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Friday, September 9 2011

What's There to Like About 'Likes'?

With all the talk these days about consumer insight, we sometimes forget that demographics matter.  The Facebook agency SocialCode just reported some findings relating gender and age to Facebook ad clickthroughs and "likes." 

Since last Fall up to August 2011, SocialCode analyzed Facebook ads for 50 clients and focused on those that included an image, text and a “like” button. The study analyzed how many consumers clicked on the ads, and from there, how many went on to “like” the company’s page.

Though the results are not exactly striking, the study revealed women to be more likely to click on an ad on Facebook, though both men and women are about equally likely to then click “like” once they’ve done so. The average clickthrough rate for women of all ages was 0.029%, compared to 0.026% for men of all ages. The “like” rate among those who clicked an ad was 39% for women and 38% for men.

In terms of age differences, older consumers were more likely to click on a Facebook ad, with clickthrough rates increasing from 0.026% for the 18-to-29 age range, up to 0.033% for the over-50 group.  As I said, not exactly striking, but there it is.  Moreover, consumers under the age of 50 were more likely to then “like” a brand, with 18- to 29-year-olds and 40- to 49-year-olds doing so 40% of the time. Those ages 30 to 39 had a 38% “like” rate, while only 36% of those over 50 hit the “like” button.

The conclusion?  According to eMarketer, 'Marketers can leverage these data to create Facebook ad campaigns that resonate with their target audience, and thereby increase “likes” and clickthrough rates. For example, in order to reach an older audience, brands should optimize their landing pages so these consumers can learn more about brands without necessarily clicking “like” right away. If brands are targeting a younger, more male audience, in particular, they would be well-served to focus on the “like” button within the ad.'

Good advice, but how did 'Like' become such a central benchmark of anything in marketing?  'Like' just sounds so milquetoast, kind of like having your date tell you that you are a 'nice' person, but he/she wants to start seeing somebody else.  If you're such a nice guy, for example, wouldn't she want to keep seeing you?  Or is it that she 'likes' you, but can live without you?  See what I mean?  It's pretty easy to be mildly amused by a humorous message and quickly click the thumbs-up 'like' button.  Ten seconds later, you are likely to have forgotten the brand and the message.  Who wants that?  As an attitudinal reference, I'm not sure 'like' taps any lasting evaluation.  Pringles has garnered nearly 15.5 million 'likes' for its Facebook fan page.  It's a pretty decent page, with nearly 100% response to consumer posts, plenty of short, amusing videos, etc.  How many of those 15.5 million 'friends' return to the page on a regular basis or truly appreciate the product?  'Like' - Just a passive measure of an increasingly passive culture.

Sunday, May 22 2011

The Real Cost of Social Media: Infographic

Here you go, a very insightful infographic shedding light on the value of social media for firms.  This is based on research conducted by Syncapse, including a comparison of 20 brands to assess the economic potential of having fans on Facebook.  Thanks to WOMMA's Pat McCarthy for bringing this to my attention.

Monday, June 28 2010

The Klout Score: A New Influencer Metric

In Connecting With Consumers, I devote an entire chapter to research and measurement, including a discussion of techniques for identifying influencers. Without getting too deeply into the Gladwell vs. Watts debate over whether a small core of super-influential consumers matter more than others in determining how everyone else behaves in the marketplace, the notion of a well-connected, powerful few is a compelling one for marketers, and the numbers prove it: more than $1 billion is spent per year on WOM campaigns targeting influentials, an amount that is growing at 36% per year.

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“Marketers love the idea of needing to reach a small group of people to ‘tip’ a product. You’re saying ‘I am in control—I am the biggest influencer, because I’m going to influence the influencers!’”
  - Joe Pilotta, VP Big Research

The influentials idea in marketing harkens back to the long-standing 80/20 principle (also known as 'Pareto's principle') from economics, which suggests that in most situations, be it marketing, politics, sports, whatever, a small minority of people (20%) are vital in having an impact over the rest of the population. Given their predilection towards inflation, some marketers have upped the ante by suggesting that a 90/10 principle operates for consumers.  So let's just assume that influentials are massively important.  The first question that then comes to mind is how does one find these characters?  Although I describe a number of ways that marketers have attempted to identify consumer influentials, I think my personal favorite is the elegantly simple peer nomination approach, whereby group members are asked to name the individual within the social group that is most admired and apt to be emulated.  The basic logic here is that true opinion leaders are persons likely to be highly regarded by their peers.  This was the approach used by Hasbro back in 2001 to identify opinion leaders who would be in the best position to spread the work about its handheld game POX.  Company representatives visited video arcades, skate parks, and playgrounds and posed the following question to adolescent boys: 'Who's the coolest kid you know?'  They then sought out the designated cool kids and asked them the same question until the resulting hierarchy of cool finally led them to someone who answered 'Me!'  

The peer nominations approach, and the similar self-designation (or 'key informant' method ), are likely to be impractical for marketers more bent toward quantification, not only in the sense of identifying influentials, but also of measuring their likely impact and reach, so efforts continue in the development of influencer measurement instruments.  And so it is that a brand new Twitter-based influencer metric has been added to the connected marketing arsenal - the Klout Score.  Developed by Joe Fernandez's San Francisco-based company--you guessed it, Klout--an influencer score is obtained via the assessment of more than 25 variables intended to tap three critical measures:

  • True Reach: the size of your engaged audience and friends (essentially based on number of followers you have clear influence over minus spam followers and inactive accounts)

  • Amplification Probability: the likelihood that your message content will be acted upon (i.e., it generates retweets, sparks a conversation, or leads to clicking on a link)

  • Network Score: the influence level of your engaged audience (i.e., the extent to which you stimulate an action or capture the attention of influential audience members)

Fernandez explains that the idea for the metric came to him while he was recovering from painful jaw surgery:  "During that time all I could do was tweet and update my Facebook status," he says. "With all these conversations going on, I thought it'd be amazing if we could measure who had the most impact."

In addition to a determination of a Klout score, the approach also enables the placement of an influencer into a Klout classification scheme, which is comprised of 16 specific style of influence classes.  The classification is based on factors such as how often you tweet, who you follow, who follows you, and how your audience interacts with your messages (e.g., 'thought leader,' 'syndicator,' 'networker,' 'specialist,' and so on).

According to the Klout blog, the Klout score has been successfully combined with location tracking and tweet tags to find top influencers for Virgin America.

Want to know what kind of influencer you are?  Go to, insert your Twitter name, and find out. 

More information on Klout's influencer metrics is available at and at the Klout website.

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