Facebook brand pages lag behind in 'likes'

Facebook brand pages have been 'liked' by only 9% of Internet users — trailing the number of 'likes' for all other Facebook elements — according to the latest JustAsk! survey from audience research and targeting company Crowd Science (http://crowdscience.com).

But no single type of Facebook feature has attracted 'likes' from more than 20% of all survey respondents in the study, one potential reason why Facebook is moving to its new Timeline layout. "These findings show that while users have been willing to 'like' Facebook items to some extent, they're far from loving the idea," says Sandra Marshall, VP of Research at Crowd Science.

Wall posts, pictures and comments led the 'likes' list, each having been 'liked' by 16% of respondents. These were followed by videos (12%), non-branded pages (10%) and branded pages (9%).

Those who have 'liked' branded pages tended to skew younger and spend more time on the Internet.

Asked their reasons for liking Facebook items, over one-quarter reported 'liking' Facebook items because "I wanted to show my support" and/or "I enjoyed what was being said or shown." These statements were shared by twice as many people as those who stated they did so "Because I like the brand" (14%), and followed by "To keep informed about the brand" (10%), "To inform my friends of the brand" (7%), "To get discounts on the brand's offerings" (6%) and "To enter a sweepstakes" (5%).

Those over 65 were significantly less likely to 'like' items in order to keep informed about brands (1% compared to those ages 18 - 64 ranging between 9% and 13%). But while 23% of those under 17 said they would 'like' a Facebook item "because I like the brand," this number dropped steadily as the age of respondents increased, down to 9% for seniors.

One in 10 have 'liked' wall posts, pictures, comments and/or videos on Facebook. The kinds of items 'liked' were consistent across gender and income groups. However, proportionally more respondents between 18 and 34 have 'liked' videos (14% compared to 9% for those 55-64) and pictures (18% compared to 11% for those over 65).