A new study from Syncapse, the company that recently valued a Facebook user at $174, found that most people who “like” a brand on Facebook do so because they actually like them, not because they were prompted by a free item or discounted code. This may sound obvious, but the takeaway for marketers may be that their ad money is better spent on branding ads on the social network rather than call-to-action or direct-response ads that may produce higher click-through rates, but not brand advocates.

Syncapse worked with Hotspex to interview 2,080 consumers in the first quarter about their reasons for becoming Facebook fans. “To support the brand I like” was the number one reason followed by several more findings.

The survey also looked at overall sentiment for a brand and why users were motivated to press “like.”

Max Kalehoff, VP of product marketing at Syncapse strongly urges advertisers to cultivate actual fans rather than take advantage of a quick offer or giveaway, something that is easily said but often times difficult to execute.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s a flat out rule that you shouldn’t do that,” he says, referring to direct-response ads, “but you should do more emphasis on brand personality drivers because that really resonates with your core audience. Then you might want to mix it up,” Kalehoff said.

But since branding ads don’t provide an incentive to click, they have very low click-through rates providing what seems by one measure to be a low ROI. In response to that criticism, Facebook has sought to de-emphasize the CTR as an industry standard for online ad efficacy.

Source: Mashable