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Marketers Analyze What It Means When Customers 'Like' Their Pages

Companies think fans want to be heard and to hear news about the brand

While Facebook users expect exclusive content, discounts, promotions and updates from the companies they “like” on the site, marketers see the action of “liking” in a slightly different way.

The “Variance in the Social Brand Experience” study from the CMO Council and social CRM firm Lithium asked both marketers and consumers what it meant when a customer “likes” or engages online with a brand.

57 percent of marketers thought a “like” meant the content on the site was agreeable, and 41% thought it meant customers wanted to be heard. Only 33% of marketers said they thought customers were looking for incentives or rewards for their “like.”

Interestingly, only 24% of marketers thought that when a consumer “likes” a company that it means they are also a loyal customer. Yet among Facebook-using consumers, 49% said they “like” a brand on the site because they are already loyal customers. Since not all Facebook fans are loyal customers, this gives marketers an opportunity to leverage the social network to encourage purchases and loyalty among their fans.

In addition to building loyalty among customers, Facebook and other social media outreach has influenced marketing operations, respondents said. Of those marketers surveyed, 55% said social media improved customer listening, engagement and conversations, and another 55% said it opened new avenues to gather and further market insights. Additionally, 47% reported that social media increased the complexity of marketing planning and mix allocation.

As marketers and customers connect more on social media, both sides will continue to learn from the experience. Marketers will have a better idea of what fans expect and want from companies on social media. Likewise, consumers will help marketers by providing feedback, testing products and possibly purchasing more items going forward.

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Check out today’s other article, “More B2B Marketers Embrace Social Media Efforts.”

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