The Inside Scoop on Facebook Likers

After reading this article about what Facebook users are thinking about “Likes”, we decided to ask our very own Social Media Community Manager to give us her input by answering a couple questions for us.  Ladies and Gents, Introducing Tiffany Petrosino!

1.  So Tiffany, how would you define a Facebook “like”?

“What started as a social networking tool has fast become a consumer’s portal for interacting both with friends and with brands – and the “Like” button remains the gateway for this interaction. The eMarketer study definitely resonates with I, as a social media manager, have been observing on Facebook for my clients in specialty food. Facebook is an interesting case study in consumer behavior because a “like” for a brand is a clear-cut indication of trust and of brand loyalty. And what’s more, when a person “likes” a brand on Facebook, the action says just as much about that person as it does about the brand. For example, how many men would voluntarily “like” Viagra on Facebook? [I just checked… None!]”

2.  What do you believe consumers are looking for when they “like” something?

“Consumers want two things: 1) to get something from the brand, whether that is information, coupons, or a chance to win a sweepstakes and 2) to tell their (on average) 120 fans something about themselves. A consumer wants to be associated with brands that resonate with his persona and indicates aspects of his personality that he might not be able to articulate on his profile. Also, consumers want to be part of the community that follows a brand – if I am one of Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters,” I want my friends to know about it.”

3.  Based on your experience, what is the best advice you can give to someone looking to organically grow a quality fan base?

“Facebook advertising – which costs money per click – is one of the most sure-fire ways to grow a Facebook page. But not every brand has the budget to pay for new fans in this way. Thus, to organically grow a page is to succeed merely by spending time on Facebook (not by spending money). What I do as a social media manager is create a forum for conversation – both with brands and about brands. We comment on the pages where consumers are already chatting, thereby injecting the knowledge and value propositions of a client’s brand into conversations already taking place. For example, if your potential customers are viewing pages for competing brands, it would make sense to poach into this community and offer reasons consumers should making a switch to or try your product. (As a case study for a gourmet food brand, we consistently achieve an organic growth rate of about 5% a month just by making the brand name visible on competing Facebook pages.)”

4. What do you think is the most common misconception about “likes”?

“That it is a marker of ROI. Facebook does a great job with tracking metrics – “Insights” – for brand pages. I can see instantly how many likes I have, but more important, I can see how many impressions each post generates, which posts are the most effective in generating conversations, and which consumers exactly are the ones that interact most meaningfully with my brand. For one client, these insights led us to realize that women, 35-44, in Tampa, were a “hot spot” for our food brand – so perhaps traditional advertising should focus on this area to achieve the biggest lift in sales. The number of “likes” doesn’t matter unless you can segment out which of these are actually your brand loyalists – the ones who will comment on and reshare brand posts and who will ultimately make a purchase.”

TEMPO Strategic is a food marketing agency and Tiffany was our community manager while we were working with ARLA Foods in the US.
We’ve worked successfully with specialty food brands for over 25 years. We are thought leaders and educators for the specialty food category with a deep understanding of the specific issues you face.