“They like me, they like me not”; who likes you, and why it really matters.

Note: This is an excerpt from our 2013 Social Loyalty Report. You can download the full report here.

Since the introduction of Facebook Pages in 2007, marketers have bent over backwards trying to estimate the value of getting users to interact with a brand on social network platforms – not just Facebook, but Twitter, LinkedIn and more recent start-ups like Instagram and Pinterest.

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Fig.1: The Estimated Value of a Facebook Like ($)

The traditional focus of these research attempts has been to estimate the monetary equivalent of a Facebook like. The methodology is spurious at best: Marketers tend to measure the impact of a like by surveying the average amount spent by someone who “likes” a brand on Facebook versus “non-liker”.

Fig.1 shows the difference in estimated like values by six research firms[1][2][3][4][5][6]. Not only is the variance in estimates immediately obvious, we can find that as of November 2012, up to 9 out of 10 blog posts and news articles refer to these same six studies when discussing the topic of the monetary value of social media, with the Vitrue and Syncapse studies alone accounting for  6 out of 10.

Clearly, the money value of a like is more difficult to estimate than extrapolating numbers from a survey. The reasons why users initially like brands may give some more insight into their subsequent interaction on social platforms. A recent study showed that for 55% of users who like a brand the biggest motivator is receiving promotional discounts or giveaways, while for another 25% the biggest motivator is showing brand loyalty and trust.[7] Motivations such as liking a brand because a friend recommended it, or liking an unknown brand to acquire more information about it trail far behind.

Why users like brands

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 Fig.2: Why users like a brand

If they like a brand, they are very likely to be familiar with the product and have mostly decided on how much money they are willing to spend on it.This reveals a clear misunderstanding of causation and correlation in the abovementioned methodology: Consumers don’t first like an unknown brand on Facebook or follow it on Twitter, and are then persuaded to start purchasing their products because of effective advertising. Rather, satisfied consumers will like the brand to receive offers, leave comments and feedback and learn about new products. We can deduce three crucial rules about social media users from these facts:

They decide to interact with a brand mostly to receive some form of discount on a future purchase.

Liking a brand does not convert a consumer from casual to loyal – rather it is the transition from a casual to a loyal consumer that induces the liking of the brand.

This seemingly throws a wrench into our intentions to monetize the social interaction: If the like has no significant impact on the user’s decision to purchase the product, what can the value of getting a customer to like the brand possibly be? It’s the ability to identify not how many loyal consumers you have (via the number of your likes), but rather who those consumers are. Facebook has only recently started to provide firms with the ability to engage in a certain degree of data mining in order to create targeted advertising campaigns.

In the second part of our report we analyse how the information gathered from a pool of users who like a brand can be translated into targeted marketing.

You can download our complete 2013 report here.


[1] Penn, C. (2011, December 29). What’s the value of a Facebook Fan? Retrieved November 4, 2012, from WhatCounts.com: http://www.whatcounts.com/2011/12/whats-the-value-of-a-facebook-fan/

[2] Strutton, M. (2010, April 14). $3.60 Facebook Fan Valuation Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg. Retrieved November 4, 2012, from Vitrue.com: http://www.vitrue.com/360-facebook-fan-valuation-is-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg/

[3] Syncapse. (2010). The Value of a Facebook Fan: An Empirical Review. Syncapse.

[4] ChompOn. (2011). What is the Value of a Social Action in Online Commerce? ChompOn.

[5] TNS Digital Life. (2012). Putting a value on a Facebook fan. TNS Digital Life.

[6] Delo, C. (2011, November 22). Why Brands Still Need Facebook ‘Fans’. Retrieved November 4, 2012, from AdAge.com: http://adage.com/article/digital/study-facebook-fan-worth-10-average-brands/231128/

[7] Lab42. (2012). Like Us! Lab42.com, Retrieved November 4, 2012, from Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2012/09/24/facebook-brand-page-value/

Will the real loyal shoppers please stand up? How to capture your holiday shoppers.

The National Retail Federation reports that 51.8% of U.S. consumers will be doing their holiday shopping online this year, up 5% from 2011 and the first time the annual survey has shown online shoppers as the majority.  The NRF based its findings on an early-October poll of approximately 9,000 consumers who plan to spend an average of $750 each on holiday goods and services.

