December 20, 2011
Think about the number 9.8. Does it mean anything to you? This is the number of company pages the average Facebook user likes. Seems kind of low, doesn’t it?
In trying to figure out why this number is so unimpressive, I thought about my own brand-based behavior. On an average day, I interact with more than 9.8 brands just between waking up and arriving at the office. I wake up to the alarm on my iPhone, make myself a cup of Lipton English breakfast tea and eat some Kellogg’s cornflakes while watching the news on my Sony TV. That’s four! (Five if you count Channel 8.) After leaving the bathroom, I add Dove, Pantene and Gillette to the list. I put on my Seven Jeans, a Polo shirt and get in my Jeep and head off to work. For those who are counting, that’s eleven before I leave the garage. My ritual is the same almost everyday, so I consider myself a brand loyalist. So why are none of these brands part of the 9.8?
The answer is that I don’t want to be sold to on Facebook. In fact, 39% of all Facebook users do not interpret their own “likes” of a company to equate to permission for that company to deliver marketing messages. Facebook is a community, not a storefront. If every time I invited a friend over to my house, they pulled me aside and tried to sell me car insurance I would stop inviting them. If you want to be part of the magic 9.8 number, make sure your brand is someone people want to invite to their party. Can I get useful info, ask questions, watch fun videos, earn a chance to win something or play a game? With the ever-growing number of brands finding their way to Facebook, users are presented with so many more brands to connect with. Finding a useful place in consumers’ social sphere is becoming a mandatory.
- Daniel Wagstaff, VP Client Development