Fun Facts on Facebook Fans From Forrester.

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Clever alliteration aside, are your Facebook fans more likely to purchase your products or services? Does their engagement level with you translate to higher likelihood of purchase? And how likely are they to recommend you to others?

These are a few of the questions Forrester Research attempt to quantify in their recently released “Facebook Factor” study.

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For the purposes of this study, Forrester created a logistic regression model (stay with me now) that tracked four variables: being a Facebook fan of the brand, likelihood to purchase, amount of money spent in the past 12 months, and probability to recommend. While I’m a little rusty at statistical analyses, Forrester explains that a logistic model predicts the probability of the occurrence of an event, and shows the influence one variable has on another. In other words, in this case, it predicts the probability of a Facebook fan considering, recommending or purchasing.

In the study Forrester analyzed four brands: Best Buy, BlackBerry, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola. For all four brands, Facebook “Fandom” appears to have the greatest impact on purchases. For example, the odds of a Best Buy Facebook Fan purchasing something from the brand are 5.3 times higher than a non-fan, while the odds of a Fan recommending and considering the brand for future purchase are 4.7 and 4.0 times higher, respectively.

What’s missing in the Forrester study, as far as I can see, is any evidence of “causality.” In other words, is it the joining of the Facebook community that makes you more likely to purchase? Or were you predisposed to purchase before you joined?

Regardless of where you fall in this “chicken-and-the-egg” discussion, what Forrester goes on to conclude is that the consumer purchase decision is not where marketers can experience the greatest long-term impact. The value in a brand’s Fan base, according to Forrester, relates to recommendations. The study found that Facebook Fans of every brand studied were more likely to recommend them than non-fans. BlackBerry fans, for example, have an 87% probability of recommending BlackBerry to a friend or relative (compared to just 44% for non-Facebook Fans).

From a content strategy perspective, this could mean that publishing posts that make customers feel good about their purchases, help them feel like part of an “insider community” and provide them with share-worthy facts and tidbits will help you harness this word-of-mouth power.

For more information on this Forrester study, check out this article.

Posted by Mickey

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mickey Lonchar
Mickey Lonchar has spent the better part of two decades creating award-winning advertising with agencies up and down the West Coast, Mickey currently holds the position of creative director with Quisenberry Marketing & Design, a full-service advertising and interactive shop with offices in Spokane and Seattle, Wash.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I think the question of causality is an interesting one.

    I personally think that those who become facebook fans of a brand are predisposed, to some degree, to make a purchase. However, I think that the probability for those fans making a purchase increases still because now they are captivated by the direct communication from the fan page.

    While the Forrester study may not have included this level of focus, I think it is still safe to say that collecting fans of a brand on facebook is still better than not including them in that community.

    … bottom line… facebook fans of a brand = more sales.

  2. Anthony, I whole-heartedly agree that there is real value to Facebook fans. It is important to note, however, that when someone “fans” you, they’re not saying they are loyal customers or even steady customers, but rather, you did something they liked so they jumped on board…one time. Now that you have these “hand raisers” it is up to you to further engage them and work them up the various rungs of the “loyalty ladder”…it doesn’t happen on its own.

    I really appreciate your comments!

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