Monday, May 16, 2011

31% of people that have ‘liked’ a company on Facebook have actually ‘unliked’ it

like-and-dislike-stampsExactTarget and CoTweet have released research that provides us with insights into Facebook users and “liking” companies – or more specifically, what happens when fans decide they no longer like a company.

As with most research, you have to read the words very carefully to understand what they are saying.

For example, the report states that 55% of people have liked a brand but then later decided they no longer wanted to see posts from that brand. My gut tells me it is probably higher but it is the nature of how the question is asked that influences the answer (unfortunately we rarely get to see the questions). I recon the results would have been higher if people were asked “Do still like 100% of the companies you have liked on Facebook?”

The report goes on to say that of that group, only 57% actually seek out the unlike option of a particular company. In other words, 31% of people that have liked a company actually unliked it. Again, you might have liked 100 companies but because you didn't like one particular one, and maybe actually unliked it, you get counted.

Fair enough though, I don't want to sound negative about the results but you always have to take it with a grain of salt and consider how it applies to your situation. It is always useful because it gets you thinking.

So I started thinking … there are more than 500 million active users on Facebook with 50% of active users logging in on any given day. Of that, there are more than 250 million (50%) active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices and these people are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users (Official Facebook Stats)

But you can’t unlike something from your mobile – well, from the iPhone Facebook app anyway. Not that I can see. Facebook provides advice but it is only relevant if you are accessing Facebook through a browser as opposed to an app. Starts to make the figures above seem pretty murky to me. 

So I thought, what should Facebook do? The average punter probably couldn’t name all the companies that they have liked let alone all the ones they don’t like. Maybe Facebook should have a tab in our account settings that let’s us go in and view all the companies we have liked and let us uncheck those that we no longer like. They could send us an annual “like” review reminder so that we are prompted to keep our info up to date.

Surely this would strengthen their position and help them target ads better?