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Are Facebook Fans Really Useless?


Are Facebook Fans Really Useless?

Depends.

If a Facebook page is designed to generate revenue, says, Hotelmarketing.com,  there’s a problem.

The online research and news site says 70 percent of Facebook users do not want to be advertised to by the very same businesses they “fan.”

New Media Travel/Travel Video PostCard, the company  I mostly work for, has some 7,000 + “likes” or fans, and as a small organization, we’re very proud of that.

But we don’t use Facebook  to generate revenue.

We use it to provide compelling, timely images, video, information and, hopefully, an interesting travel conversation with and among the people who “like” us.

While the travel marketing industry may be impressed with fans/likes, if they don’t want to hear about your business from a sales point of view, are they useless?

Not really so, says iMedia Connection, a link site for the marketing community.

Amielle Lake, writing for iMedia, asks, “What’s in a fan….or, basically, not all fans are created equally.”

Lake is CEO of Tagga Media, a mobile marketing company.

She divides Facebok fans into several categories:

• The travel brand enthusiast who loves everything about the company. Could be cruise line, a travel goods store, a hotel, whatever. These are the fans most likely to be converted from evangelists to actual customers who’ll book a cruise or a room or rent a car.

• The fan that “likes” almost everyone. Their “like” is like a luke-warm affair. Interested, but not a lot of passion. Still, here’s the chance to rise above all the other brands this person “likes.”

* Then there’s the “average user” fan, who, in Lake’s words, “likes” you, but that’s more or less a default position. Still, these fans, she says, make up a majority of a company’s sales and figuring out a way to turn them into long-term customers is critical.

• The “issue fan” is someone who “likes” or doesn’t “like” some one thing you did, said, or a product you came out with. The point here is you have their attention, use it.

We see an increasing tendency to “commoditize” travel, meaning, like most commodities, price matters most.

Do you really care who delivers your electricity or cable service?

Do you really care what hotel you stay at?

Isn’t price driving the decision: cheaper is the best?

So then how do “likes” and fans matter, especially if there is no real way of knowing what made them “like” what’s offered in the first place?

From a revenue point of view, fan count provides some interesting data, but no certain way to develop and increase sales.

From our point of view as a travel content company, we love our “likes” and fan base because they are interested in what we have to say, it seems, and the rich content we try to provide.

That’s enough for us. We’ll generate our revenue elsewhere, thanks. Maybe that’s the best way to go. Maybe.

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