Furthermore, mobile devices will play a strong supporting role in the online shopping surge. According to the survey, 52.9% of smartphone owners and 64.1% of tablet owners will use their devices to do research and make purchases. Shop.org forecasts that online holiday spending alone this year will amount to a whopping $92 to $96 billion.

Online word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends will no doubt make a big influence on consumer purchases and opt-ins into loyalty programs.

Are you recognizing and rewarding your most influential customers? Social Loyalty is now the way to go for retaining and engaging customers in and outside of brick and mortar.

Mark Fidelman recently wrote in Forbes online, the call for change have been happening for years; businesses that don’t move into the same venues where their customers spend the most time stand to lose out when it comes to opportunities to engage with and do business with them. Most businesses have heard all of this before: change now or fall behind.

This upcoming holiday season, treat your influential customers well. Surprise and delight them with relevant/personalized rewards. Leverage their online influence to acquire new customers and drive purchase frequency or brand advocacy. Thank them for tweeting and sharing about your brand or products with their social network.  Hey, you probably don’t even recognize which of your customers are already brand ambassadors. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Would you like to learn more about social loyalty? Send us an email at info@meplease.com to get in touch with a MePlease rep today.

Authored by: Griselda Zhou

About MePlease:  MePlease invented social loyalty to monetize social media. Our social loyalty platform grows and measures consumer engagement through social media, mobile and POS. It enables businesses to identify, track and reward consumers in new and delightful ways. At it’s heart, MePlease is about pleasing people by finding about more about what they like, what they buy, and who they share with so they can be rewarded in personal ways that inspire them to visit, spend and share more.

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MePlease Comes to Silicon Valley Comes to the UK

Over at MePlease headquarters we’ve been even busier than usual by volunteering for Silicon Valley Comes to the UK. For those of you who are scratching their heads in confusion, SVC2UK is a not-for-profit, volunteer led series of events which are aimed at promoting business relationships between Silicon Valley and the UK and inspiring young people to recognise the value of entrepreneurship. Essentially, it celebrates something which is pretty near and dear to our hearts at MePlease so we just had to get involved!

 

For a fresh-faced intern like me, volunteering at SVC2UK was an eye-opening experience. One day, we’d be heading to Parliament to interview some MPs, the next popping up to Cambridge to film some seriously impressive CEOs, and then getting ready for the Jobs Fair. It was certainly a hectic and whirlwind experience but one that was extremely gratifying.

 

Sherry Coutu, member of MePlease Advisory Board

Sherry Coutu, member of MePlease Advisory Board speaking at SVC2UK

Amidst being star struck by the various entrepreneurs and furious typing of e-mails to other SVC2UK volunteers, as a volunteer it was sometimes easy to forget the real message of SVC2UK. That’s why, for me, assisting with one of the school talks that SVC2UK had organised was so inspiring. This particular talk was for sixth form students at an all-girls comprehensive in North London. There were four speakers in all: Ayah Bdeir, Sam Chaudhary, Alice Rathjen, and Joy Foster. Watching the reactions of the girls to their speeches which urged them to be creative, to work hard, and to never lose sight of their passion was really quite inspirational. They all seemed so engaged and excited about all these new possibilities that they hadn’t considered before. As a young woman myself, it was such a refreshing thing to see and I left that event proud of what everyone at SVC2UK had achieved already.

 

The SVC2UK Jobs Fair in Cambridge was another event which the Meplease team attended, armed with an awesome PowerPoint presentation and our winning smiles. While, at first, running after complete strangers to tell them how amazing your company is can be a little daunting, I got the hang of it. I may have even have gotten a little too zealous about how much I love interning with MePlease… Some people looked slightly alarmed by the crazed intern raving about the incredible experience, lovely team, rewarding work, Russell’s delicious baked treats… Oops, I’m doing it again.

Words by Sophie Mullen, Marketing intern at MePlease

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Are you looking for a rewarding internship in social technology field? We welcome students or recent graduates to apply by sending us an email to jobs@meplease.com.

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MePlease is hiring an Android Software Engineer!

MePlease is searching for an Android Software Engineer to join a small team working on the client piece of a large client/server system, an Android app with a complex UI that interacts with various peripherals and with a server side component in both online and offline modes.

Experience required

  • Experience creating and maintaining complex Android apps
  • 1+ years of building Android applications in Java
  • Degree in computer science, computer/software engineering, or related discipline, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Proven ability to write high quality code that is easily supportable and maintainable
  • Comfort working on teams with robust source control, unit testing, and code review processes


Employment type

Contract-to-hire

Start/end date

Starting as early as Monday 03 September, 2012 for a six month contract, with the possibility of permanent hiring after that.

