Social media’s impact on ads: fans or friends show disproportionate loyalty to brand sites

18 Jul 2012

Fans or friends of major European brands like Topshop, Zara or were disproportionately more likely to visit the brand websites – where purchases occur – compared with the average internet user, new research from comScore suggests.

According to the comScore report ‘The Power of Like Europe’, advertisers need to move beyond measures such as click-throughs to evaluate social media return on investment (RoI).

They need to begin to analyse the consumer behaviour in the weeks following exposure to a branded message on Facebook or paid advertising on the site.

Some 32pc of a European Facebook user’s time is spent on the individual’s homepage, which features the Timeline (news feed) – and the majority of branded content.

According to the research, friends of fans represent a substantial potential audience for brands: looking at the top 1,000 brand pages, for every fan there are an additional 81 friends of fans that can be reached.

In France, La Redoute, for example, has 684,000 fans but a friends of fans audience of 22.2m.

In Germany, the reach of the Zara site rose from 1pc among the total internet population to more than 12pc among fans exposed to brand messages (earned media).

In the UK, ASOS fans were 3.6 times as likely to visit the ASOS website than non-fans, and friends of fans were 2.7 times as likely to visit the site.

Facebook advertising generated 130pc uplift in purchase behaviour on the ASOS website in the four weeks following ad exposure.

ASOS site visitors who are a fan or friend of fan are more than 10pc more likely to make a purchase on the ASOS site, compared to site visitors that are not within ASOS’ friend of fan reach.

Social networking image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years