Almost every business has an official Facebook page for their brand. You will see pages for large brands such as Ford, Walmart, and Google, as well as pages for your local skateboarding shop right down the street. Its a marketing strategy that is very popular. These larger companies are paying a PR department to develop and execute marketing strategies such as Facebook “brand” pages. But is it a waste of time, effort, and money?
According to InSites Consulting only 4% of all Americans aged 15 to 25 thinks that a brand page on Facebook is a credible source of information about the product. But the same survey also indicates that 22% of the same age group in the US finds that what regular consumers write on online forums and blogs is credible. The results also show 14% of the age group trust what they are told by their friends about a brand or product.
For myself when making a purchase ranging from a new laptop to a scale to weigh myself, I will often search online for user reviews before buying. I make sure to read the good and bad reviews. The more reviews a product has, the better. A good source for reviews is the website that you are purchasing your item from. BestBuy, Amazon, Walmart have a lot of user reviews. Also for electronics such as cell phones, cameras, tablets or computers, I check CNET as well.
Here is a recent example: Sally Gray, while shopping for a replacement coffee machine last week, found a great coffee machine that fit her budget, looked good, and best of all, it was bright red! She looked on the company website and read all about it. Before getting out her wallet, she checked some review sites on her iPhone. She says “I’m really glad I did that, because almost all of the reviews for that machine were negative. Some said it leaked, some said it was hard to clean and one said it broke. I bought a more expensive model that had a lot of positive reviews – it was red too!”
When a PR department creates a brand page on Facebook, they are only going to show and tell you what they want you to see and know. You will never see a Facebook brand page state “Our product will save you money but is not reliable”, but a review from other consumers will.
Reviews are free to read and easy find and access on most products, so I strongly recommend that you take advantage of this resource offered with today’s technology before you buy.