According to a study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, an important sounding group, Facebook fans are basically really worthless. In an ideal world, all these brands would love to believe that consumers “like” really means something, but it seems that “likes” have little or no value.
Most people would probably ignore this study, except that Ehrenberg-Bass Institute is supported by some of the biggest brands in the world, including Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble – plus has a really cool website with some creepy smug guy smiling in almost photo who seems to know what he is talking about.
The study, in a seemingly slap to Facebook, even uses Facebook’s own metrics, “People Talking About This,” which is supposed to be a running count of likes, posts, comments, tags, shares and other good feelings towards the brand. Well, according to this metric, their own study shows that based on the top 200 brands on Facebook, the actual engagement of fans is 1.3%. Meaning that most of the people who like a brand on Facebook never do anything whatsoever.
It gets worse: If you sub-track the initial like of the fan, the rate of engagement then drops to a really sad 0.45% That’s mean approximately out of 200 people who like a brand on Facebook, only 1 of them actually does anything to interact with the brand. More than likely, knowing Facebook, that person is probably some guy in China spamming a gift-card offer.
These are some scary numbers if you think about it – which means that all that money that companies spend to acquire Facebook fans is nothing more than a masturbatory effort to show how amazing them feel about themselves. While there are a few exceptions to the rule, such as the millions of 40-year-old men who “liked” Miley Cyrus and leave creepy comments on her Facebook page, over all this is pretty damning to any strategy on Facebook.
Studies like this show why Facebook is now rushing to go public and cash out, “just incase” their long term strategy doesn’t work. Remember, just two years ago, everyone was talking about Myspace. What’s going to happen in two years if advertisers start to realize that people are ignoring Facebook?
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