ISSUE NO. 66 06/20/12
MOST FACEBOOK USERS ARE NOT INSPIRED TO BUY

Four in five Facebook users say they have never bought a product or service after seeing an ad or reading comments on Facebook, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey. The online poll of 1,032 Americans also uncovered a downward trend in usage for a third of users (34%) who said they are spending less time on Facebook than six months ago. The top reasons for spending less time were that Facebook is "boring," "not relevant" or "not useful." Privacy was also cited as a concern.

These findings come in the wake of last month's IPO and reinforce investors' concerns that Facebook has not yet found an effective way to monetize its 900 million-strong user base. And some advertisers apparently share those concerns. Though Facebook made $3.7 billion in revenue last year, its sales growth is slowing. Indeed, General Motors, the United States' third largest advertiser announced last month that it would no longer pay for advertising on Facebook. "[The survey] shows that Facebook has work to do in terms of making its advertising more effective and more relevant to people," eMarketer analyst Debra Williamson said.
In the meantime, Facebook continues to evolve in an effort to keep users coming back. New features such as the "Timeline" interface and the planned $1 billion acquisition of mobile photo-sharing app Instagram are both examples of such efforts, Gartner analyst Ray Valdes told Reuters. "Facebook continuously has the challenge of Facebook fatigue, of the novelty factor wearing off, and therefore they have to introduce new kinds of interaction."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?

Despite the fanfare in recent years about Facebook as the go-to destination for marketers looking to connect with consumers, the social media site is still struggling with how to turn its users into shoppers. But with 900 million users, marketers can't afford to ignore the platform either. So, don't count Facebook out but do proceed with caution. Also, when you look to engage with Facebook users, be sure to overcome the complaints of "boring" and "not useful" with memorable, relevant messages. And, as always, be extremely respectful of privacy concerns.

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"Facebook Comments, Ads Don't Sway Most Users: Poll," Reuters, 6/4/12 www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/05/net-us-facebook-survey-idUSBRE85400C20120605

 
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Facebook, shopper research


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07/16/12 03:38am
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