The ROI of Building a Facebook Audience
Many people seem to intuitively grasp the idea that building a big Facebook audience is important. There are a lot of pros in terms of brand awareness, building relationship, engaging your target users, regular communication, etc. However, the value of these things can be difficult to measure. But if you can generate rock solid ROI that demonstrates the value of an audience in tangible revenue, then things have moved to another level.
Beyond The “Fuzzy” Benefits
While I think building a big Facebook audience is important, the pragmatist in me cannot accept the popular idea that you should do it just because everyone is doing it. There needs to be more, quantifiable value for the investment of time and manpower.
Recently I was reviewing a client campaign that we were running on Facebook. This initiative involved direct advertising intended to get users to purchase a niche product. We targeted two segments, one was a general target buyer persona, and the other was the page audience. What we found was that the cost per sale was almost 50% lower with users who currently like the page. That is a huge difference in cost per conversion.
Building The Right Audience
The audience of this Facebook page was one that we helped this particular company build. We targeted almost the exact same types of users to grow the Facebook page as we did later for the advertising campaign. So essentially our advertising campaign was targeting the same exact types of users for both initiatives, the only difference is that one of the test groups had already liked the page and one of the test groups did not.
The simple action of users liking the Facebook page nearly doubled their chances of buying vs. the same target audience who did not like the page.
Think Like Your Users
Now if you break that down and try to get into the mind of the users, you notice the people who liked the page are users who have already decided they were interested in the company. They are more qualified prospects. In addition to that, they have been seeing regular content from the page, engaging with posts, and have a deeper level of relationship. They were involved with all the fuzzy stuff, the value of which I mentioned was hard to measure.
But when faced with an advertisement, the page audience is more receptive and trusting than other users with the same characteristics who have not liked the page. Essentially users who have liked a page can be advertised to more efficiently.
Audience Growth Is An Investment
The bottom line is this, strategically investing money and effort to build a page audience will take time, but it can pay dividends down the road in terms of direct response and ultimately ROI.