Recent research has not been kind when it comes to examining the relationship between Facebook fans and engagement: April 2012 survey results from a group of professors show that almost 7 in 10 Millennials who like a brand on Facebook rarely or ever return to the page, while a February 2012 report revealed that just 1% of Facebook users who like big brands such as Procter & Gamble or Coca-Cola actually engage with those brands. Marketers looking to boost engagement might want to think about asking the right questions, says WaveMetrix [pdf] in an April 2012 report. In fact, by asking about personal preferences, appealing to fans’ expertise, and making it aspirational, WaveMetrix says that marketers can achieve a profoundly positive impact on brand discussion. The report focuses on the efforts of three brands: PG tips, Heinz, and John Frieda. A brief summary of each effort follows.
Heinz asked consumers on its Facebook page to indicate what their Heinz Ketchup label would say if it were up to them to create it. Driven by the invitation to be creative, at the time of analysis (late March), consumers had submitted more than 370 responses, a dramatic increase from the average response count for the previous 20 Heinz Ketchup Facebook posts, which was less than 100. Additionally, the post was successful in driving positive buzz for the brand, with many consumers using their ideas as a way to let the brand know their fondness for Heinz Ketchup.
Tea company PG Tips found success with a campaign asking fans about how tea fits into their daily routine. According to WaveMetrix analysis, this simple strategy for finding out about fans’ lifestyle not only sustained engagement, but also prompted fans to share information about how they drink their tea, when they most enjoy it, and what else they eat while drinking it. In fact, comments related to usage scenarios around drinking tea accounted for 83% of the Facebook fan discussions, eclipsing the 12% of comments about general products. The report notes that an analysis of fan responses reveals what they associate tea with, giving PG Tips profound insight into these consumers’ emotional connections with tea.
In March, hair stylist John Frieda started asking fans direct questions, such as their favorite hairstyle and whose celebrity hair they would want. The WaveMetrix analysis found that the questions that focused on what John Frieda fans wanted, rather than what they have, were more successful in driving engagement. The brand averaged 134 comments per post in March for desire-focused questions, compared to just 47 for other questions. Moreover, the brand’s desire-focused questions strengthened the brand’s “glamorous” image, with 37% of discussion revolving around glamorous hair, as opposed to 23% about expertise and 11% about innovation.
About the Data: The data point on Millennials and Facebook brand engagement comes from a survey of 414 individuals aged 18-29, conducted by Dr. Tina McCorkindale of Appalachian State University, Dr. MArcia DiStaso from Pennsylvania State University and Dr. Hilary Fussell-Sisco of Quinnipiac University.
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