When a brand focuses on acquiring and engaging fans on Facebook, it can benefit from a significant secondary effect – exposure among friends of fans that often surpasses reach among fans. Facebook and comScore released a study, “The Power of Like: How Brands Reach and Influence Fans Through Social Media Marketing,” examining the nature of the reach and frequency of branded content on Facebook. Rather than quantify the “value of a fan,” in order to determine the value of social marketing efforts, the study looks at three other methods: increasing the depth of engagement and loyalty among fans, generating incremental purchase behavior, and leveraging the ability to influence friends of fans.
The report also found that branded content on social media can take many forms – content shared directly from brands, re-shared content from connections, or social marketing via ad unit. While there has been focus on counting the incidence of these brand mentions on social networks (and, to a lesser degree, categorizing it), the report found that the reach and frequency of social media brand impressions is far more important than simple counting statistics.