Social Media Research, Social Media Tools, Facebook

Why You’re Pissing Off Half Your Facebook Fans

Sure it has 600 million members and is significantly more compelling than any film made by Nicholas Cage in the past five years, but even with those inherent advantages, Facebook for business is hard.

It’s not just that Facebook has a distinctly Favre-like approach to features and decision-making. Or, that Facebook is very clearly in business to make money for them, not necessarily for us. Those are just the operational challenges.

The bigger gauntlet for marketers on Facebook is sociological.

Specifically, nobody knows what the hell Facebook is for.

The Social Break Up Why Youre Pissing Off Half Your Facebook FansNew research from ExactTarget and CoTweet (clients) called “The Social Break-up” studied why consumers turn their backs on social and email connections with brands. (see previous posts about this research and customer burnout here)

A Downright Scary WTF?

Within the findings is this frightening nugget:

  • 51% of consumers expect the company to send them marketing messages after “liking” the brand on Facebook
  • 40% of consumers do not expect the company to send them marketing messages after “liking” the brand on Facebook
  • 9% aren’t sure what to expect

Whoa. Even consumers who have purposefully and pointedly said “we’re on your team” by clicking “like” aren’t clear on the ground rules of the subsequent relationship.

Imagine if that uncertainty pervaded other elements of business. Imagine that customers weren’t sure if you would answer when they called you. Of if they ordered something on your website, if you would ship it out.

No wonder real Facebook success (not just fan amalgamation) is hard to come by – there aren’t any codified mutual expectations.

Age and Gender Influence Your Acceptance of Facebook Promotions

Whether or not Facebook is an acceptable vehicle for company promotion is influenced to some degree by gender and age:

  • Consumers 24 years of age and younger are less likely (40%) to expect promotions; while consumers 35 and older are more likely (55%) to expect them.

If your company’s audience skews younger, be cautious about promoting heavily via Facebook.

  • Regardless of age, 44% of men expect Facebook messages from brands to be promotional; 55% of women share that expectation.

If your company’s audience skews heavily male, be cautious about promoting excessively via Facebook.

Set Fan Expectations From the First Click

expectation chart 300x197 Why Youre Pissing Off Half Your Facebook FansThis uncertainly about what Facebook is for, and the consequences of “like” are an issue. Here’s my idea for solving it.

On your custom Facebook landing tab (Here’s a post on 5 ways to make one), instead of just selling the “like” to people who are not yet fans, also use that real estate to explain precisely what people should expect from your Facebook page. Special offers? Customer stories? Inside information about the company?

It’s been a long-standing tenet of email marketing that subscription rates increase when you supply a link to a sample email. This is because it gives potential subscribers a clue as to what they can expect to receive. Makes sense, right?

Is it time to extend that best practice to Facebook? What other ways can we reduce Facebook uncertainty?

(image by Shutterstock, a Convince & Convert sponsor)

Related
  • http://www.brandboost.co.uk Danny Blair

    We’re starting to see a few innovative role models appearing among the larger organisations using Facebook. Their ideas will get used and adapted by smaller businesses to create their own way of engaging through Facebook. It’s still early days in the social media environment for businesses yet and the learning curve is still steep. Good article Jay.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      That’s always the case isn’t it? I remember when Amazon.com first launched tabs in their navigation, and thousands of websites followed suit.

  • http://www.marketingtrenches.com Tracy Gold

    Those stats are classic–what a split! Great point that letting your fans know immediately what they’re getting is the best way to avoid making them angry. But if that’s not an option, then you’ve got to think of what kind of audience you don’t mind making angry and which audience you want to engage. It all comes down (or up) to high level strategy and integration into a larger campaign.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      I love it Tracy! A tough position to sell to your boss though. “which of these groups do we want to anger?”

      • http://www.marketingtrenches.com Tracy Gold

        Haha, very true. I use this Seth Godin post about “Pleasing” as my fodder. You can’t always make everyone happy, and often, it’s a waste of time to try. Providing a value prop for someone to like your page that is truthful, as you suggested, gets around the whole situation (if people actually pay attention to it).

