Despite similarities, Facebook is a CRM tool, not search marketing
There are more than 100 brands that have topped 1 million fans on Facebook. The question, however, is do they know what to do with those audiences?
Research by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research finds 84% of a typical brand’s Facebook fans are existing customers. That makes marketing to the fan base much more like a customer relationship management program than a customer-acquisition tool for most brands, said Justin Kistner, social-media products director of web analytics firm Webtrends.
The problem, he said, is that many marketers still don’t see Facebook this way. Speaking in a recent Web Analytics Wednesday talk in Cincinnati and a follow-up interview, he said many brands with the biggest followings, such as Coke with nearly 34 million fans, are in high-frequency, low-ticket categories where CRM has never held centre stage. And, in part because Facebook ads – thanks to their placement and lack of graphic frill – look like search ads, marketers and agencies often think of them like search ads, Kistner said.
“Search is a customer-acquisition tool,” Kistner said. “Facebook really isn’t.” But while search is largely about people discovering new products and brands, Facebook “is really about staying in touch with the people we know,” whether that be real people or brands and customers, Kistner said. That also makes it very much unlike that other digital darling – Groupon.
“Facebook is really the anti-Groupon,” said Kistner, because it’s more about preaching to the converted than getting new converts. Ironically, Groupon is also the exception to the Facebook as loyalty program rather than customer-acquisition tool, he said, since it’s been Groupon’s single biggest source of new members.
To read the full article in Advertising Age, click here.