Research shows how to fan the flames of social media

Generating large volumes of traffic to brands’ ‘fan’ social media pages is less important than keeping them regularly updated to drive increasing loyalty among a smaller number of followers, new research has concluded.


Market researchers Millward Brown and Dynamic and the World Federation of Advertisers have released a study outlining how companies can run a successful fan page. The new research, called Value of a Fan, shows that regular posts, trustworthy brand news, new product information, contests and special offers are the backbone of a successful page.


These keep customers coming back and create in a buzz around a page and also encourage user interaction. Without these five traits, the study suggests users may click “like” and then simply forget about the fan page.


The research also recommends companies deliver either a sense of fun, variety, innovation, interactivity or community. These are not as essential but they will make a company stand out from other pages and generate a stronger brand response.


Duncan Southgate, global innovation director at Millward Brown, said: “Fan expectation of brands in the social media space is increasing all the time and Value of a Fan seems to demonstrate that marketers only get out what they put in.”


“Marketers that don’t regularly add new and interesting content to their fan pages and embrace what their fans want from the page are missing out on an opportunity to build loyalty among some of their most important consumers.”


One of the most telling findings in the study was the fact that numbers are not everything. Pages that generated the strongest positive brand response were more beneficial to companies than pages that simply had a large number of followers.


Robert Dreblow, marketing communications director at the WFA said: “Many marketers are asking the question ‘what is the value of a fan’? This project is a great first step towards creating a dashboard of learning to enable companies to answer that question for their own brands. We welcome further work in this area.”

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