Over the past few months, Facebook has introduced new features aimed at helping businesses improve engagement through the social service. The network unveiled post scheduling and targeting, a new ad network and revamped the user experience with Timeline view, but few brands have taken advantage of Facebook’s efforts to make the platform a marketing resource.
In order to see any form of success through Facebook, brands must engage with followers and fans. The majority of Facebook pages (70.2 percent), however, are updated less than once a month, according to a new study from Reccomend.ly, as reported by Econsultancy. Of those branded accounts, 79.3 percent of community pages are unused and 73.5 percent of company pages are inactive.
The lack of maintenance dedicated toward these accounts threatens to dilute brand reputations. Marketers may not value Facebook for its lead generation capabilities, especially with news reports suggesting Facebook doesn’t generate any ROI. But Reccomend.ly’s latest report highlights the fact that Facebook engagement, even if it only occurs a few, calculated times a month, can drive traffic and stir up social chatter.
The report discovered that between March 2012 and October 2012 celebrity Pages experienced an uptick in the average number of fans from 9,144 to 11,713, while business Pages saw steep drops from 6,407 to 3,233 within the same time frame. This trend is important to note because celebrity figures create personal brands and market those qualities via social sites to earn fans, which builds support and leads to great exposure down the line. If public figures can use Facebook to drive their businesses, why can’t American organizations use the social site in similar ways?
Using Facebook to build brand awareness and provide loyal customers with a place to talk about products and services can drive social traffic to sites and increase the likelihood of additional sales, but brands need to actively monitor their accounts and engage fans. The study said that 85.3 percent of companies ignore or intentionally overlook conversations taking place on their own Pages, which might encourage people to forget about those brands altogether.
There is value in managing social media marketing efforts geared toward lead generation, but brands must dedicate the time and resources to execute objectives effectively. Oftentimes, all it takes to create a little conversation are a few good posts, so crafting custom content and developing a content marketing strategy might be the keys to realizing the true benefits of social media in 2013.