Do your Facebook marketing strategies align with your fans' expectations? New research from ExactTarget reveals some interesting insights for marketers. While you're busy scrambling for more page 'likes' to increase the reach of your Facebook presence and increase your company's number of fans and brand advocates, it turns out many Facebook users disagree with that interpretation of a page 'like.' In fact, only 42% of US Facebook users think marketers should interpret a 'like' to mean the user is a fan of your business.

ExactTarget's study highlighted many other interesting results, indicating that Facebook users' expectations are both positive and negative when it comes to 'liking' business pages:

Users' Negative Expectations of 'Liking' a Page

  • 54% of users expect to be bombarded with messages or ads.
  • 45% don't want to give companies access to their profile information.
  • 31% don't want content from a company to be pushed into friends’ news feeds.

Facebook page negative expectations

Users' Positive Expectations of 'Liking' a Page

  • 58% of US Facebook users expect to gain access to exclusive content, events, or sales.
  • 58% expect to receive discounts or promotions.
  • 47% expect to see updates about the company, person, or organization they 'liked' in their news feed.

Facebook page positive expectations

Marketing Takeaways

Because many Facebook users are expecting exclusive content and other offers as a result of 'liking' a Facebook business pge, it seems that marketers might want to put more effort into offering fans content that isn't available through subscription to other channels such as following your brand on Twitter or subscribing to your blog or email updates. Consider different ways to leverage users' desire for exclusivity, whether through running a contest that only your Facebook fans are eligible to enter or creating content specifically for distribution on Facebook. In addition, in your attempts to generate more fans for your Facebook page, try using this angle of exclusivity in your marketing campaigns. 

Furthermore, consider tactics to combat users' negative expectations. If 54% of users expect to be bombarded with company messages and ads, make sure you're not playing into those expectations. Limit the frequency of your Facebook page updates, and don't over-publish. And when you do post updates, make sure you're publishing useful content, not overly promotional advertising for the products and services you sell.

What do you think of this new data? How can you take advantage of user expectations to improve your Facebook marketing?


Originally published Oct 7, 2011 2:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017


Facebook Business Pages