  • http://twitter.com/fjsanz Francisco Sanz

    Good article. A lot of companies and marketers thinks that they have to show something different each day. I’m totally disagree with that, because people just want to spend some time in Facebook, seeing pictures of theirs friends and that’s it. They do not want to see “companies things” everytime they connected. Just a little (one or two per week) it’s aceptable, but not each day.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      The good news is that you can try different approaches, and determine what works for your company, based on Facebook Insights data.

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Whoever coined the term “Digital Bumperstickering” was spot on, because that’s exactly what hitting the “Like” button is. Outside of marketers, I don’t think the average consumers spends more than a millisecond thinking about their decision to Like or not Like a brand. Either I do, or I don’t…whatever comes after that is irrelevant.

    I like the idea of setting expectations, and I think a landing page that outlines what to expect is a good idea. But I’m not sure it matters all that much to people. I like Ben & Jerry’s, and I’m gonna smack that Like button no matter what their landing page tells me I’m supposed to do next.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      I think that was me, but I agree that if you “like” the brand enough in the real world, you’ll still get clicking.

  • http://www.goldenpractices.com/ Michelle Golden

    Excellent article, Jay! And another great testament to the fact that you won’t please all the people all the time. If you’re looking to achieve a certain goal (and many aren’t) then you have to understand whom you seek (and why) and attend to whatever it is that they actually care about. It can make sense for a company to have more than one type of FB account… higher versus lower volume. It does seem to me that people are fairly forgiving in FB and simply hide the too-heavy feed before being inclined to “unlike” it. Don’t you think?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Absolutely Michelle. My post from last week about this research confirms it. Many more people will just hide the feed rather than “unlike”.

  • Anonymous

    lol, facebook is just cool like that!

    http://www.total-privacy.tk

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody Urquhart

    So true! Nobody really knows what to expect with facebook. Their are so many times when i “click”comment nudge or like someone I am not really sure what this will do. The last thing i want to do is spam people with messages that i “liked”when all I really did is quickly browse it and thought it looked intersted
    thanks for the tips

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      I’m sure a lot of people (including me sometimes) share your frustration about not knowing what clicking stuff on Facebook will do. To me, that’s an indictment of their interface and the speed with which they change stuff. If you changed the channel on your TV, and didn’t know what would happen next, we’d feel a lot different about television – and remote controls!

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody Urquhart

    So true! Nobody really knows what to expect with facebook. Their are so many times when i “click”comment nudge or like someone I am not really sure what this will do. The last thing i want to do is spam people with messages that i “liked”when all I really did is quickly browse it and thought it looked intersted
    thanks for the tips

  • http://thenewsosphere.blogspot.com Dinger

    Does the fact that older users *expect* more messaging from “liking” a Facebook page automatically correlate with the fact that they will be more tolerant of the messages? I absolutely expect a business I “like” to solicit me — they’re wasting their time not doing so. However, because I expect the message does not mean I am more welcoming of them.
    I would argue the opposite of your conclusion – despite younger users being less expectant of receiving messages from a “liked” business, I would expect them to be more accepting of solicitations via Facebook than users that understand that clicking the “like” button equates to signing up for junk mail. Your rebuttal would be very interesting.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      It’s a good question. Expectation doesn’t automatically correlate to acceptance. I’m going to ask Morgan Stewart, who authored the study, to weigh in on this point, as the actual results of the research may help us think through the differences.

      • http://www.trendlineinteractive.com Morgan Stewart

        Agreed, this is a good question.

        The attitudes of younger consumers (compared 15-24 year olds to 25 and older) are more polarized. Across the board there is a strong correlation between “expecting” messages to come after liking and a) increased propensity to BUY after “liking” a brand, b) increased propensity to RECOMMEND the brand to friends after “liking” a brand, and c) likelihood that they will regularly read posts from the brand that appear in their news feed. These correlations are even stronger for younger consumers.

        Based on these observations and what we heard in our interviews and focus groups, my interpretation is that young Facebook users tend to be more prone to “purist” attitudes toward Facebook. Young Facebook users are more likely to believe that brands are cluttering the Facebook environment. While they are very tolerant of banner advertising on the side, they have an issue with brands appearing in their news feed. HOWEVER, this attitude in itself is polarized. Some believe marketers are welcome on Facebook, others want Facebook to stay “pure” and focused on building a spam-free community.

