Talk, Don’t Sell

A really interesting piece yesterday on Facebook pages and ads.  GigaOm reported on a study by Campalyst concerning user engagement on Facebook which you can find here.  We’ve talked a lot about how you and I wouldn’t have a conversation in the real world in which I am constantly selling you stuff and this research serves to confirm that it’s more effective if advertisers don’t conduct themselves online any differently.  In my mind, it points to one things that will make fan pages – or any other digital executions – successful is delivering great, engaging content.

Here are the specifics.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

According to Campalyst’s study (via GigaOm):

Branded fan pages — and the updates that users see — are vastly more successful than other ways of advertising on Facebook.  To be more exact, Facebook Pages convert people into customers at a far higher rate than other forms of advertising. The conversion rate is four times higher than ordinary display ads and more than six times higher than traditional Facebook ads. And when they do convert into purchases (airline tickets in Blu1′s case) people who are fans spend more: an average of 30 percent more in this case.

The piece also cites the statistic that only 14% of users who are already fans of a brand will see the brand’s status updates on their news feed. Apparently, Facebook is limiting how often brand status updates will appear in news feeds (of course they’re also making sure advertisers can reach those streams via something they call sponsored stories – hmm).  You’ll notice that they don’t mention  materials posted from third-party apps on the fan page – these folks didn’t use any and neither should you, in my opinion, unless they can speak in your voice and be as engaging as you can.

This study reminds me that reports of cuts in measured spending to digital media are sort of misplaced.  Highly engaged conversations aren’t measured like SEM or banners and it may be possible, as in this case, to spend less and deliver more. Interesting?

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