Facebook to Brands: You Need Us

A new and unapologetically pro-Facebook report from ComScore points to several reasons why the platform is worth a brand’s time and money. ComScore and Facebook itself (sponsor of the white paper) report that brand pages are an indispensable component of any digital marketing program, perhaps even trumping the traditional brand website.

You never know – with that disappointing IPO showing and GM’s public pulling of Facebook ads, maybe this report (and that exciting WWDC announcement) are exactly what Facebook needs to brighten up brand perceptions.

Let’s take a look at the pros (and more pros) of Facebook marketing, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Facebook pages get more traffic than websites

In a section titled “Brand Pages as the New Brand.com Websites,” the report describes a shift in brand touchpoints from traditional websites to social media. According to the report, Skittles’ brand website attracted 23,000 U.S. unique visitors in March of 2012. Meanwhile, the Skittles Facebook Brand Page attracted over 320,000 visitors – 14 times that of their website.

Skittles Facebook page, Skittles on Facebook, brands on Facebook, Brands Facebook pages

Likes shouldn’t be the end goal

The report also addresses the commonly held misconception that likes will make or break a brand’s Facebook presence. Instead, marketers should turn their attention to more tangible goals like reach, brand resonance and marketing ROI. As the diagram below illustrates, this process starts with likes, but is then followed by fan reach (brand messaging), engagement (compelling content) and  amplification (ads).

Facebook Likes chart, Brands on Facebook, Brands Facebook pages

Low engagement is a relative term

Facebook and Comscore also take the opportunity to defend fan engagement levels. While recent studies point out that only around 1% of fans actually engage with a given brand message, these numbers are actually pretty high when compared to other forms of marketing. For example, display ad engagement is generally as low as 0.1%. In other words, Facebook engagement is ten times higher than that of display ads.

We’re not convinced that Facebook is the end all be all of digital marketing, but with the right balance of activities, brand pages can certainly be a stronghold for a company’s online presence.