So, you’ve got your own business and you wonder whether promoting it on social media is worth its while, or just a waste of time. Utpal M. Dholakia, associate professor of marketing at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business is probably the best-placed person to answer that question. He set up a Facebook page for Dessert Gallery, a popular café in Houston, and found customers way more eager to respond when social media became part of a marketing campaign.
Before creating Dessert Gallery’s Facebook page, 13,270 customers from the café’s mailing list were sent a survey on shopping habits and store evaluation via email. Just 689 people responded. Once the Facebook page was set up, they contacted the mailing list again with the news. After three months on Facebook, with the Dessert Gallery conscientiously updating its page several times a week, the customers were sent another survey. This time, 1,067 people responded.
Although revenue was not increased, customer behavior improved. The Facebook fans were the Dessert Gallery’s best customers, increasing their visits to the store, and generating more positive word-of-mouth reviews than non fans. There are some things to keep in mind, though. Unless your brand is iconic, and, let’s face it, globally huge, you’re not going to see the number of fans on your FB page skyrocket. What you do get, however, is brand loyalty, positive word-of-mouth reviews and an emotional attachment of 75%. Which can’t be a bad thing.