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For major brands, Facebook Pages have become increasingly important. In an effort to be 'liked', many brands are promoting their Facebook URLs in television and print ad campaigns, and are enticing users with coupons and other promotions.
But those investing significant amounts of time and money into creating 'engagement' on their Facebook Pages might want to consider what they're getting in return.
That's because according to a study of 84,000 links posted across more than 5,500 Facebook Page operators in October conducted by Edge Rank Checker, Pages with more than 100,000 fans deliver a paltry CTR of 0.14%.
As TechCrunch's Josh Constine notes, that translates to .00093 clicks per fan, or 1 click for every 715 impressions. That's quite a bit better than Facebook's paid ads, and slightly better than most banner ads, but this is hardly the pinnacle of online marketing success.
Which again raises the question: just how much should brands be investing in their Facebook Pages? As noted, many brands are promoting their Facebook Page URLs in expensive television and print ad campaigns, preferring to drive consumers to an environment in which they have less control than to drive them to owned properties that can be optimized for conversions.
This increasingly looks quite foolish, and effectively represents the following strategy:
- Spend lots of money driving consumers to a platform where few will click on your links.
The problem is that companies seem to be underestimating the cost of their Facebook Page, and overestimating what they're getting in return. Demonstrating the cognitive dissonance brands seem to have is Constine's own humorous faux pas:
If they spend the time and money, brands like Porche, Netflix, and Old Navy can drive around 2,000 qualified clicks a day for free. [emphasis mine]
Needless to say, brands aren't going to ditch Facebook Pages, nor should they. But they do need to be realistic about what these pages can produce and what they're investing in production.
Accumulating hundreds of thousands or even millions of 'likes' creates warm fuzzies and can make it seem like a marketing campaign is 'working', but at the end of the day, warm fuzzies and fans don't move the needle; action that produces revenue is what moves the needle.
For most brands, driving action will at some point require fans to follow them beyond Facebook. Given how few are willing to do that, brands should be very careful about how much they invest in driving consumers to Facebook in the first place.