Report: Social Marketing Is More Than Just Likes [Report]

Recently, ComScore, the global leader in measuring the digital world, published a report on social marketing and how it’s not just about getting likes!
The report called “The Power of Like2 – How Social Marketing Works” was made in a research collaboration with Facebook in order to deliver unique insights on social media marketing.

Facebook pages are the go-to destination
The report presents how companies should focus on engaging fans and sharing relevant content in order to successfully manage a Facebook page. Compared to brands’ normal websites, a Facebook page has become the go-to destination for consumers and fans. To actually interact with the fans on the Facebook page is therefore crucial. Many of us probably recognise this from when we are on the search for information about a brand or product. Rather than visiting the website, we go to the Facebook page, as we may already be online on the social platform. Furthermore, we can then also see if our friends like the brand and what people in general write about the brand on the given page.

In the report, the fruity candy named Skittles is used as a case to show this development. Here, it is stated that the Skittles brand website had 23,000 U.S. unique visitors in March 2012, whereas the brand’s Facebook page attracted 14 times as many with 320,000 visitors within the same period.

Put into perspective, this definitely pressures brands to make an effort when having established a social presence. It’s all about planning! And not least reaching people with relevant content in their News Feed, where they spend the highest percentage (40%) of their time on the platform.

Report: Social Marketing Is More Than Just Likes

As shown in the above model from the report, the first step for a brand is then to actually be seen by fans in their News Feed. Not all updates are exposed to fans due to Facebook’s algorithm EdgeRank (which you can also read more about here), and therefore it’s about finding the right conversational touch points to get fans to engage and talk about your content. This can also be part of spreading your message to friends of fans, which is of course the aim in order to expand your target group with preferred consumers.

Good community management increases sales
Being able to manage a Facebook page in a successful way, a social presence can carry along a positive effect for the brand’s sales figures. A case presented in the report is the popular coffee brand Starbucks that through earned media exposure has experienced greater in-store purchasing:

Report: Social Marketing Is More Than Just Likes

Using a test vs. control methodology, the in-store purchasing behaviour of exposed fans was compared to the control group during four weeks subsequent to exposure. After four weeks of exposure, the test group had a purchase incident of 2.12 percent, 0.58 percentage higher than the 1.54 percent incidence in the control group. Furthermore, the purchase incidence increased for each of the weeks passing. And this is definitely an interesting finding to take into account as a brand establishing a social presence!

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.

Get Ready for the Bots – on Facebook Messenger

2Facebook Messenger was released 5 years ago and now has over 900 million users. Originally receiving a flood of negativity towards a standalone messaging app, compared to one simple Facebook app, users seem to be warming to it. The decision to make it standalone does make a lot of sense, since messaging is a big part of people’s lives nowadays and Facebook even bought the domain messenger.com to launch a version for web browsers last year. Their 900 million users will more than likely be merged with Whatsapp’s 1 billion users, which means that Facebook will have the personal phone number of every single user – sounds like $19 billion well spent.

 

Open for Business

So that’s humans covered. Where to go next? Facebook is now venturing into their next Messenger-based project: bots. If you haven’t been keeping up, Facebook launched Messenger Platform last month, which holds within it, chatterbots. Luckily, these bots are not machine learning bots, such as the disaster that was Microsoft’s Tay. They do have some humorous replies if provoked but they ultimately steer the conversation back to the subject they’re designed to cater for. Thanks to their highly advanced Send/Receive API, these bots are able to reply with actual structured messages, including links, images, hotel reservations, the weather etc. You may immediately compare this to Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now and Amazon Echo, but what sets bots on Messenger apart is the fact that businesses can develop them, which in turn gives them another way to develop customer service. Simply put, bots could end up changing the world by replacing humans in such job sectors. Without the bespoke customer service integration that Messenger bots provide, the above voice-activated services will most likely not be able to solve business-related queries themselves. Having said that, the way bots behave is very reminiscent of the way Siri does. Maybe they’ll talk to each other one day and we’ll get the best of both.

 

Customer Service and Added Value

So how can these bots work for brands? Well, eventually, every major company in the world will have an account, which will be a first port of call when contacting their company. The reason this is almost definite is due to Facebook’s already-mammoth-sized network of users. It doesn’t get any bigger than Facebook when advertising to individual people, so connecting Messenger bots (as customer sales reps, for example) is extremely attractive. Messenger codes, one of many things taken from Snapchat, will also make it easier for businesses to connect with their customers. One industry example is how bots will almost certainly change how banking works for the consumer, replacing an app or web-based system with a dialogue with a machine that is able to understand your every need. The option to send money within Messenger itself is highly likely too, like Snapchat allows. This could also eliminate the hassle of speaking to a bank’s voice recognition system when calling by telephone – no more time (and money) wasted by the dreaded “I didn’t catch that. Please try again.” These voice recognition systems are essentially bots done badly, but they’re based on voice, which is a lot more difficult to translate into zeros and ones. Plus, you cannot autocorrect your voice (yet). I can see this whole system being replaced by bots – it could even connect you to a human advisor with ease, as you’re most likely already using your phone. Even if you’re using the desktop version or Facebook Chat, I’m sure they’ll figure something out. Besides banks, what other markets will benefit from this? Restaurants, travel and possibly supermarkets with online shopping services are big industries for it to thrive. The healthcare industry could also be a large portion – Healthtap have already created their bot, which isn’t surprising considering one of the first ever chatterbots was called DOCTOR and simulated a psychotherapist. In fact, the potential amount of markets are endless for this stream of interaction – just like it is with human customer service.

 

At the end of the day, customers are moving towards messaging as their preferred choice of customer service. And as generations progress, it will no doubt become the standard – a phone call will most likely be reserved for long, meaningful conversations with friends and family, which in turn will add even more meaning to them. The phone call will no longer be taken for granted, but talking to robots will be.