The “Like” Economy – Quantifying Facebook Engagements
Our discussion on the value of visitor feedback to your site continues…
Thanks to an NCAA basketball promotion, Capital One‘s Facebook fans increased by more than 700% in less than two weeks. Consumer participation in the promotion was easy. Access to the content was granted in exchange for a “Like”. As marketers are looking for ways to leverage Facebook and to somehow quantify (and monetize) engagements, more and more marketers are following in this trend. The New Yorker offers subscriber-only content to the populous for a “Like”; Pepsi offers free soda for a “Like”; even my beloved Angry Birds application has begun offering new levels for free in return for an obligatory thumbs-up.
What is a “Like”, anyway?
Brands have mutated the “Like” functionality. Essentially, they have resorted to paying for disingenuous consideration in the hopes that the halo effect will be positive enough to generate a few legitimate followers and advocates.
But that begs the question: what is an engagement and how can we quantify its value? Executing a “Like” is easy and is extremely non-committal. When it’s encouraged and when it comes with a reward, how can the interaction be seen as a ringing endorsement? Low effort and simplicity seldom leads to high-risk activism. As a result, can Capital One really put a significant amount of value on their 700% jump in Facebook fans?
The real question should be what happens AFTER? What dedication did those followers show to the brand? Although this type of questioning forces a company to dig few layers deeper and requires a different analytical approach, the generated insight can go a long way to truly quantifying not just the volume but VALUE of Facebook engagements.
One approach is to carefully monitor your per-post insights. Stripped down, this is similar to calculating SEM or targeted awareness click-through rates. About 24 hours after you submit a post to your wall (and therefore to your fans/followers), unique and individual post metrics are displayed.
Metric 1 – What you posted (the content posted)
Metric 2 – Impressions (the number of times the post was displayed on your Facebook page wall, shown in the news feeds of fans, commented on or “Liked”)
Metric 3 – The feedback percentage (calculated by taking the total number of comments + the number of “Likes” divided by the number of impressions)
Here is an example of this calculation in action. If you posted a video that received 425 “Likes” and generated 119 comments as a result of 31,000 impressions, the Feedback Percentage would be 1.75%.
Tracking your average Feedback Percentage number over time is an excellent method to accurately measure the quality of your Facebook engagements.
When interactions with the “Like” button are used as a metric of program success, program performance ultimately comes up short. Why do so many brands hang their hat and the success of their campaign on this wonderfully misleading metric?