        In short, young consumers that “expect” to receive messages from brands after “liking” a brand are more likely to respond to Facebook marketing tactics than older consumers. Those that believe brands are polluting Facebook will ignore and/or hide these messages out of protest. And finally, there are older consumers where the notion of “Facebook purity” is simply much less prevalent–which is why as a group, older consumers appear more receptive overall.

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

          Thanks very much for that Morgan. It helps so much to get it direct from the source.

          I remember – not entirely with fondness – when I was vilified once upon a time for purchasing the very first banner ad on Inc.com. The notion of a commerce-free Web is rooted in ARPANET, and angst about the (in)appropriate role of business in digital and social media is revived with each evolutionary advance.

  • Anonymous

    The question of follower expectations will become even more complex as Facebook moves towards blurring the line between business and person in fan pages. I wrote a bit about this yesterday http://bit.ly/hDztHc . Now not only persons can like and comment on your business page, so can other businesses. And your business can also like other fan pages, just like a person would. In the long run his may go some way towards changing the expectations of Facebook users when they come to a business page. If there is b2b voicing, and more personalized liking, the page is much less a static advertising center. I think businesses should start generating more the sense of the “social conversation” through their own FB actions. That can do something to mitigate the potential detachments of “likes”. If the company is perceived more as vibrant and in communication across the Facebook space, its status actions become more “social”, more in line with the values that Facebook represents.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Absolutely right. The ability for business pages to operate as individuals on walls is going to be a big change that very few people are talking about yet. Facebook for business is going to be about a lot more than your own page.

    • Anonymous

      Glad you agree. I’m very surprised to not be reading much about this yet in the blogosphere (would love it if you wrote a blog post on this, your pov would be great to hear). To me it is earth-shaking. At least for the time being Facebook wants to present businesses as much like persons as possible. I think the biggest problem that businesses face – and that Facebook struggles with in terms of its advertising – is that Facebook is such a personal space because of the photo family album and friends style, there is a “don’t mix” quality when it comes to business interest that simply does not exist in Google search. I sense that Facebook is trying to dissolve the difference between person, brand, business and interest as much as possible so that the very confusion your post is about becomes reduced. I believe the more business become like us in that space, the more acceptable we’ll find them.

      • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

        I’ve got a post rolling around in my head about it, for certain.

        • Anonymous

          Looking forward to it Jay.Eyes peeled.

        • Anonymous

          Looking forward to it Jay.Eyes peeled.

    • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

      Jay

      I also think that this a very big deal. Businesses being able to comment as a business and not an individual does change a lot. It does promote more interaction off page for the brand itself and not have to expose who the administrator is. I do not believe that someone not fully engrossed in the ins and outs of social media many of us here do not even think about the administrator/person who is the voice behind the brand. I would trust that they want to talk to the brand, have the brand answer them and not an individual.

      Mediares brings up a really good point that if users see the brand commenting on other pages, they will interact with that brand more.,People are curious about the brand what they support. Plus the more we see a brand that that we are just gaining awareness to or have had some interaction with (ie a purchase or seen their advertising) we will be more apt to check out their page and probably like. I also see this as a potential constant ad. The more vocal the brand is, the more impressions and potentially the more customers. The conversion rates of those that like and purchase from them vs those that like and do not buy would be really great to see.

      • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

        It’s a big opportunity. I fear, however, that it opens of the opportunity for a lot of brands to be spamming other brands’ FB pages. We’ll see.

  • http://yourcityheating.ca/ Your City Heating & Cooling

    This was a great read, defining the role of the FB page is key. Staying on topic and updating only with interesting things to say is also powerful.

  • http://twitter.com/phdinparenting phdinparenting

    In addition to the Yes or No of marketing, there is also a lot of disagreement about how much. Some people like several updates per day from pages they’ve liked (not necessarily “brands”, but informational pages) and others think one per week is the maximum they would want to see.

  • Lexi

    I think Facebook pages came up and just let the business try to figure out the rules of engagement. When I like a page, I want constant new updates, whats happening, who’s being featured – make it fun and make it interactive! Facebook pages is not just a passive junk mail accessory, it’s a way to engage customers on a personal level. I think there needs to be someone to write a basic DIY with facebook pages more than the cool customization but the proper marketing strategies that pages should promote.

