A couple of years ago I wrote an article about this subject. It’s nice to see that the esteemed Harvard Business Review (HBR) is now ‘on the same page’ as me. A recent HBR article shot holes through two flawed assumptions that lead brand teams to waste time, talent and money getting likes for their own Facebook pages:
- Attracting followers will drive sales,
- Followers’ endorsement will cause their Facebook friends to buy more. The article draws on 23 experiments involving more than 18,000 people.
So here are the most outstanding thoughts from the article:
1. Facebook followers are already brand users
There is data out there suggesting that liking a brand does drive sales. A recent study by comScore and Facebook suggested that people liking a brand’s Facebook page buy it more: people liking Starbucks’s Facebook page, or with a Facebook friend who liked it, spent 8% more a month versus the general population. However, as the HBR article says, “that study and others like it contain a fatal logical flaw. They confuse cause and consequence.” As they go on to say, “Its possible that those who already have positive feelings toward a brand are more likely to follow it“.