Search Engine Land reports that research by PageLever shows “Only 3% to 7.5% of Fans View Posts From A Facebook Page”. At the same time, there’s been some excitement about Facebook creating the capability to deliver “VIP Pages” to the most influential fans. So is Facebook a good marketing vehicle, or not?
I think both these stories point towards a move away from focussing on “bigger numbers are better” as brands try to reach the people who really can impact their business. The reality of fan pages is that the more fans a brand has, the lower the percentage of fans that view the page each day. This is obvious: your real fans will like the page first, and chasing numbers with gimmicks or incentives will result in less enthusiastic and engaged “fans”. Brands are recognising this, and moving their marketing budgets to target the most influential social media mavens.
Today social media is having the greatest impact with consumers, with many B2B technology marketers finding that building large communities is very hard. Yet these early followers and fans are typically the most enthusiastic, and therefore the most valuable, audience.
Understanding the influencers in a B2B decision making unit has historically been a core skill of the sales team, but in the future PR and marketing departments will be increasingly responsible for identifying and reaching these valuable contacts through social media. By taking this approach, and focussing on the most valuable followers and fans, B2B technology companies will be able to generate excellent returns from their social media communities.