Not sure what your Facebook fans want from you? Ask them.


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There was an article this week by that discussed findings from an interesting survey by ExactTarget called “Subscribers, Fans and Followers: The Meaning of Like.” The survey asked Facebook users in the US why they might choose to not ‘like’ a brand’s fan page… but if they did ‘like’ it, the survey asked what they then expected from it.

Read the article here: What Do Facebook Users Expect from Brands?

To me, the most significant findings of the survey were:

54% didn’t ‘like’ a Facebook page because they didn’t want to be bombarded with messages or ads

This is further evidence showing it is essential for businesses on Facebook to be providing relevant and useful content on their page walls, rather than trying to push sales and become spam-like. Everything you post will probably end up on your fans’ newsfeeds, and if they don’t like what they see then it is very easy for them to remove you.

The additional finding that 23% didn’t see any benefit in liking a page at all also supports the idea that companies / brands really need to work on giving reasons for liking their page. You can’t simply tell the consumer to find you on Facebook anymore; they need to know why. Indeed:

58% of people that ‘liked’ a page expected gain access to exclusive content

58% also expected to receive discounts. However I would be wary of satisfying these consumers too greatly – so that you don’t discourage the 54% mentioned previously above even further. One way of combating this problem would be to have a customised tab on your page that dealt with promotional material, instead of spamming fans with sales messages in their news feed.

On the other hand, I admire the idea of “exclusivity” and feel it is something that brands do not exploit enough on Facebook.

Younger consumers liked a page as a form of expression, older users wanted value

This observation is incredibly important if your business has a particular audience age. It is true that the younger Facebook users will happily have hundreds of pages on their profile, whereas the older generation is a more cautious one.

>> DIY Social Media Surveys

Now, this survey’s findings are very interesting but ultimately it lacks detail in the specifics. And obviously things can vary greatly from business to business. This is why we have now reached a point where good digital marketers / businesses must start to think about surveying their own consumers in order to find out what they expect and want from a particular fan page. Even if what you are already doing seems to be working, you may have missed something.

It can be a challenge to find people who are willing to participate but I’m sure there is always some incentive to exploit. The only thing is you may end up with a biased set of participants.

What to ask? Some example questions:

  • What would you like to get from our fan page? a) Discounts and special offers, b) Advice (on whatever is relevant to your business), c) relevant news from the company/industry, d) instant customer service, e) I don’t expect anything.
  • Why did you ‘like’ our page? a) To share it with friends/family, b) To keep up-to-date with your news, c) to receive special offers, d) I love the company, e) to ask you a question.
  • How often do you think you would look at our page after liking it?
  • What would encourage you to most interact with a fan page? a) Status updates, b) surveys, c) photographs, d) events.
  • Do you think that our fan page is useful to you?
And so on.

Surely by taking this step we will all be closer to understanding what our Social Media audience wants from us.

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