Two recently released studies, unless ignored, may put a dent in many marketers’ plans for an easy media solution. Turns out Facebook ‘likes’ don’t mean much. And Facebook may not be anymore helpful than mass media.
A study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute “…found slightly more than 1% of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook are actually engaging with the brands.” Karen Nelson-Feld a researcher with the Institute said, “Facebook doesn’t really differ from mass media. It’s great to get decent reach, but to change the way people interact with a brand overnight is just unrealistic.”
In another study done by Ms. Nelson-Feld she found a greater occurrence of heavy buyers in the Facebook population than in a more general population of customers. The study also found that purchase frequency didn’t increase after someone became a fan. In other words, fans are already heavy users and being a fan doesn’t increase your usage.
This does not suggest Facebook is ineffective, simply that it is not the panacea. But I doubt that knowledge will affect their opening stock price.