Should we all be running out trying to get likes? Fake accounts? Bribe people to like our content? It could be one of the conclusions if you look at a research performed by Experian Hitwise. They noticed that one fan on Facebook is worth 20 additional visits to your website in a year.
The research shows the importance of likes and fans, but even more shows the power of Facebook in the UK. We already knew that 1 in every 6 page views from UK Internet users goes to a Facebook page. The follow up on that now shows it could get you more visitors to your website. One fan can influence 20 of his friends to also visit your website.
Experian Hitwise looked at the top 100 retailers and then looked inside their own data to see visits to these retailers’ websites after a visitor went to Facebook. It also looked at searches for a retail brand in a search engine after a visit to Facebook. For that they used Techlightenment’s social media data.
The data that came out of this research shows that fans matter: the more fans you have, the more visits to your website it will earn you. You have to be careful though, before you run out to get random fans: the fans still need to have some sort of ‘bond’ with your brand.
James Murray from Experian Hitwise told State of Search:
“There is no way for us to qualify in this initial research “dedicated fans” vs “occasional visitors” because we were principally looking at the number of fans on a Facebook page, not how regularly those fans visited the website or Facebook page. However, the overall correlation between fans and visits was so strong that we feel very confident with our 1 fan = 20 additional visits stat.”
Get as many likes as possible?
So do we now need to go and hunt for as many likes as possible? Do we need to be giving away iPads to get people to like our stuff, even if they don’t really like it? Not exactly. Even though it helps, it is definitely not as simple as that. The key lies within the connection you build up with your fan. Somebody who likes your page without actually liking your brand will not be a possible visitor to your website, and will definitely not convert.
“The crucial thing to understand is that those 20 visits will not come from just that 1 fan. Rather by liking a particular brand an individual becomes an advocate of that brand and their choices will be seen by their friends within their network. We are all influenced to some extent by our friends and because of the viral nature of Facebook, many people will see the brands that their friends like which in turn leads to more visits to the brand websites.”
So it is still important to get likes from those that actually have an interest in your brand. So give away the iPad, but only to those that matter.
The research comes at the same time Experian Hitwise launched a new service called Facebook Fan Acquisition and Analysis service (indeed not a coincidence). This service helps you target possible fans through micro-targeted branded advertising. That means the fans should be ‘real’ fans, not just fans who want the iPad.
Oh, if you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet, please do so now ;).