Social Media Study Shows Brands How to Spice Up Facebook

Wondering how to make your brand stand out on Facebook? A new social media study about brands on Facebook condenses the success formula down to four steps: make offers, empower fans, add images and don’t obsess over negative comments.

Four Top Facebook Marketing Tips for Corporate Brands

These top four tips are from Beyond’s press release. Hat tip to Allfacebook.com for the post where I found the original mention.

1. Provide fans with offers and discounts (42% friend a brand to get a discount or offer; 33% do so because they love the product)
2. The reputational risk is lower than you think so don’t just focus on managing the negative (only 5% of all comments are negative)
3. Fans are better at responding than brands so empower them (Fans are nine times more likely to help another fan than the brand itself)
4. Fans prefer images over video (Posts that contained a mixture of media types (e.g., an image and text) tended to receive the most likes)

Conducted by Beyond, the results analyze over 14,000 posts on corporate Facebook Fan pages of the world's 100 most valuable brands and include consumer poll results from nearly 4,000 UK and US consumers. Given that the research appears to focus on larger corporations, do you think the results would apply to small businesses and non-profits as well?

In this post, we'll take a look at a few highlights from the study's press release along with Beyond’s Brand Interaction Whitepaper.

According to David Hargreaves, CEO of Beyond, "Brands are clearly struggling to embrace the new rules of conversational marketing which requires them to act as catalysts of the conversation and not control it. This research clearly shows that those brands that focus on empowering fans, creating interesting content to spark conversations and providing a light corporate touch not only have more fans but those fans are more engaged." Source: Beyond Facebook Brand Study Results Press Release

A highlight of the report, for me, was the listing of companies with both positive and negative comments. Ketchup, cars and jewelery topped the positive list while the consumer electronics tech sector led with negative comments. What brand Facebook Fan sites do you comment on?

Brands with the highest number of positive comments on Facebook

90% Heinz
89% Audi
89% Tiffany

Brands with the highest number of negative comments on Facebook

52% Dell
28% HP
19% Samsung

Top Six Marketing Recommendations for Brands on Facebook
Beyond offered marketing recommendations that are simple to implement and keep the conversation two-way while directed away from the company and towards the relationship between fans and the products they love.

1. Applications: include on your page
2. Posts: Use text and static images to stimulate fan engagement
3. Questions: encourage comments by asking for answers
4. Responses: negative and customer service posts are rare and don’t influence the number of fans on your page. Responding too frequently appears to decrease the number of fans.
5. Brand Fan Logic: people become fans to be the first to know and be rewarded for their loyalty.
6. Products versus company: brands like Apple create product fan pages; this works because people are more likely to love a product than a company.

A nice touch I don't see often in press releases, Beyond offered these links to additional Facebook research:
Researchers study behavior in social networks
Understanding How Facebook Pages Grow
First-of-its-kind research: Facebook fan pages are effective marketing tool
Why do Facebook users "Like" brands and products?

Spices background image courtesy of shutterstock.com in exchange for photo credit.

Your Turn
How do you spice up your Facebook Fan experience?

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