  • Lexi

    I think Facebook pages came up and just let the business try to figure out the rules of engagement. When I like a page, I want constant new updates, whats happening, who’s being featured – make it fun and make it interactive! Facebook pages is not just a passive junk mail accessory, it’s a way to engage customers on a personal level. I think there needs to be someone to write a basic DIY with facebook pages more than the cool customization but the proper marketing strategies that pages should promote.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Yes indeed. There are some resources like that (Hubspot has some good ones), but with the most recent changes, there needs to be a new “how to”. Mari Smith is a great resource for Facebook stuff, as is Amy Porterfield. (marismith.com and amyporterfield.com)

  • http://twitter.com/colinwu58 Colin Wu

    This reminds me of similar struggles people had when the pc (as in personal computer) first came out. People were saying “it can do this, it can do that but what can I use it for?”. It wasn’t until people realized that the pc was just a tool and they can dictate (within certain constraints) how they used it that people became really productive.

    I think it’s the same with FB. It is a *communication* tool and you (as a person and as a company) can dictate (again, within certain constraints which, unfortunately seem to change daily) how you use it. The key, of course, is that you must communicate how you intend to use FB to your customers, clients, followers. The research results Jay quoted clearly show people have no clear idea how FB should be used. The numbers are all over the map. If you just left it to people to guess 80% of the time they’ll guess wrong and be ticked.

    As with all communication, the onus is on the originator of the message to ensure that the receiver has received and understood the message. No one else knows what the message is supposed to be.

  • http://twitter.com/skypulsemedia Howie at Sky Pulse Media

    I personally think most people can give a flying crappola about brands on Facebook. The only people who care are Brands and Facebook. People only want Brands there when they are pissed. They they find they have to Like the damn page to vent.

    I mean this seriously. How many Brands are you eager to engage with on Facebook Jay? I bet less than 10. Yet 5000 want you to like them. And on top of that we see so little of our feed. I have 300 Friends/Family and I fan about 200 pages (most of them Bands/Dj’s/etc). When I log in I always have 300+ updates unread. Do you think I scroll down past the top 20?

    I agree with your blog premise here but Social Media has zero to do with Marketing. Current platforms allow marketing to invade but who says future ones will too? What if Path, beluga, Diaspora turn out to be what people want…private ways to communicate see ya later Brands? Then what? And it is going to happen (though might not be those network names). I just think we really don’t care about Brand pages and really care what our friends are doing.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      This research (and plenty of other studies) shows that customers do want to engage with companies. Sometimes for offers. Sometimes just to get “closer” to a brand they support. Now, not every brand has that place in your heart, definitely. But given that Facebook fans click the “like” button for brand pages something like 2.5 BILLION times a month, I don’t think you can overlook that and say nobody cares about brands on Facebook.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      This research (and plenty of other studies) shows that customers do want to engage with companies. Sometimes for offers. Sometimes just to get “closer” to a brand they support. Now, not every brand has that place in your heart, definitely. But given that Facebook fans click the “like” button for brand pages something like 2.5 BILLION times a month, I don’t think you can overlook that and say nobody cares about brands on Facebook.

  • Anonymous

    I loved the statement….the “Favre-like” approach….gosh that is what it seems like lately. I think being clear and direct is a great approach. I will tighten up my default landing pages right now. No confusion!! :-)

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Get em Jan!

  • http://www.righteousmarketing.com Robert Brady

    One of my biggest complaints with FB pages are the type that require you to “Like” them in order to see a certain video or some content. In this situation, I expect to get the content after liking them, but would be annoyed if I continued to get promotions. If the initial transaction is represented as a 1-time purchase, don’t assume you just signed me up for a subscription.

  • http://www.righteousmarketing.com Robert Brady

    One of my biggest complaints with FB pages are the type that require you to “Like” them in order to see a certain video or some content. In this situation, I expect to get the content after liking them, but would be annoyed if I continued to get promotions. If the initial transaction is represented as a 1-time purchase, don’t assume you just signed me up for a subscription.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Really interesting perspective Robert, especially since many companies are moving to those “fan reveal” mechanisms to get more likes.

