There are companies that sell Facebook likes, putting out tweets like the following to advertise them:
The question is, are Facebook likes worth buying?
A recent study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute found that less than 1% of fans of the largest brands actually engage with those brands on Facebook. As Matthew Creamer of Ad Age reported, for even the sexiest brands, in most cases, less than 1% of fans engage with the brand.
“This,” said Creamer, “confirmed something many readers already suspected: Facebook fan bases and actual engagement aren’t the same thing.”
A number of reports have cast doubt on Facebook’s active member numbers and its methods of defining active users.
The implications of low engagement are that the cost and effort put into obtaining numerous Facebook likes may not be worth it. Moreover, buying advertising on Facebook is of less value to brands if the audience is not engaged.
As Karen Nelson-Field told Matthew Creamer, the very tiny rate of engagement found across so many big brands in the Ehrenberg-Bass study is significant. The ultimate question, as she noted, is the cost effectiveness of engaging such a low percentage of fans.
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