Insights on why a Facebook fan, for a mobile operator such as Vodafone, is not necessarily a true fan. Why ’like’ is not the same as ’love’ and what marketers should pay more attention to rather than just increasing their fan count.
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The word ‘fan’ stands for a person who holds someone or something in very high regard. Their support can be depended on. People usually associate the word with sports, where the word truly comes alive.
It conjures up images of people, dressed in their team’s colors, cheering on the players in the field. A sports fan feels an emotional bond, does not abandon his team and start supporting another one. A fan is reliable. Shows commitment and love even when the team loses a game.
However, within the context of Facebook, the word ‘fan’ takes on a different meaning as fans there can ‘unlike’ a brand for many reasons and disconnect themselves from being a ‘fan’. Their loyalty can be fleeting.
Recent research has shown that 57% of former ‘fans’ on Facebook just ignore all communication from a brand that they still appear to ‘like’. Only 43% of ‘disenchanted fans’ take the time to ‘unlike’ brands on the company’s fan page. The brand counts the rest as fans but they have moved on…
Granted, Facebook is a fascinating platform with close to 700 million users throughout the world. It helps build brands, but the biggest brand it is building is itself.
‘Like’ is just not the same as ‘Love’. In life or on Facebook… Don’t take for granted that a Facebook fan is a true fan. Instead, ask yourself, “How do I earn the loyalty of my fans?” and use Facebook to monitor & address pain points to create loyalty & reduce churn.
Getting a ‘Like’ could be the first step in the right direction for engagement. By itself, it is just not strong enough. A fan that ‘likes’ you can defect to another mobile operator without hesitation. Earning a fan’s love will reduce churn and bring in new customers. Just focusing on increasing your fan count could be meaningless or worse, misleading, as it could create a false sense of earned affinity.