In late June, I wrote about ComScore’s second report called “The Power of Like2 – How Social Marketing Works” and how it’s not just about getting likes, but rather about creating engagement and interacting with fans. Now, I would like to follow up on that post as ComScore has recently released their third report: “The Power of Like Europe – How Social Marketing Works for Retail Brands”. Like the second report, the third one is also based on collaboration between ComScore and Facebook.

Focus of recent study
As the title of the new report reveals, the focus of this third study is on social marketing for retail brands and how popular consumer brands are making use of Facebook to deliver media impressions at scale and not least drive desired behaviour among key customer segments.

The study presented in the report analyses the social marketing efforts of retail fashion brands across the three largest advertising markets in Europe (UK: ASOS and Topshop. France: La Redoute and Zara. Germany: H&M and Zara.) Furthermore, it states that retail was selected primarily because 86 of the Top 100 e-Retailers ranked by ComScore in Europe have a Facebook presence.

My last blog post also focused on how Facebook pages have become the go-to destination for consumers and fans as well as how good community management thereby can be part of increasing a brand’s sales. In this report, it’s therefore interesting to be presented with even more concrete examples on what investment in social media can actually bring along.

Key findings
The report states that the time spent on social networking in Europe is continuously growing, meaning that we are connecting with people around us and sharing content online as never before. In UK, France and Germany, nearly a third of the time spent on Facebook is viewing the News Feed. This is where the importance of brands creating engaging content comes back into the picture. Obtaining this, fans can contribute to cause a chain reaction of communication appearing in a great number of their friends’ News Feeds when ‘liking’ or commenting on a specific piece of brand content. In the report, this is presented with the following example:

As seen above, friends of fans thereby become a great part of a brand’s potential online audience. Illustrated with Asos in the UK, this brand has the ability to reach around 44 friends of fans for every 1 Asos fan in the UK. Friends of fans for La Redoute in France and H&M in Germany also constitute a large audience, which is 20x to 30x greater than their fan base alone.

This taken into consideration, Facebook can have a significant impact on a brand’s exposure, provided that it understands how to manage a community and create engagement. Additionally, the great potential for reaching friends of fans and converting these into fans, continuously building a larger fan base, obviously increases the level of engagement in the community.

From the above figure, it also becomes evident that impressions on Facebook reach both fans and their wider network. As stated in the report, another thing is in this regard to understand whether the wider network is similar to the preferred target group or if it consists of a broader cross-section of the Internet population. There is value in understanding if Facebook can help brands reach not only their most loyal users but also their lighter buyers who need convincing in order to place a purchase.

Using La Redoute as an example, the study states how the demographics of their audience differ from 1) the overall user base online, 2) users visiting the brand’s website and 3) their Facebook page. This is illustrated in the below figure:

Being aware of this difference in a brand’s demographic user profiles can help the brand adapt its online strategy to affect the behaviour of specific segments as the final aim is of course to increase sales.

This also leads one’s thoughts to the ever recurring question: “What is the actual return on my Facebook investment?”

In the study, ComScore evaluated how much more likely fans and friends of fans were to visit their brands’ websites compared to the average Internet user. The result is that fans and friends of fans in each case are more likely to visit the retailer’s online store compared to the average Internet user. This can also be connected to the last blog post on ComScore’s second report, where Starbucks had experienced greater in-store purchasing from fans compared to non-fans. For the retail brands in this report, the numbers look as follows:

To see further details about the examples presented here and in general gain more insights into the report by ComScore and Facebook, please click here.