Social Commerce

Survey: Facebook Strategy Should be About Deals Not Engagement

For anyone caught in a time warp and still thinks your Facebook strategy should be about ‘engagement’ (whatever the vague notion of engagement actually denotes), here’s some get-real data suggesting that your Facebook strategy should be about deals and shopping, not ‘engagement’, conversations, relationships or any of that Cluetrain jazz – in the UK at least.

This from a Toluna/eConsultancy national representative survey of UK respondents:

  • 19% follow brands on Facebook (slight female, youth, affluent bias)
  • 70% do so for special offers
  • Most follow 2-5 brands
  • Most un-follow because of lack of special offers, dull/inappropriate frequency of updates
  • 25% have made a purchase via a brand’s Facebook page
  • 52% have recommended a brand on Facebook

Checkout the dynamic survey results page to carve up data by age, sex, education and income.

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

0 Comments Add New Comment

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for the comment, yes we have the same problem – brands thinking they are people rather than trademarks and trying to have people-to-people relationships not based on the commercial nature of what they are. Personally, I think this under/non promotional content is bad-faith marketing – pretending to be something you are not.

  1. This reflects my behavior on facebook. It’s called the “Burrito”. Every brand should have one. I follow Chipotle because they give away FREE Burrito’s. I don’t care as much what is in them, only that they are FREE! That’s the value for me. There are tons of places that sell Burrito’s but not many give them away for FREE. Takeaway-Create Your Own Burrito!

  2. Great insights for brands here Paul! We know already that social brand profiles rank highly in search results due to the strength of the platforms. Brands who fail to include social updates in their content strategy really are letting themselves down by not capitalising on the opportunities from searches.

  3. Interesting research finding particularly given we did a survey a year ago and found that 42% “liked” for offers and deals so I wonder if it is on the increase. People have got much more focussed about what’s in it for them!

    The other thing we found is that a fan is 9x more likely to respond to a request for information than a brand.

    There are a bunch more stats on this video if you are interested:

  4. Hi Paul,

    Although I agree that this is really important data for brands to base their decision off, chucking away the concept of engagement will do more harm than good. Almost all interaction with pages takes place in the newsfeed, not the actual page (Facebook say around 85%), so for a fan to see a deal it has to have high newsfeed visibility. The way that the newsfeed works means that this is largely driven by engagement – more comments and likes, more visibility in the newsfeed (Facebook will hold it there for longer and show it to more people). And if you build up regular engagement with fans, those fans are more likely to get the deals straight into their feed.

    So – deals are great – but without engagement driving visibility in the newsfeed, they’re largely pointless!

    1. Hi Joshua, thanks for the comment and completely agree about the importance of working in the newsfeed. If you define engagement as the number of comments and likes you stimulate , then I agree with you – but my experience is that ‘engagement’ is a fluffy nonsense term – as defined by the ARF “”Engagement is turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context.”

  5. I don’t see this model of “offering deals and discounts” as the status quo for f-commerce strategy…or a social Web strategy for that matter. The social Web has granted an opportunity to create UNPRECEDENTED brand affinity, though nobody has figured out how to REALLY connect/converse/engage their consumers through FB….offering deals and discounts, although nice and a necessary part of any Web strategy, decreases margin and builds an affinity for DISCOUNTS – which “commoditizes” brands and places them on the same level as everybody else. Social Media has created a way for brands/retailers to actually take consumers through the sales process…Bonding and Rapport come first, then empathy, empathy, empathy, then SALES. Consumers are willing to spend more with brands they have an emotional connection with. The marriage of engagement, deals and advocacy is the golden nugget.

    1. “The marriage of engagement, deals and advocacy is the golden nugget.” Couldn’t have said it better. Completely agree. FB is a Word of Mouth platform – and people tend to talk about deals. My personal view is that deals are the best way to engage people, sell stuff and stimulate advocacy (likes, or verbatims)…

  6. Interesting research. I would love to know more about who commissioned (if anyone) and the purpose for conducting the research, sample size, sample constructions (etc).
    Q1 is an interesting one – it shows that the vast majority of people still don’t connect with brands via Facebook – perhaps the small proportion that do are more commercially-minded than those who don’t and therefore looking for deals and special offers wherever they may be available. Have those that do not connect with brands actively chosen not to do so? Perhaps they have steered away from connecting with brands as they would like to have their facebook page be free from commercial interruption. Perhaps they get their commercially related information from other channels. This is all speculation, I know but it’s definitely worth exploring more about why over 80% of people surveyed responded ‘no’ to the question – ‘Do you follow any brands on Facebook?’

    1. Hi Damian, good questions – and agree worthy of research. In qual groups, the simple answer to the question of why more people do not follow brands, is that it’s not priority information for them. Facebook itself says people miss most of what goes on in people’s own self-curated newsfeeds, there’s too much info out there…

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