. . . to help you make the right decision.
The Exciting Stats! (that make you want to jump on tonight)
- As of today, May 20, 2011, 668 million people worldwide have Facebook accounts; that’s 1 out of 13 people IN THE WORLD (would that include include SOME eskimos, Siberian llama farmers and monks of Tibet? Amazing). (Source: Nick Gonzalez, TechCrunch writer and www.checkfacebook.com curator/creator).
- Anaylsts project $30 billion in GLOBAL Facebook store commerce by 2015, up from $0 last year (2010). At 14 billion, the U.S. take will be responsible for almost ½ of that spend (Source: Booz & Company Turning “Like” to “Buy” : Social Media Emerges as a Commerce Channel February 2011) To put it in context, consider that Americans spend 51 billion per year on pet food, health and supplies and 8 – 10 billion on cosmetics.
- Social Media is now the #1 internet activity for the average computer user (not search).
- Social Media engagement grew 48% over the last year, tripling the time spent during 2008
- Users spend 4X as much time on social networks as they do on email.
(Source for 3, 4, 5: Nielsen Netview 2010)
6. In the United States, Facebook participants are evenly divided among the generations, a fact which surprises many:
8.8% of all FB users are 14-17 for a total of 13.6 million
30% % of all FB users 18-24 year olds for a total of 47 million
22.4% % of all FB users 25-34 year olds for a total of 35 million
15.4% % of all FB users 35-44 year olds for a total of 24 million
11.5% % of all FB users 45-54 year olds for a total of 18 million
7% % of all FB users 55-64 year olds for a total of 11 million
4.2% % of all FB users 65-74 year olds for a total of 6.5 million
Facebook is not just an under 30 phenomenon.
7. 90 % of all purchases are subject to social influence
8. How to get somma that: (the three biggest prompts that make Facebook Users fan a page:
Brand Invitation or Ad: 75%
(This means taking out an advertisement on Facebook, promoting in store, on a website or even on your printed materials. “Become a Fan and get _________________________________.” People always want free stuff.
Friend Suggestion: 59%
Search: 49% (After typing their needs into a search engine, your Facebook post came up. From your FB post, they found your FB page and fanned you, so as not to miss out!)
(Source: Hubspot/Webtrends 5 Key Tools for Effective Facebook Marketing,May, 2011)
9. They are looking for:
84% of Fans are existing customers (relatively easy to reach; they’re already sold on your products).
83% of those report they fanned the page in order to get access to exclusive offers and benefits. So when you’re writing, you have to say, “For John’s Widgets’ Facebook Fans Only!”
They like to be in a position of influence, delivering good deals and insider info to their friends. These friends are prime marketing targets for the average business.
10. Good news/Bad news: A big 36% (or ”only 36%,” depending on your perspective) buy more after becoming a fan. If you have fans in the thousands, this could translate to significantly more revenue.
Watch as we APPLY . . . the Jaundiced Eye!
- Sure there are a lot of people on Facebook, but they’re mostly on there to catch up with friends. Their intent is socializing, not shopping. People that want to shop start shopping with Search Engines. In fact, 58% of all consumers start their product research with a search engine. 24% go to a specific company website and only 18% start on social media. (Source: GroupM and comScore: “The Virtuous Circle: The Role of Search and Social Media in the Purchase Pathway.”
The people that start shopping with search engines will be farther along in the buying cycle than those who just stumble on a brand on Facebook. Therefore, it makes sense that Facebook’s ad click through rates are far lower than Google Adwords click through rates. Further, it’s also far lower than the average website conversion rate (2%).
2. Take a look at some ad click through rates on Facebook. They’re pretty frightening. Remember, this is just a click the Facebook ad wins, not even a guaranteed sale.
a. health care industry has the lowest click through rate at .011% (.011 percent really means .00011/100 or 1.1 per 1,000,000
b. tabloids and blogs: (the highest of all industry click through rates): 0.165%or .00165 per 100; 1.65 per 100,000 (1 real person!); 16.5 per million. (Hubspot/Webtrends 5 Key Tools for Effective Facebook Marketing,May, 2011)
3. Most people do not return to a brand page after they’ve fanned it! People want the initial free swag offered, but then do a good job of shutting your brand’s messages out of their news feed. Facebook users can block your posts without your knowledge.
4. Facebook changes so much so quickly, it’s not worth the time keeping up with changes and new features, according to veteran internet marketer Jennifer Laycock of Sugar Spun Marketing. She doesn’t even recommend investing in the creation of customized tabs and feeds at this time. (FB does offer documentation about every change, however.)
Thoughts and Analysis
Social Media is more of a demand generator where Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (PPC ads, websites, organic search) is a demand fulfillment device. Facebook users have different initial intent than search engine users. Facebook users don’t yet KNOW they need one of John’s widgets.
Facebook is SOCIAL. People are on there to connect with friends, be diverted and entertained. That said, the more your business’ name rotates up into their feed, the more your brand name gets in front of current customers and maybe their friends. If you have a blog, announcing posts and other news doesn’t take too much time.
Further, Facebook has advantages that aren’t quite measurable as yet. A brand page can engender a sense of belonging among fans as they keep up with industry news, helpful tips and related links that make their lives easier. And we don’t always know where Facebook interest generation translates in to measurable sales. If not direct purchases, it could inspire in store or website purchases. Of course one can always watch Google Analytics to see how many come to the website from Facebook.
The Bottom Line: Small business owners and marketers need more time to try out various Facebook strategies before best practices on the medium become crystal clear. In the meantime, diving into Facebook with shortened descriptions of each blog topic and a link to the blog can prove a starting place for your Facebook marketing strategy. Once the best monetizing approaches become clear, you’ll have the practice and experience to run a sweepstakes, start a community or distribute coupons as fast as you can put them together.
Anyone create great business sales from Facebook? Share it here!