Great write up from Paul Chaney of Practical eCommerce on the
benefits of a Facebook like.
8 Reasons to
Expression of Affinity. A Like is an expression
of casual affinity. It indicates the visitor has an interest in
your business and wants to hear from you. It's similar to someone
opting-in to receive email updates. This can lead to the building
of more personal relationships with customers and a greater degree
of engagement with them, as well.
More Engaged Users.
According to Facebook, people who click the Facebook Like
button are "more engaged, active and connected than the average
Facebook user." Facebook claims the average "Liker" has 2.4 times
the amount of friends than that of a typical user and he or she is
also more interested in exploring content they discover on
Facebook. Likers click on 5.3x more links to external sites than
the typical user, says Facebook.
Email Marketing Capability. Once people Like
your page, they are added to your fan base. Using the messaging
feature contained in the page's administrative console, you can
send broadcast-style emails to all your fans, or target them based
on demographics, such as age, gender and location. While this
tactic should not be overused, sending an occasional email is
another way to stay top of mind with customers.
Send emails using the Facebook Page message component.
Viral Syndication of Content. Whenever you post
content to your Facebook Page, it has the potential of appearing in
your Fans' news feed. To be clear, there is not a 100 percent
guarantee that every item gets shared. For those that do, a full
news feed story - Facebook's term for news item - is displayed that
can include a hyperlink to the source of the posted item, a
thumbnail image, and text copy from the shared item. (Prior to a
recent change made by Facebook, Liked items received only a
one-line mention, such as "Paul Chaney Liked Practical
A news feed item appears each time content is Liked.
Facebook reports that the average user has 130 friends who can
also Like the item once it's published. That means, depending on
the number of fans you have multiplied by the number of friends
they have, your content could achieve wide viral syndication. That
can lead to increased traffic to your Page as a result. If the
posted content originated from your website, that could mean more
traffic comes to your site, too.
More Traffic to Website. Speaking of more
traffic, incorporating the Like button to your website can serve
you well in terms of increasing traffic. Each time visitors click
the button, information about your site is shared with their
friends via the News Feed, which can result in more traffic.
Also, Like buttons are among the easiest to use of all the
Facebook social plug-ins, requiring only a small piece of code to
be embedded on a web page or website. Even those merchants lacking
technical skills can incorporate it.
Becomes Part of Facebook Graph. In his post
"How Facebook Will Kill Online Display Advertising," blogger
Eric Schwartzman suggests that Liking an object means it "becomes a
node on the Facebook graph, so it appears in search." If it is a
product, brand or service, it also appears on the Facebook profile
page of the user, says Schwartzman. That also includes Facebook
Pages Liked by the person.
More Effective Advertising. Facebook's advertising
platform keeps a record of all Like activity. Merchants who use
this platform can access this data to produce more highly-targeted
ads. This means merchants can achieve a greater degree of relevance
with their advertising.
Likes Lead to Insights. Associated with every
Facebook Page is an analytics component called Insights. It
provides detailed data on fan activity on the page, as well as
demographic information such as age, gender and geographic
location, all of which can be important for the purposes of market
Facebook Insights can provide valuable market research.
How Much Is a Like Worth?
Tech blog Gigaom
reported on a survey performed by social media management
company Syncapse, who asked
4,000 Fans of 20 top brands why they were Fans and then analyzed
their purchase activity. Syncapse determined that the value of a
fan is $136.38. (Of course, in order to become a Fan, one has to
first Like the page.)
Syncapse also found that:
On average, Fans spend an extra $71.84 they would not otherwise
spend on products they describe themselves as Fans of.
Fans are 28 percent more likely than non-Fans to continue using
a specific brand.
Fans are 41 percent more likely than non-Fans to recommend a
Eventbrite, the event
marketing company, published research findings
that indicated Facebook was its top referral site for traffic,
surpassing even Google. And each time a customer shared a purchase
with friends on Facebook, it translated to 11 visits back to
Eventbrite.com. This equated to $2.52 per share in ticket sales,
according to the report.
The question is, do smaller ecommerce merchants experience
similar results? To date, the answer appears to be a resounding
survey of Practical Ecommerce readers held in January 2011
revealed that a vast majority — 77.1 percent — received less than
five percent of sales from social media. Another 13 percent
estimated between 5 to 10 percent of their sales came from social
With respect to social media's effect on ecommerce sales, past
activity should not be the sole indicator of future performance.
Social media is here to stay and Facebook is the leading social
network site. Therefore, it's worthwhile to leverage the site, even
if that is only five percent of sales. The marketing benefits
listed above suggest Facebook has the potential to be a viral
marketing engine, and the Like button is the accelerator.