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The “Facebook Effect” drives online purchasing for major online brands. You Too?

A recent Forrester Research report concludes that 96 out of the 100 top advertisers currently use Facebook to promote their business or their clients’ business. Roughly 66% of US online adults visit Facebook on a monthly basis, with an unknown quantity then accessing company websites on professional hosting packages via posted content or directly from the information listed in the about us section.

While these statistics are illuminating they do not necessarily indicate the level of influence of each Facebook fan that likes your FB page. Forrester thus set about running quantitative and qualitative user surveys on four major brands to determine if any hard conclusions could be drawn. These included Case Studies on Best Buy, Blackberry , Walmart, and Coca Cola.

“Facebook fans of BlackBerry, for example, are 5.6 times more likely to have made a purchase from BlackBerry in the past 12 months than non-fans, with everything else held equal. And Facebook fans of Best Buy are about twice as likely to purchase from and recommend Best Buy,” said Forrester.

With regards Coca Cola 71% of online Americans purchase Coke but intriguingly Facebook fans have a probability of 95% of doing so.

The Facebook Effect extends into other brands, too. The odds of a Best Buy Facebook fan purchasing 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.

Thus, concludes Forrester, your Facebook fans are among your highest value customers — they spend more, and they are advocates of your brand.

“Target your customer retention marketing strategy to appeal to these valuable customers. Facebook fans of Walmart, for example, have stronger preferences than the average US online adult for brands that allow them to provide feedback about their products and services and to offer content that they can share with their friends. “

Forrester also pointed out that the top reasons for consumers to engage with brands on social media are to receive discounts and to enroll in promotions. These should obviously dovetail with similar promos you offer on shared hosting or dedicated server platforms.

Forrester noted that JetBlue Airways has a Facebook “Go Places” mobile application that grants members 100 TrueBlue points each time they check in with Facebook at a JetBlue airport terminal. Since the minimum award redemption starts at 5,000 points, the application incentivizes customers to book a future flight with JetBlue to cash in their Facebook points.

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