Facebook interactions B2C – C2B not as frequent as we think

Written by Monique Jansen for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Facebook is an excellent social media tool for spreading corporate and brand related messages, and the number of companies that open Facebook pages to communicate with potential and current customers is still rising.

On Facebook’s own web-page, the numbers are impressive:

  • More than 750 million active users world wide
  • 50 % of active users log on to Facebook on a daily basis
  • The average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

However, recent investigation by the company Social Embassy on Facebook usage in the Netherlands, resulted in a disappointing number of real INTERACTIONS with customers via Facebook, most communications are one-way. This means that we cannot talk about social CRM, as CRM by default means interaction.

The top 4 companies in the list published in the on-line version of marketing magazine marketingonline.nl, are Etos, a retail store chain in the personal care sector, then Ben&Jerry’s, then Hema, a retail chain in household products, and Starbucks is in 4th position.

In case of number 1 Etos, of all messages sent via their facebook page, only 0.75 % was real INTERACTION, the rest was one-way communication.

Social Embassy draws the following conclusion from their investigation: Companies do not talk about the right things, the ones that engage costumers.

The top 4 companies in the list published in the article got their interactions through mainly 2 topics:

  • Discount offers: only via Facebook certain discounts can be obtained
  • Customer co-creation: Both Ben&Jerry’s and Starbucks involve their customers in the launch of new products and services.

Some Social CRM experts, like Anthony Manelka who posted an interesting post on Esteban Kolsky’s blog early July, even wonder if Facebook is the right place for B2C interactions in the first place.

I agree more with Social Embassy’s conclusion than with Anthony’s; companies could do more effort to find out about WHAT customers like to interact about before deciding on their Facebook approach.

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