Altimeter Report Provides Facebook Page Guidelines, Benchmarks

In the latest of a series of practical and helpful resources for marketers, Altimeter Group has released a free report entitled The 8 Success Criteria for Facebook Page Marketing.

The report, based on input from 34 industry vendors and consulting agencies, outlines – you guessed it – eight criteria for determining the success of Facebook pages from companies’ perspectives, and in doing so provides a useful set of general guidelines for marketers managing or launching Pages.


 

The report also uses those criteria to evaluate the success of the Facebook pages for 30 well-known brands.


Some key findings:

  • Most of the brands examined did a good job of branding their pages and keeping them updated. However, making them pretty and posting content isn’t always enough.
  • The brands generally did poorly at setting users’ expectations, engaging in two-way dialogue, encouraging peer-to-peer interactions, fostering word-of-mouth and providing calls to action.
  • Most brands neglect to set expectations through guidelines, commenting policies etc. Strangely, Nestle still hasn’t learned its lesson.
  • Most brands hide the identities of the team interacting on Facebook, lowering the “authenticity” of interactions. Brands under fire online fared worst for this.
  • Brands still tend to talk at people, not with them.
  • Few brands deliver direct calls-to-action to fans, thus missing out on opportunities for conversion.

The report also delivers a few recommendations for Facebook page administrators:

  • Put aside your read-only playbook and tap into two-way social marketing
  • Bolster your Facebook pages with applications from third parties
  • Connect the Facebook experience with existing efforts, like your corporate website
  • Measure and analyze based on business goals – not by fans or “likes”
  • Reduce risk: Use the success criteria to analyze your efforts over time

There are a few holes in the report, including a couple of dubious conclusions – I hardly think that not explicitly encouraging peer-to-peer interactions counts as “muzzling” your fans, for example – and a sample size of five per industry is far from sufficient to draw conclusions about entire verticals. Overall, however, Altimeter has released a useful resource for marketers with success criteria, best practices and the case studies for which we are all clamouring nowadays. For those reasons alone, I highly recommend that any communicators using Facebook to reach their audiences download and read this report.

Check out the report, and let’s add to it – what are your best practices?