  • http://www.entrepreneurialwoman.ca Cathy Watters

    This is a great article; I run an online biz and use FB as one of they ways to keep in contact with my biz fans. However, I’m always surprised at the reaction of various friends when I mention I plan to post a sale promo or other similar thing to the FB feed. My younger friend are vehemently against it. My older friend think it’s a great idea. I was wondering if it was a generational thing, or just individual preference. Your article helps clear up that question. I also like the comments you’ve had here: the discussion is helping me learn just as much as the article. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/Sed6erz Sed6erz

    Pretty good article. I know that people want to interact with brands but I am not sure that I want them to interact with me. At least not until they sort out how they communicate with me.

    It would be definitely better if they were able to interact with you according to certain criteria and your own preference. After all in many countries when you give your details you also specify what kind of communications you expect(regular emails, 3rd parties promotions, market research…) to the company you give them to.

    Having worked in direct marketing it was easy to match the communication you sent your customers to some model score. So I don’t see any issue with doing the same on fb.

    I also agree with some of the people who commented, why do you have to like/follow a brand (or share information with them) to see what they do on their fb page? I signed up to the Sony Ericson fb page but stopped quickly as they are flooding my wall with their never ending (and mostly meaningless to me) posts. As you said in a previous article I reached the burnout stage where I don’t want to here anymore from them until it becomes clever marketing.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      I love that idea of a Facebook fan page preference center for subscribers. Maybe we’ll get to that point eventually?

  • http://www.facebook.com/fluffyc Melanie Wadsworth

    Jay … i always follow your advice because i can count on it : you are solid! I don’t have a logo or any pertinent visuals that i can use for my FB fan page yet … i am working on it but mt budget is pretty low – i see a lot of templates that are available for those who need graphics, but none of them pertain to my line of business – any suggestions of other sources for templates – i need a wide variety …

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Hi Melanie. Here’s a link to a post I wrote about different providers of easy-to-use custom tabs: http://bit.ly/ci0IMz

  • http://twitter.com/KRDMarketing Kristen Robinson

    What a great post! I never thought clients would be confused on Facebook. You’re right, it should be clear from the get-go on what your page is about.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thanks Kristen. I’m glad you liked it.

  • http://twitter.com/aschottmuller Angie Schottmuller

    You had to work in the Favre hit, didn’t ya? I know, it was irresistible. =)

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      When the cleats fit….

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      When the cleats fit….

  • http://twitter.com/offeredlocal OfferedLocal

    Good post. In thinking about what people want across social media channels it occurs to me that brand information is great coming through Facebook; updates on new products, videos etc. (any time you have a fair amount of information in a single update) but offers such as discounts and free things are better in short burst formats like Twitter and foursquare.

    I think it comes down to Facebook trying to be to many things, which is part of the reason for the confusion. It is more likely that I as a consumer would expect an offer form foursquare because it is location oriented or even Twitter because it is sharing oriented in short messages, which is similar to a quick offer being made as opposed to the larger amount of information I might receive in a FB update.

    We are working on some of those things currently in the location based marketing space with our product http://www.offeredlocal.com Working on them in the context of how do you create and distribute the most effective offers based on the type of social channel that your customer or potential customer is using or has connected to you with.

    As you point out, they are not all the same. The most interesting thing in your post is that nearly half of the market is still seeking out a product that does not yet exist, good for start-ups!

    Thanks, Ed Loessi, CMO, OfferedLocal

    http://www.twitter.com/offeredlocal

  • http://twitter.com/KristaNeher Krista Neher

    Jay

    Great Post! I think that a big part of the key to success is to set the right expectations and to consistently deliver against them. Whether you are considering your strategy for your blog, Twitter or Facebook – consumers should know what they are signing up for.

    Look @delloutlet on Twitter – 100% promotional and no interaction but sells millions of dollars. They set a clear expectation of what they’ll do and what you should expect. They break all of the “rules” that people tell you about Twitter, yet they are successful.

    Great post!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thanks Krista. Indeed, if you tell people what to expect, satisfaction often goes up.

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com Nick Robinson

    Hmmm. That definitely has me thinking. I think one of the reasons that so many marketers are pushing too many promotions is that there aren’t good analytical services that are pushing first touch link attributions. So if you wanted to measure whether a helpful link about Facebook marketing actually drove conversions down the road, Google Analytics wouldn’t provide accurate information about the initial link click. I know Argyle Social and Core Metrics are two services that are starting to get this right, but there needs to be a more widespread and dare I say free solution to this type of tracking. This is only one scenario. Surely there are other reasons why marketers get Facebook wrong.

