The Importance of Being Authentically Social

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On August 13th, Advertising Age published a post about Facebook click-through rates. The post, which was written by Abbey Klassen, discussed a study conducted by Vitrue (if you haven’t heard of Vitrue, it is a startup that helps marketers manage their social-media presences).

As you may have read in the past, Facebook is not known for having the most impressive advertising results. Not only have Facebook employees stated that “two weeks is the max you want to run your ad” (at least with the same image), but Facebook has been accused in the past of actual click fraud.

So, while you may think that the study by Virtue was about Facebook’s advertising click-through rates, it was actually about click-through rates on walls. Specifically, the study was about the walls of brand pages. According to their study, these click-through rates can be as high as 6.49%. This is extremely impressive when you take into account that this is for brand pages, and I think it’s safe to say that this rate could be even higher for links posted on the walls of people’s individual profiles.

Facebook Cat
(image from Bryan Veloso)

What I think should be emphasized about this study is that Facebook gives marketers the ability to connect with customers if they do it in a positive and authentic way. If you start trying to flood a wall with marketing messages, you’re going to turn people away. However, if you are selective and smart about what you post, you can really utilize the size and format that Facebook offers. As Michael Donnelly, group director of worldwide interactive marketing at Coca-Cola Co., which counts 3.6 million Facebook fans, said in an interview with Abbey the day before she published this post: “They’ve fanned the Coca-Cola brand; they haven’t opted in to be blasted with advertising.”

The other really interesting point from this post came from a comment. The comment, which came from Michael Lazerow (who is the CEO of Buddy Media), discussed an actual example of the high level of engagement on Facebook: “We run FB Pages for tons of clients. One of the recent posts by our client Bud Light on their fan page received close to 4000 RESPONSES out of 147,000 fans. So that’s close to a 2.5% ENGAGEMENT rate. That’s not click through. That’s people actually responding! Frankly, I think the numbers in your story are low based on waht we are seeing. (And, for the record, those 4000 people are connected to more than 400,000 people, who saw their response to Bud Light!)”

If any of you have your own case study with either click-through rates or engagement on Facebook, feel free to share with the rest of us in the comments section!

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