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Facebook Likes & Twitter Follows – What It Means For Brands?

So off late we have seen all and sundry wanting fans and followers or more recently known as ‘likes’ on facebook. As a social media agency it pleases us that clients are being interested in social media. But on the other hand it also makes us wonder as to where all this is headed. This craze to reach 100K fans then 1 million fans or followers and more.

Firstly lets put things into perspective: Brands have never before had such a powerful medium at their disposal at such a small cost. They have never before earned media that could boast of a 1 million plus reach. They have always had to pay for the media for a one time use be it a print ad or a tv ad. But facebook and twitter have changed all that.. Brands can now own their own mini news feed or advertsing channel which could be millions of users on facebook for free (as in with no payment to facebook). The challenge I see is when do you stop looking at just one number i.e. likes and try and go deeper?

Meaning of numbers is more important than volume of numbers

Its important that we do more than scratch the surface when it comes to social media. We need to dig deeper and delve deeper. A statistic quoted by Wolfgang of Comscore at a recent social media gathering I attended was that brands the world over spend 80$ getting traffic and measuring it but spend 1$ to measure what the traffic does on its website. This shows that we are lazy marketers who take a simple topline figure as a success metric and don’t try and delve deeper to build intelligence. This behavior may come from the offline scenario where a TRP is sufficient for measuring TV but that’s not the case with social media. Its important to measure and add meaning to numbers. To make it simpler Ill give the following example of two competing brands A and B:

Brand A – 1 lakh fans

Brand B – 8 lakh fans

Question to you – Which brand is better on social media? – Your answer brand B

Now delving a level deeper?

Brand A – 9302 interactions a month

Brand B  – 7903 interactions a month

Question to you – Which brand is better on social media? – Your answer brand A

Now Delving even deeper?

Brand A – 3700 brand related conversations with 79% positive conversations

Brand B – 3749 brand related conversations with 69% positive conversations

Question to you – Which brand is better on social media? – Your answer brand A

Finally.. another level

Brand A – 84,000 active users on the page (84% active)

Brand B – 138400 active users on the page (13.8% active)

Question to you – Which brand is better on social media? – Your answer brand A

As you can see from the answers above the number of fans may not necessarily mean a better social media presence. Its important for brand managers to delve deeper. After all these aren’t clicks we are talking about its people who converse and in most cases are actual buyers and not just browsing folks of the web.

Author – Rajiv Dingra – CEO of WATConsult

Categories: Careers

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  • November 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm Reply

    Thanks for the article Rajiv. This is the same thing, which I have been trying to resolve or say figure out for my project at my company. But the thing to figure out is, that, is there really a full proof strategy to implement or increase brand engagement on Social Media. What are the pitfalls and issues we can look into when delving into Brand Engagement on social media. Please reply.

    • Rajiv Dingra
      November 29, 2010 at 12:44 am Reply

      I believe likes, comments and several kinds of interactions on social media are brand engagements of some level.

  • December 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm Reply

    Good article Rajiv, it seems a lot of marketeers are looking for a cut paste strategy to suceed in the social media space. The same set of customers may behave very differently with different companies. Companies need to treat it as a serious channel and not as a after thought, with dedicated budget allocation.Once a company jumps into the space, albeit with a broadlevel governance architecture in place, needs to monitor the consumer’s behaviour and fine tune their strategy accordingly.

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