LikeIt’s a question that’s as old as social media marketing itself:

“Why do people “Like” brands on Facebook?”

What is it about some pages that get thousands of fans, while others struggle to make an impact?

These are the types of questions that businesses, both large and small, have struggled to answer for quite some time. And while there may not be a simple answer, this week, a new study provides a glimpse into why some brands do better than others and how you could start doing things differently to improve your own results.

Plus, did you know that 8 out of 10 people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations?

Read about these top stories and more in this week’s marketing news roundup.

1. Why do consumers become Facebook fans? Study says it depends on the brand

For years, businesses both large and small have been searching for the secret formula that gets customers, members, and prospects to become fans on Facebook. It hasn’t always been easy.

But, a new study from Syncapse this week could provide an answer that’s closer than you think. According to the study, which surveyed 2,000 respondents, the main reason people like a Facebook Page is because of the relationship they share with the brand.

Here are the top three reasons consumers decide to like a Facebook Page:

  • 49 percent: To support a brand I like
  • 42 percent: To get a coupon or discount
  • 41 percent: To receive regular updates from brands I like

Bottom Line: Building an engaged audience on any of your social networks will always involve a little give and take. People like brands on Facebook as a sign of support. They shop in your store, appreciate the service you provide, and support the work that you do. They have some sort of relationship with your business or organization and are demonstrating a willingness to have your updates show up in their news feed.

But, they also expect a certain value in return. For a number of fans, that value comes through coupons, discounts, and other special offers. For others, that value comes from being the first to know when you have a new product in your store or an event coming up.

Make sure you’re offering an experience that makes them feel appreciated and brings value to their own lives — not only as consumers but as an individuals who support your business.

By engaging your customers, you’ll make them part of your marketing team. It’s this visible engagement and the positive endorsements that will bring you your next fan and hopefully your next customer.

Last year, we conducted a similiar survey looking at why consumers “Like” brands on Facebook or join their email lists. Check out our results here.

2. Facebook introduces mobile #hashtags

Just a few weeks, after introducing clickable hashtags for the web, Facebook announced this week that hashtags will now work across mobile as well.

Facebook has also introduced “related hashtags,” that will provide more in-depth search results for users searching and clicking hashtags on the social network.

Facebook describes the decision to add clickable hashtags to the social network as a way to “turn topics and phrases into clickable links in posts on your personal timeline or your page, and help people find posts about topics they’re interested in.” Both of these updates should improve that experience.

Bottom Line: While it has only been a few weeks since clickable hashtags arrived on Facebook, it appears that most users have embraced the change.

Hashtags let you add context to a post and show that it’s a part of a larger discussion. They can be good for connecting people to other individuals discussing the same topic and are also great for connecting people at events. If you haven’t yet, now is a great time to start using hashtags in your own social media marketing efforts.

3. LinkedIn introduces a more personalized LinkedIn Homepage

If you’re on LinkedIn, you know that one of its more unique features is that it tells you which users have viewed your profile and lets others know when you’ve visited theirs.

This week, LinkedIn took that tool one step further and introduced a whole new way for users to track the activity happening around their LinkedIn network.

In addition to being able to see who has viewed your profile, LinkedIn will now tell you when other users view your updates as well. The new “Who’s viewed your updates,” feature will provide a number of valuable insights including the ability to see how many views, likes, and comments certain status updates and shared news get and who those views or comments are from. You can also see whether those people are in your first, second or third circle of contacts too.

LinkedIn will also keep track of the places you’ve visited on the site as well. The new “You recently visited” tool will show personal profiles that you’ve viewed, searches you have made, and group discussions you have contributed to.

Bottom Line: Over the last few months, social media users have been given a number of valuable tools to help track their results and stay organized on each of the major social networks. Whether it’s the introduction of new Facebook Insights, the addition of Pinterest Web Analytics, or the latest rollout of a native analytics dashboard on Twitter — there are a number of tools you should be taking advantage of today.

Here’s a closer look at LinkedIn’s newest tools.

4. 8 in 10 people say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

According to a new survey from, 80 percent of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

The Local Consumer Review Survey provides a number of revealing insights into the changing attitudes of consumers toward online reviews:

  • 85 percent of consumers now read online reviews (up from 76 percent in 2012)
  • 66 percent of consumers read less than 6 online reviews before forming an opinion (up from 52 percent in 2012)
  • 73 percent of consumers say that positive customer reviews make them trust a business more (up from 58 percent in 2012)

Bottom Line: There’s no question that word-of-mouth has always been the best form of marketing for small businesses.

In fact, when we speak to small businesses, most estimate that roughly 90 percent of their new customers come from referrals. Today, these referrals are coming from more places than ever before —including online reviews.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that in a recent survey from SinglePlatform, 85 percent of small businesses said that they believe it is important to be seen on major search sites like Google, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Yellow Pages.

As these sites continue to play an increasingly important role in the way consumers find new businesses and make decisions about the stores they visit and the products they buy, business owners will need new ways to keep track of their own information on each of these sites. Find out how SinglePlatform can help.

Why do people like your Facebook Page? Let us know in the comments below.