Sell to 100,000 or shout at a million? Cheap fans become mediocre customers…

Speaking with the smart folks over at Alchemy Social (part of Experian) last week – specifically Will Ashton, Global Strategy Director, he hit upon some interesting research he’s been working on regarding a subject very close to my heart – value and ROI.

The research ties in with a trend I am hearing and observing throughout the industry – a desire to make Facebook work harder.  Using Hitwise data to measure the worth of fans, Ashton and co have gone beyond ad-effectiveness and click-path analysis to see what the fan does after they have clicked ‘like’ – specifically purchasing goods and services.

So what’s the takeaway?  “Hyper focus on going after relevant fans and be clear on what you mean by relevant”, says Ashton.  For example: Are you focusing your targeting on existing aspirational ‘likes’ (brands they may never afford or ever buy) or most-likely-to-be clearer direct affiliations such as being a member of a swimming club.   Do you know what your existing customers ‘like’ (outside of Facebook perhaps?) so you can map that data?  Are you looking to keep the same customers or diversify?

Whatever your strategy, the data suggests this method produces results – using Hitwise data, Alchemy has been able to measure the uplift in interest shown by fans.  Some interesting findings were that fans who were pre-qualified using 3rd party data are 3x more likely to interact with a brands online store than fans acquired by poorly targeted means…”

Additionally the pre-qualified fans are 20x more likely to investigate the brand than people who did not see any form of social advertising.  Facebook and co. can rest easy then…

I’m going to talk more soon about training your communities in other blog posts but if at the end of the day we are, as I believe, here to make or save a business money one thing from the research is clear, as ‘Like’ counts rises, the adage “know thy audience” seems to get truer and truer.