Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Marketing on Facebook

Many thanks to my colleague Sophy Ashworth for forwarding me an email from Hitwise which contains an analysis of the impact of a River Island marketing initiative on Facebook.

Facebook's strength, in my humble opinion, lies in the fact that only people can have profiles and that - by and large - they are real people.

That leaves marketers only a handful of options for reaching the users: advertising, creating an application or creating a group.

The Group approach can be quite hard unless there is some benefit to joining. There are quite a few London theatres (The Menier Chocolate Factory among them) which offer ticket deals to group members.

In fact, most people join groups but never or rarely visit them. Most of the time they have little more value to the user than as badges or emblems - "this is part of who I am" but if a brand can create genuinely crazy brand loyalty groups are probably a good way to go.

Anyway, back to the Hitwise report which looks at one particular Facebook group:

A good example is 'Addicted to River Island', a Facebook group with over 600 members dedicated to the apparel retailer. This represents a group of loyal customers sharing their thoughts on new products and sale bargains, but what is the impact on the brand?

One good way to understand this is to measure the amount of traffic that Facebook sends to the River Island website. As a benchmark, Facebook ranks 20th in terms of delivering traffic to retail websites for the week ending 18 August. 4% of people leaving Facebook go to a retailer, and this number has doubled during 2007. In contrast, Facebook is the 10th most popular website visited before the River Island website for the week ending 18 August , and the amount of traffic it sends has increased 5-fold during 2007.
Five-fold is either a lot or a little depending on the base - did 10 visits a month turn into 50 or did 1 million turn into 5 million? Because Hitwise's statistics are based on a cross-section of Internet traffic we shall never know unless someone from River Island tells us. Still interesting, though.

1 comment:

SG said...

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