Study: Facebook fans who interact with the brand page make for higher-paying consumers


How valuable are Facebook fans? YetiData and Collective Bias conducted a four year-long study of a major grocery store’s Facebook page (150,000 fans), discovering that Facebook fans of the store on average bought 125 more items than a typical customer — a 35 percent rise.

Additionally, Facebook fans who engaged with the page at least 10 times spent more than $1,000 annually than a typical customer, a 95 percent jump. Fans who engaged that much also visited the store 40 more times annually than a typical customer. Collective Bias managed the business’ Facebook page, posting content that would “lock in” current customers, as opposed to trying to lure in new customers with discounts or deals.

Bob Loos, the Director of Analytics at Collective Bias talked with Inside Facebook about how key engagement is when trying to convert Facebook fans into paying customers:

I think the general opinion is, “Why wait until you have them in the store to make them a buyer?” If you have very good content, then by the time they’ve engaged with this really great content, they’ve already, in their minds, used this product. You can convert before you have to win them in-store. … When you’re starting a new Facebook page, you need fans. But it doesn’t necessarily help to grow you fanbase if you’re not going to engage. You’re then throwing good money after bad. There’s a lot of test-and-learn that goes on when we post things on a page.

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Loos told Inside Facebook that they actually posted very few deals and no coupons, focusing on regional content and doing plenty of testing early on to see what worked for that specific audience. The brand page was committed to responding to customer questions, concerns and kudos — a result that the study shows leads to a consumer base more interested in shopping.

As marketers and retailers still debate whether or not Facebook is a good conductor of direct response and conversions, Loos believes the study proves there’s profitability and customer trust to be found on the social network.

Victory Szczerba, the CEO of YetiData, commented on the study’s findings:

We are thrilled to be able to validate Facebook as a key factor in driving in-store sales. This gives our customers what they really need: social media with quantified results.

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Other interesting findings from the study:

  • Women comprise roughly 60 percent of the business’ Facebook fanbase and tended to buy more items (see above chart), but male Facebook fans visited the store more often than women.
  • The more times a Facebook fan engaged with the grocer’s page, the more they tended to spend (see below chart).
  • More than 75 percent of the grocer’s profit during the study came from the 25 percent of customers who were Facebook fans.
  • A Facebook fan of the business spent nearly 50 percent more than a non-fan over time.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 6.06.12 PMTop image courtesy of Shutterstock.

A link to the study can be found here.