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The Most Effective Tactics for Acquiring Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers

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Digital marketers do not believe that the most commonly used tactics for acquiring Facebook fans and Twitter followers are very effective in delivering quality community and audience members, according to a recent report from ExactTarget.

In the case of Facebook, the two most popular tactics are (1) displaying a Facebook Like button or link on a website (93% use them, but only 46% rate them as effective), and (2) including a Like button or link to a Facebook Page in emails/newsletters (70% use, 35% rate effective).

The report was based on data from a survey of 395 digital marketers mainly from the United States. Respondents were asked to first identify the tactics they use to grow their Facebook and Twitter fan bases and then to rate how effective they consider those methods are in producing quality audience members. The survey also polled marketers on the effectiveness of email acquisition tactics.

Effective Facebook Tactics

For acquiring Facebook fans, several community-involvement tactics are considered highly effective, though many digital marketers don't employ them:

  • Organic growth methods, such as engaging in conversations (58% use, 67% rate effective).
  • Working with influencers/bloggers (33% use, 56% rate effective).
  • Facebook contests requiring fans to submit their own content (36% use, 54% rate effective).

Some other underutilized tactics with perceived high effectiveness are...

  • Facebook ads: Sponsored Stories (25% use, 67% rate effective).
  • Facebook ads: Display ads/non-Sponsored Stories (30% use, 52% rate effective).
  • Answering customer service questions on Facebook (34% use, 69% rate effective).
  • Directing people to Facebook for customer support (17% use, 50% rate effective).
  • Regularly offering FAQs and how-to content on Facebook (29% use, 50% rate effective).

Twitter Tactics

As with Facebook, many of the most popular tactics for acquiring Twitter followers are not considered highly effective in producing quality audience members.

Those tactics include adding a Twitter button or link to a website (65% use them, 43% rate them effective) and incorporating a Twitter button or link in emails/newsletters (64% use, 32% rate effective).

Along with organic growth (45% use, 61% rate effective), marketers cited the following tactics as effective:

  • Product/prize giveaways with "follow" required (20% use, 57% rate effective).
  • Working with influencers/bloggers to promote a Twitter profile (28% use, 51% rate effective).
  • Publicly answering customer service questions on Twitter (27% use, 60% rate effective).
  • Regularly offering FAQs and how-to content in tweets (22% use, 59% rate effective).

Only a small percentage of marketers surveyed use ads to acquire Twitter followers. However, the tactic shows promise: of the 6% of respondents who advertise their Twitter profiles via paid search ads 50% say the tactic is effective.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 395 digital marketers predominantly from the United States. Of the marketers surveyed, 36% were B2B marketers, 35% were B2C marketers, and 29% were involved with both B2B and B2C marketing. The survey was conducted between June 20 and August 5, 2013.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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Comments

  • by Stephanie Mon Nov 18, 2013 via web

    I would like to see "best practices" that result in quality followers, do you have any research on that?

  • by Jack Tue Nov 26, 2013 via web

    Hai, I was wondering,
    What's your opinion about doing these kinds of promotion for a consultancy group?
    Is it usefull to promote on Twitter and Facebook when you are only searching for big businesses with really specific problems?

    Yours sincerely

  • by John Ziegler Tue Dec 3, 2013 via web

    Now you can add "make purchases inside Facebook news feeds" as an absolutely effective tool for acquiring fans. The IBM Institute for Business Value Analysis found that the number 1 reason customers engage socially with brands is to get discounts on products followed by desire to make a purchase. So, a hyper-targeted product offering with a special offer is extremely relevant content and people engage.

    Besides, how much more valuable are fans who are willing to buy from you than ones who simply press the "LIke" button. Checkout www.zoopshop.com.

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