Big Brands Underuse Facebook, Local Merchants Signing On

Findings from a WongDoody study show that there are untapped opportunities for organizations to do more marketing on Facebook. The study investigated the activity of the Interbrand’s top 100 brands. While most brands have a Facebook listing, only 84 have corporate-run Facebook pages. Other findings include:

• While most brand pages offered new content nearly every day (average of 24 posts per month) and actively responded to consumer questions (66%), much of what brand marketers are electing to use is video content that has been repurposed from other sources.

• Companies are cautious about how much they allow fans to participate and are limiting engagement, with only 39% soliciting photo submissions; 33% promoting contests; 39% posting polls and quizzes for fun; and 32% posting surveys to gain consumer feedback.

• The 84 official Facebook pages boasted an average of 1.8 million fans. In a single month, fans contributed on average 857 fan posts to each corporate wall.

Meanwhile, local merchants in the U.S. are gravitating toward simple, low-cost communications methods like social media (i.e. Facebook), search and e-mail marketing, says a new study by MerchantCircle. One reason why: More than half of local merchants are spending less than $2,500 a year on marketing, and 60% have no plans to raise their budgets this year. Other study findings include:

• Facebook continues to be a popular way for merchants to market their business, with 70% using the social network for marketing, up from 50% one year ago.

• Twitter has also grown in popularity over the past year, with nearly 40% of local merchants using the microblogging platform to build awareness and community around their products and services, up from 32% in Q4 2009.

• Less than 15% of merchants report doing any sort of mobile marketing, and more than half have no plans to do so in the coming months; 74% of merchants state that they don’t have a good idea of how to reach consumers via mobile marketing. PRN

Source: WongDoody, MerchantCircle