A recent study, conducted by Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey, indicates that people are more likely to interact with brands via Facebook than any other social network. The data collected in the study, which surveyed 1,491 adults living in the United States, determined that 34% of Facebook users interact with their favorite brands through Facebook. When compared with Twitter and LinkedIn engagements of 4% and 1% respectively, Facebook is the undisputed winner. In addition, the study also concluded that 56% of adults under the age of 35 interact with brands via Facebook and 76% of those surveyed have never “unliked” a brand.
Although the percentage of adults interacting with brands on Facebook is high, the number of interactions per Facebook user is relatively low. Seventy-eight percent of Facebook users who “like” a brand “like” fewer than 10 brands. The low number of “likes” per Facebook user likely indicates that brand engagement is crucial to social media success on Facebook.
One of the more surprising findings of the survey is related to the motivation for “liking” a brand. While 57% of Facebook “likes” are to gain access to a promotional offer or discount, an even larger number percentage, 58%, “like” a brand simply to show they are a customer of that brand.
Recently, both Google and Bing admitted that search signals are part of their ranking algorithms. While the incorporation of social signals is great news for businesses trying to achieve visibility through brand engagement on social sites, many sites will lose rankings and traffic unless they include social media as part of their SEO strategy moving forward. When combining the fact that social signals affect ranking and the data from the ConstantContact study, it is apparent that Facebook marketing must be a part of any successful online marketing strategy.