A recent study has shown that garnering as many Facebook ‘likes’ as possible isn’t the best way to draw in new customers.
Research from multinational digital communications company Aegis Media has found that Facebook users are generally more positive about brands with a moderate number of likes, as opposed to those with more than 10,000.
The study asked 600 participants from the US for their views on Ashwood Furnishings, a fictional brand, based purely on its Facebook page. The screen shown to each participant was identical except for the number of likes, which ranged from 12 to more than nine million.
It was found that participants’ attitudes towards the brand grew more favourable as the number of likes increased – but only to a point. The influence the pages had was significantly less positive between the middle (2,000) and high (10,000+) bracket for likes.
This only reinforces the need for companies using social media to act as industry relevant news content providers; with access to engaging articles, videos and infographics, users will be more likely to maintain a positive view of a brand.
Researchers aimed to test whether or not Facebook likes serve as an ‘unconscious cue’ which, in an everyday context, aids people in the decisions they make.
As a significant relationship was observed between the number of likes a page had and its ability to positively affect users, the findings supported a phenomenon known as ‘informational social influence’, whereby people imitate the actions of others in an attempt to demonstrate what they perceive as the correct behaviour.
Aegis Media UK’s CEO, Rob Horler, said that since the firm’s most recently study serves as a pilot, his company does plan to undertake broader research at some point, with the aim of taking in a more comprehensive view of social media, and the factors affecting unconscious behaviour.