The most successful businesses thrive because they understand their customers at a deep level. The most successful Facebook pages are no different. So let’s look at a question that isn’t asked often enough: Why do Facebook users like Pages?
Understanding this question can help page owners (that’s you!) deliver value to their fans as well as attract new fans– and keep all these fans engaged. There was a study that was published about two years ago by ExactTarget that received lots of attention around the web, including coverage on major sites like Mashable and Social Media Examiner.
After about two years of neglect for this important question, Lab42 recently provided a much-needed update with a study of their own centered on this question. Let’s take a deeper look at how users’ attitudes toward pages have evolved over the course of the last two years.
Before we can assess why Facebook users like Pages, let’s consider this: Do Facebook users even ‘like’ Pages? The answer is a resounding yes– with a convincing upward trend, as the 2012 study revealed 87% of users ‘liked’ at least one brand page (versus 38% in the 2010 study).
The 2010 study from ExactTarget highlighted a variety of motivations that users attributed their ‘likes’ to, in order from highest to lowest:
- 40% to receive discounts and promotions
- 39% to show my support of the company to others
- 36% to get a “freebie”
- 34% to stay informed about the activities of the company
- 33% to get updates on future products
- 30% to get updates on upcoming sales
- 29% for fun or entertainment
- 25% to get access to exclusive content
- 22% someone recommended it to me
- 21% to learn more about the company
- 13% for education about company topics
- 13% to interact
The 2012 study from Lab42 shows the same reason at the top of the list, as you can see below– promotions and discounts– which really validates the recent public launch of Facebook Offers to all pages with over 400 fans. There seems to be a trend with brands centering their give-aways around their page milestones, which is absolutely genius. For example, Old Navy recently celebrated their 5,000,000 like milestone with a 30% off coupon for their fans.
It’s also interesting to note that 14% of users (in 2012 study) ‘like’ brands to show their loyalty as a customer– which is down significantly from the 2010 stat that says 39% of users ‘like’ a page to show their support of the company to others.
The most significant difference between the two studies involves user interaction with brands. While only 13% considered Facebook Pages good places to interact in 2010, two years of time have led to a different perspective from users, as seen below.
It’s pretty amazing that there’s been a 600%+ increase in the ‘interaction’ category from 13% of users in 2010 to 82% in 2012. The big issue though is that fans don’t feel like they’re being heard– as only 35% of people feel like brands listen to them more on Facebook. This is definitely a place where brands need to improve, although it’s understandably difficult to respond to hundreds or even thousands of comments and posts on a daily basis.
It was disappointing to see that Lab42 didn’t ask users whether or not they believed ‘liking’ a page was equivalent to opting-in to marketing from the brand. This question was asked by ExactTarget in 2010– and 70% of the respondents said that their ‘like’ was NOT an opt-in to marketing messages.
What percentage of users do you think would say ‘liking’ a page is equivalent to opting-in to marketing messages?
Related Post: 17 Facebook Marketing Survival Tips
Updated 10/23/12: New Post: 2 HUGE Ways Facebook Pages are at a Disadvantage in the Newsfeed
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Also, to sum everything up in a fun way, we made a short comic!