Social media bringing ambivalent returns

Wednesday, 23 March, 2011

A global study of the business world’s forays into social media has revealed that there are about as many successes as there are failures when it comes to driving customer engagement through fan pages on websites like Facebook.

A report based on the study, entitled Value of a Fan, says that only 23% of companies thought they were getting a good return on their social media strategy, while 27% considered their return as either average or poor.

Half were unsure of the value of their strategy.

The study, from Millward Brown, Dynamic Logic and the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), included interviews with 24 multinationals, WFA members and online questionnaires with 3687 of their fans. The study included brands from the confectionery, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, personal care and telecommunications sectors.

The researchers did expand on what made the difference between receiving a good return and a bad return.

Duncan Southgate, Global Innovation Director at Millward Brown, said: “Value of a Fan seems to demonstrate that marketers only get out what they put in. Marketers that don’t regularly add new and interesting content to their fan pages and embrace what their fans want from the page are missing out on an opportunity to build loyalty among some of their most important consumers.”

According to the report, successful fan pages “deepen both brand equity and engagement”. Interestingly, the pages that generated strongest brand response were not necessarily those with the largest number of fans.

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