  • http://www.mooseworldwide.com Alan

    Jay
    Very insightful and accurate posting. Going to go update the welcome page for my startup on Facebook (Moose WorldWide Digital) to tell folks what to expect from us.

    It is refreshing to see this kind of solid, common sense think out side the traditional agency box kind of thinking. Keep it up!

    Alan Robbins

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thanks Alan. When you’re done, post the link so we can all learn from your page.

  • http://www.interfaceaustralia.com Carol Jones

    JAY,

    Greetings from rural Australia.

    This post changed my attitude to Facebook landing pages.

    I’m in the ‘don’t know why I’m there category’. And have been stuck there for awhile.

    Listening to you on the Social Media Blog Summit on Wednesday (my time) was a shot in the arm for my blog aspirations.

    Seeing this post was equally as inspiring.

    In no time at all, I created a much needed custom landing tab for one of my business pages.

    I used PageLever, which was recommended by you in a previous post, for people like me with low tech skills.

    Then created a photo with words in Adobe, explaining precisely what people should expect to happen if they LIKE my page.

    Then uploaded it, following the simple to understand instructions from PageLever.

    As I have three business pages on Facebook, I’ll be doing this for all the pages because it is so simple.

    Explaining what a fan should expect when Liking my page was all the impetus I needed to stop dragging my feet and do something positive.

    Discovering the simplicity of PageLever was the delicious icing on the cake.

    This is the link to my Facebook business page Ironing Diva if you’d like to have a look.

    http://bit.ly/FollowIroningDivaOnFacebook

    It’s a super simple landing page. But it suits my purpose.

    And am now waiting for new fans.

    I should buy you a Porsche instead of just saying thank you.

    Best wishes and take care,

    Carol

    Carol Jones
    Director
    Interface Pty Ltd
    Designers of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover
    http://www.InterfaceAustralia.com

    Ironing Diva’s stories are at http://bit.ly/TheIroningDiva

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Fantastic! Come back and let us know how it’s working please!

    • http://www.interfaceaustralia.com Carol Jones

      JAY,

      Greetings again from rural Australia.

      Update Number 1.

      Ironing Diva has been on Facebook for almost a year. In that time I acquired 4 fans. And then no more. Which is a puzzle because my Facebook stats say the page receives hundreds of visitors a week.

      But like many of us, we don’t like to commit.

      Another conundrum is my customers are mature. The youngest is about 40 and my oldest customer is 92. So Facebook isn’t top of mind for them. But is in that group of high growth on Facebook.

      I communicate with my customers by email on a daily basis. I had reason to email 8 customers the day after my landing page was as I wanted it.

      Me being me, I’ve changed it 4 times since I sent you the original link.

      I put a link to the page after my email signature.

      And to my utter delight, one of my 8 customers LIKED my page. Which is a 12.5% response rate in direct marketing terms.

      She’s been a customer since 2002 and I’m absolutely thrilled because she also followed the Facebook link to Twitter and followed me on Twitter. And sent out the most gobsmacking tweet about what a delight it is to do business with me. That did make my day.

      I can now see how important it is to have someone LIKE your page rather than just visiting. The daily posts I make about my rural lifestyle will become a conversation. Good conversations solidify relationships.

      I’ve now included the link to the page on my blog, my email signature pages and my direct mail that I send to my customers.

      For me, telling future fans what to expect from me is a turning point. I’m an upfront business woman and hate misleading people. Spelling out what to expect means you’re getting QUALITY fans. People who are right up your alley.

      It also helped me focus on what I want to do with the page. Which I didn’t have previously. It really is a plan for the page.

      I’ve done the same with my second business page. It went up at midnight last night.

      Page number 3 requires a little more thought. But thanks to you, it will be better than I ever anticipated.

      I hope I can make Update Number 2 at a future date!

      If anyone would like to see a landing page using your enlightening premise that you should tell fans what to expect, in combination with simple to use PageLever, the link is
      http://bit.ly/FollowIroningDivaOnFacebook

      Another inspiration from you.