Place of work

Berkeley or Mountain View. Transport shuttle to Mountain View available from various Bay Area locations.

Compensation
Competitive Salary + Stock Options

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to jobs@meplease.com. Please state the position you are applying for within your application. If possible, please include a portfolio.

About MePlease

MePlease is Social Loyalty. We are a fast growing start-up taking loyalty marketing to the next level through our mobile and social platform. Our mission is to treat people well. Based in Berkeley, US and in London, UK. our customers are many globally recognised brands. We are made up of world-class team members from great companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Ofoto. Follow us on @me_please for updates.

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MePlease is hiring a Java Web Developer!


MePlease is searching for a Java Web Developer superstar to work on a small team developing an administrative web portal for a complex client/server system. This admin panel will provide reports, data management, and other tools to administrators.

Experience required

  • Experience creating dashboard-type web applications in Java.
  • Solid web development skills with HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc.
  • Degree in computer science, computer/software engineering, or related discipline, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Proven ability to write high quality code that is easily supportable and maintainable
  • Comfort working on teams with robust source control, unit testing, and code review processes


Employment type

Contract-to-hire

Start/end date

Starting ASAP for a six month contract, with the possibility of permanent hiring after.

Place of work

Berkeley or Mountain View. Transport shuttle to Mountain View available from various Bay Area locations.

Compensation

Competitive Salary + Stock Options

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to jobs@meplease.com. Please state the position you are applying for within your application. If possible, please include a portfolio.

About MePlease
MePlease is Social Loyalty. We are a fast growing start-up taking loyalty marketing to the next level through our mobile and social platform. Our mission is to treat people well. Based in Berkeley, US and in London, UK. our customers are many globally recognised brands. We are made up of world-class team members from great companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Ofoto. Follow us on @me_please for updates.

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Social Media is a Place, Not Just a Channel or Strategy

This past week, Alisa Phanchalad wrote an article on Business2Community reminding Marketers that Social Media is a channel, not a strategy. The author emphasized that social media must be integrated with multiple marketing channels as part of a broader strategy. The author went on to say that the more channels you add, the more likely your strategy is to succeed and not fall over, similar to a table and its legs. Alisa has brought up many good points, but we would like to add to her story in order to paint a better picture of where we believe that the future of social media is headed.

Adding more channels just for the sake of doing so will not necessarily increase the success of your marketing. The quality of the channel must be taken into consideration, especially when trying to engage and reach as many members of your target market as possible. Brands need to understand their target market’s media consumption behaviours. Are they 18-25 year-olds who spend hours socialising and shopping via their smartphones and no longer watch television? If so, then an above-the-line television campaign will do nothing to further your marketing efforts. A brand can spend thousands of dollars across multiple channels but may only see results from half of them if they are not carefully chosen. However, it is important to integrate your marketing communications for a synergistic effect.

MePlease believes that social media is soon to be more than just a channel but a place. Unlike traditional media such as TV, Radio, and other ATL, consumers are spending many hours of their lives “living” online on social media platforms and performing a lot of their activities on them as well. Consumers are continually sharing as they shop, research, listen to music, watch movies, and socialize. AMEX has leveraged the fact that many of their customers live on social media by introducing AMEX Sync (Amex Go Social and Link>Like>Love), thereby rewarding customers for their online social behaviour and providing value for merchants. We also really like Shopycat as an example of a social place. It analyzes your Facebook friends’ likes and dislikes and recommends gifts for you to purchase through Wal-Mart’s app on Facebook.

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The next evolution we foresee is that social media will become a platform where many relationships are initiated and continue to be built off of one another. A great example would be the partnership between Foursquare and Amex. In recent news, Facebook has talked about offering a bank service, or at least providing banking facilities for customers, and because brands are able to set up online shops right on their own Facebook Pages, these online transactions could be easier than ever. When coupled with the fact that Facebook now provides all users with an @facebook.com email address in addition to their current platform for socializing, gaming, and sharing, Facebook is poised to become a one-stop-shop for all of its users’ online needs. First, brands need to learn that social media is no longer a one-way publishing street, but a place where brands and customers engage and learn about each other.

What do you think readers? Do you have any examples of social media evolving to become places and platforms? Do you agree or disagree? Leave your comments below!

Words by: Griselda Zhou

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