A study put together by eMarketer, after looking at data from eVoc Insights and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has thrown up some interesting results, which is proving to be an eye-opener, of sorts for brands with budding Facebook pages. Most of us, during our lazy Facebook browsing sessions come across interesting pages of several brands, showcasing several products and more often than not we hit the Like button, without sometimes necessarily meaning that we have an affinity for the brand. This study has revealed that ‘this’ has been giving brand owners mixed signals about brand loyalty.

The eMarketer stats

The eMarketer stats

The survey revealed that, 59 percent of all Facebook users “liked” a particular Facebook brand or company page over a period of six months. The report says while the sheer figure should boost the brand’s morale, the connection between a user ‘liking’ a brand’s page and having some loyalty towards them is hazy. Further, the eVoc sightings confirmed that 54 percent of users, who hit the like button on the page of a particular brand selling a particular product, largely being food brands, TV shows, music, movies and clothing, stated that they were more or less inclined to buy products from them.

However, in another study carried out by Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, an Australia-based marketing think tank, it was revealed that measly 1 percent of a brand’s fan base actually interacts with the brand on the site. The institute, further in their report stated that after carefully looking through, what they refer to as the Facebook metrics of over 200 brands, with regards to the number of likes, comments, post, shares, among other things, they found that there was no connection seen between the brand's Facebook presence and the subsequent brand loyalty.

Interestingly, when CMO Council asked users in a survey, what the users expected after hitting Like on a brand's page, a whopping 67 percent of them stated that they expect to be eligible for exclusive offers put out by the brand. However, when asked marketers what did it mean to them when a customer hit like on their page on FB, the reply was quick – because they are loyal customers. 

As a conclusion, the report stated, “The link between “likes” and loyalty remains unclear. Although consumers respond favorably about their likelihood to purchase from a brand they follow on Facebook, that’s not overly evident from their Facebook timelines. Marketers should keep in mind that for consumers, Facebook remains primarily a place to interact with peers and share experiences. Although many consumers have opened up to brands that are present on Facebook, brand marketers should not expect they've earned consumer loyalty simply because a consumer has clicked the “like” button.

Cover image source: selfishgiving.com

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