      My next step is putting an email subscriber box on my blog. I never thought I needed one, but I was highly motivated to do it by your presentation from the Social Media Blog Summit.

      My stats say my blog gets visitors from all over the world on a daily basis. So why waste an opportunity to convert them into friends?

      Oops! Convince. And convert. That’s you whispering in my ear, Jay!!

      I’m working my way through MailChimp videos to discover how to do this while making it look very sophisticated. I am a Diva and am very fussy about how things look on my blog.

      Again, Jay, when I’m rich and famous – not if – a Porsche for you is on the list.

      Until then, I’m eternally grateful for your consistent words of wisdom that drive me to action.

      Best wishes and take care,

      Carol

      Carol Jones
      Director
      Interface Pty Ltd
      Designers of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover
      http://www.InterfaceAustralia.com

      Ironing Diva’s stories are at http://bit.ly/TheIroningDiva

  • http://www.kyrenedesigns.com/ KatherineJ

    I was thinking along the same lines and I’m very new at this – have 65 facebook friends and only a small proportion have Fanned my business Page
    .
    Am convinced of 3 things: a) older non technical friends who literally panicked and said it’s not for me I don’t know what it’s doing by asking me to bookmark FB, b) those who don’t know me well enough to care and c) those who have told me they get lots of Page requests and ignore them as think FB should be social -to which I replied when it’s your brother doing a business it will be hard to say no!

    And those who Fan the Page do not then think, or know to comment/like posts to help it along. Also many had to be spoonfed with a Page request or they could not work out how to do it! The attitude even extends a bit to those friends who have Pages!

    One does have to tell fans what they may expect and I am starting to work on this and my blog when it gets going will also tie in to FB so it makes it all more streamlined and more interesting content which can move away from just the product.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Great comment. I agree that some people have no idea what is a business page is, or how it works. Thanks for the reminder that there’s a whole lot of people that aren’t FB experts.

      • http://www.kyrenedesigns.com/ KatherineJ

        Facebook is going to have bottom level techies in it as it reflects society (bar complete non IT users) and we all know people who can’t program their DVD players!

        In starting off IM/SEO myself recently there is lots of help out there for which I am very grateful – but noone has really written the true dummies guide. “Make it easy to do business with people” applies universally.

  • http://twitter.com/JGoldsborough JGoldsborough

    Interesting numbers, Jay, but I’m not sure they tell the whole story. For example, I expect most brands to market to me on Facebook. But that doesn’t mean I like it and doesn’t mean the brand has a good chance of building a relationship with me if all they do is push messages.

    Brands need to stop talking so much about themselves on Facebook. What if a company handled Facebook like you or I would handle a conversation offline with a customer, prospect or someone we’d never met before? We might talk about where the person is from, what they like, family, favorite sports team and then business. Those are the kind of conversations that build trust. And they’re also the kind of conversations that allow you to sneak in a bit of your company’s story here and there that people want to share.

    But I am really not a fan of the term social media marketing in general. Because social media, when used correctly, is the antithesis of traditional marketing. And I don’t think most people like to be marketed to, whether they expect it or not.You?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Relevant, contextual marketing is fantastic. People love being marketed to when they find true value in that message. The problem isn’t marketing, or even social media marketing. The problem is lazy marketing, online or off.

      • http://twitter.com/JGoldsborough JGoldsborough

        Hmm, that may be the case. I can see the same argument for PR. But I see a lot of companies practicing the lazy marketing (and PR for that matter). And seems to me one of the reasons is because when they throw marketing on the end of social media and make it a discipline and budget line, they don’t consider how marketing in this space is different than it has been historically. And that leads to using a one-to-one social channel to push a one-to-many brand message.

  • http://www.michaelgcohen.com Michael G Cohen

    As usual your post rings true Jay. I think that part of the confusion stems from the fact that many companies only know that they want to be “liked” but have no clue themselves what the real advantages are or what they will offer their fans. If a business is trying to figure out social, which I think many are, then they are still in that infancy stage where people collect fans/followers enmasse with no clue what they will do with them. They collect as many likes as possible because it’s an easy metric to explain in that quite simply more is better. It’s just that most companies don’t know where to go from there.

