What is your 'like' worth on Facebook?

A survey conducted at Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, has examined whether there is a connection between fan pages on Facebook created by companies and consumer loyalty?

2012.11.20 | Line Ziegler Laursen

When did you last 'like' something on Facebook? Probably not that long ago, because both the number of 'likes' and company fan pages on Facebook and other social media are on a steady increase. But so far, no one has really known whether this is the right thing to focus on, because how much is a 'like' on Facebook really worth? And are consumers being fans of a brand on Facebook also loyal to the brand in question in other contexts?

This is what Justina Malciute decided to examine when she started on her thesis in marketing at Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences in April 2012. 

- Many companies focus on investing in social media without actually knowing whether they are doing the right thing, which is what made it an interesting topic to examine in more detail, says Justina Malciute.

After having completed her thesis, she is now ready to answer the question:

A 'like' on Facebook may be valuable to a company, but only if it succeeds in involving consumers the right way.

From word of mouth to increased loyalty
The survey also shows that even though consumers become more committed to the brand when they 'like' it on Facebook, they do not become more loyal to the brand, but they will be more inclined to talk about it with their friends and family.

However, moving from word-of-mouth publicity to more valuable consumer loyalty requires that companies succeed in involving their consumers. They must do so by nursing and raising the quality of the customer-brand relationship, and consumers must also perceive higher value from the communication.

And companies can achieve this e.g. by involving consumers and communicating more directly with them to create interaction. Only then, when the road to commitment is in place, can companies benefit from the potentially increased consumer loyalty.

Media not decisive for commitment
The survey also shows that consumers do not commit to a brand because of a social media, but rather because they have a biased view of the brand.

- The companies have a valuable tool that makes it easy to reach many of their customers. It is, however, important to ensure that the customers are committed to the fan pages. This can be achieved by making sure that the time spent by consumers on the fan pages is fun and worth the time, explains Polymeros Chrysochou, Justina Malcuite's supervisor.

Facts

  • The survey focuses on the 20 most popular food and drink brands on Facebook, including, e.g., Coca Cola, Pringles, Nutella, Kit Kat and Pepsi.
  • The survey is based on 419 questionnaire responses from Facebook users, of which 27% 'liked' some of the brands in question. 
  • The survey was conducted based on Facebook, but the results can also be used on other social media such as Twitter or Instagram. 

Further information

 
Polymeros Chrysochou, Post Doc Researcher
Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences

Tel.: +45 87 16 46 89
Email: polyc@asb.dk
Web

 

 
Justina Malciute

Tel.: +45 42 43 09 29
Email: jmalciute@gmail.com

 

 

Research news