version of the report will then be released via our blog following an exclusive launch at our breakfast seminar on Thursday 2nd December.

You can register for the event by clicking on the button below:

Register for How to target social media influencers in London, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

Our readers can also get 10% discount on the ticket price for Monitoring Social Media 2010, taking place in London on 22nd November – please use the discount code “fresh”.

Consumers itching to talk to brands


A new study from ExpoTV shows that 55% of consumers want an ongoing dialogue with brands. The study investigates how brands and consumers interact, and in particular how consumers want brands to engage them. And the results are exciting. In addition to the 55% wanting an ongoing dialogue, 89% of respondents said they would feel more loyal to a brand if they were invited to take part in a feedback group

These results mirror our own experiences, where involving people in a true feedback process has positive impacts on loyalty and advocacy. The ExpoTV survey looks into this in more depth and shows also how consumers will spread this positive message.

Of those who have a positive experience, 92% said they would recommend the brand to somebody else. Perhaps more striking from the perspective of generating buzz, 60% of people said they would tell 10 people or more about a brand they liked and a third would tell 20 people or more. There is a lot of willingness to create buzz and word-of-mouth for a brand that you like. There is a real strengthening of positive feelings when a brand engages a consumer. And there is a real willingness on the part of the consumer to take part in such engagement.

These are the building blocks of a really successful word-of-mouth and advocacy campaign. People want to be engaged and if you do it, this will only have a positive impact on feelings towards the brand.

For every 100 consumers about 55 want to engage with you. And nine out of ten of those that you engage would feel more positive about you as a result. So from any group of 100 customers that you try to engage in a feedback group or online community, 50 would be more loyal to the brand as a result.

From these 50 people, about a third (or 16 people) would tell more than ten people about the brand (so at least 160 people from our group) and another third would tell more than 20 people (so at least 320 people from our group). So as a conservative estimate from those 100 people you try to engage:

  • 50 of the original 100 become more loyal to the brand, and tell a further
  • 480 other people about how positive they feel about the brand.

This survey helps us to understand motivation for taking part in an online community or feedback group, and the benefits it will cause.

As a conservative estimate, these results suggest that for every 100 people you try to engage in an online community, 50 will leave more loyal to the brand and a further 480 people will hear about this loyalty through word-of mouth. That’s a huge impact for engaging a relatively small number of people.

There is a real willingness on the part of the consumer to engage with brands, and a real and demonstrable benefit to the brand of them doing this.

Social media metrics


Next week I’m speaking at the SocialMediaInfluence conference in London on Measuring Influence and Audience online. It’s a tricky subject and looking around today I have been unable to find any examples of an approach which has been successfully and repeatedly applied.

The problem appears to be that whilst there are a whole range of metrics that we can measure in social media (see The Social Organisation blog for a fairly comprehensive list) but none of these truly gets to the crux of the problem. What we want to do is know is to measure the influence that a single blogger, commenter or video upload has. What is the value of a blog post praising Coca-Cola in terms that Coca-Cola could understand and measure. As many of our clients ask us, what’s the ROI of encouraging this kind of activity.

The answer is that it’s difficult to measure, not because we don’t have a range of metrics (we do) but because at the moment our understanding of what causes a particular post or a particular individual to be influential is limited. We can measure proxies, such as trackbacks, links to the site from other sites (and the number of links to the sites that link there). But these really only reflect an inherent influence that we still haven’t measured.

What we really want to know is how influential is everybody that is exposed to an piece of content, and how influential are all the people they influence. Of course calculating this number would be difficult if not impossible. And the information you need to gather would be huge. It really wouldn’t be worthwhile.

Which is why some more basic measure is needed. Take the sites like Dell’s Ideastorm and MyStarbucksIdea. These get peers to vote posts up or down depending how relevant they think they are. You can then migrate only the more popular posts to the front page or the top of the list. This kind of rough approach might be a crowd-sourced way of measuring influence. We know that the most popular posts are those that people in the community think the brand needs to listen to most. Perhaps this is the only measure of influence we need.