The Statistics Behind Facebook Consumer Behavior
As a platform for transactions, Facebook leaves a great deal to be desired, even when considering its new ad product. Although this new platform for advertisements may get a business more likes, Facebook has diminished the value of the like by limiting the distribution of any post that is not sponsored.
Even without these changes in the structure of Facebook, the website has never been a place known for its high conversion rate. A famous study conducted by Rice and Cornell found that almost 80% of customers who purchased from a daily deal on Facebook were already customers of the business.
People simply do not use Facebook to find new businesses, at least not when compared with other methods of finding new business. Top Internet marketing expert Mike Blumenthal found that the following methods are much more popular than social media when it comes to finding a new business referral:
- Asking a friend
- Conducting a search on Bing, Yahoo or Google
- Looking in the Yellow Pages
- Asking a current provider
- Looking in another place on the Internet.
Yes, looking in the printed Yellow Pages is still a more popular method for finding a new business than searching on Facebook. With this in mind, what exactly should small and medium sized businesses expect from the site?
The Two Main Functions of Social Media
Facebook is not meant for customer acquisition; rather, it is a hub for brand building, which is just as important a function. Loyalty is a difficult concept for the customer of today to consider - with all of the choices so conveniently available to a customer, staying top of mind to a customer base can be extremely difficult. However, Facebook is perhaps one of the best platforms for engendering the continued attention of a customer base that has already patronized a business.
An aggregate compilation study of many digital marketing platforms has suggested that Facebook, along with most social media correspondence, is responsible for a great deal of reputation building for trusted brands. People get to know a company on Facebook; this ubiquity and comfort level helps a customer become a repeat customer much more quickly than any other type of remarketing strategy or information grab technique.
What does this mean in terms of day to day tactics in an online marketing campaign?
Facebook is a place to gather the opinions of your customer base. Facebook is a place to begin conversations and allow your audience to coalesce, creating a community that will provide more free PR for you than any hard sell effort on your part ever could.
Use Facebook to poll your audience for opinions on your current products and ask their advice on future products. Give away your free apps and begin fun and informative conversations that are relevant to your industry. Solidify yourself as a bastion of timely information, gain the trust of your audience and you will find a great deal more success with your use of Facebook and all social media hubs.