    Twitter decided to help businesses by posting a fairly comprehensive online guide to use for business and I’m surprised that Facebook has made little to no effort in this area. A guide from a company that wants businesses to use it doesnt seem like a stretch except when I remember who we are talking about.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Precisely Michael. We’re trying to get liked for no apparent reason. And a great point about the guide for business.

      • http://www.michaelgcohen.com Michael G Cohen

        Jay, I couldn’t resist expanding on the lack of a real guide for business – http://bit.ly/dFz4sq – Best regards. Michael

  • Anonymous

    This truly shows the importance of strategic planning within social marketing. You should clearly define the purpose of your Facebook Fan Page and ensure that your fans know what they are in for.

    Of course, this proves to be a bit of a challenge considering how Facebook users have dealt with brands that operate on both ends of the spectrum (constant spamming vs. zero communication after the Like), so it’ll be interesting to see how this will be tackled.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      The challenge is that some brands have stronger ties with their customers than others – with or without Facebook. So the expectations and leeway are all over the map.

  • http://fbleadgen.com fbleadgen

    This truly shows the importance of strategic planning within social marketing. You should clearly define the purpose of your Facebook Fan Page and ensure that your fans know what they are in for.

    Of course, this proves to be a bit of a challenge considering how Facebook users have dealt with brands that operate on both ends of the spectrum (constant spamming vs. zero communication after the Like), so it’ll be interesting to see how this will be tackled.

  • Kelleyjm13

    it’s interesting that so many facebook users aren’t expecting some sort of business contact when liking a businesses fan page. I figured that was pretty straight forward.

  • http://twitter.com/jboehman Jonathan Boehman

    I like your suggestions, Jay–that is a great best practice and people should know what to expect.

    The stats are no surprise to me, though–just as in every other type of marketing, there are companies who engage their consumer and others who bark at them. Unfortunately, the barking is the norm and so consumers expectations get skewed that way. As marketers, it should be our goal to make meaningful connections that drive action.

  • http://www.BoddickerPerformance.com Carson Boddicker

    Interesting data. I appreciate you spreading the word and I look forward to continuing to follow your work.

  • http://julien.cayzac.name/ Julien Cayzac

    When you say “Hey I like that new avocado burger at McDo!” to your friend Tom, you don’t expect a McDonald’s representative to call you each friday evening at your house thereafter. It’s the same on Facebook. “Like” doesn’t mean “Get contacted”. If you do so, that’s spam.

  • Mary Rene

    I have stopped clicking on like for brands- because it gives them license to clog up your daily pages. One company in particular, an e-card company, waited until Valentine’s Day to inform me that my account had expired and they needed $30 for three more years. My friends and family went without this year- I am shopping for a new company. Yet, this past week the old e-card company has been posting to my facebook their newest and latest cards. I guess I have to UN-Friend them. Most of my friends are on Facebook and I like not having to deal with SPAM. E-mail may be obsolete some day.

  • http://www.nickelsolutions.com/ Nickel Solutions

    Thank you for this blog and all of your helpful input. We will remember his when creating our companies facebook page.

    Thank You,

    Nickel Solutions, LLC

    http://www.nickelsolutions.com

  • http://www.3ddebi.com/ DebDrive

    Being told to “like” a business’s FB page is losing its meaning. However, I’m much more likely to visit the page if I’m given a reason for doing so. For example, “Tell us what you think” or “See what others are saying about . . . ” tell me that the business is giving me a way to be involved, not just add myself as a number to their fan base. In order for this approach to work, of course, the new visitor needs to find a conversation taking place on the page when they get there. That takes some work.

    As you said in a recent post (“Nobody Said Social Media Should Be Simple”, August 29, 2011), businesses need to stop forcing “social media marketing into an automated customer acquisition focus” and we need to “take a stand against [this] simple” mindset. There are no simple answers, and that’s what I love about social media. It’s only those who are willing to learn it, to love it and to respect it who will get the most out of it.

  • letstalkandchat

    I just found a great company that builds websites for info products. To keep your costs low, they’ll mentor you on how to create your site, design a marketing funnel (one of the guys works in Hollywood and makes really slick videos), and the other guy programmed Myspace. If you’re looking to have professional web design for your small business and not waste any time or money then check their site out. Check them out: http://www.mikelmurphy.com/easy-info-product-site-system/