Facebook and Virtual Worthiness

In a marketing world where the bottom line means more now than ever, there’s a wide breadth of what one can use to measure Facebook success.

If you have an Omniture-enhanced website, it is easy to see traffic that may flow to your site or webstore from Facebook without any hindrance.
From here you can make a tangible assessment of how much revenue is being generated from social media.

However, if you don’t, how can you tell exactly how much, on average, a fan can be worth?

Well, there have been a few reports over the last several months, all of which apply different factors and put different numbers on this worth.

Media Value

According to Vitrue, a Facebook fan base of one million translates into at least $3.6 million in equivalent media over a year. This number is achieved on the basis of impressions generated in the Facebook news feed, where one sees recent updates from friends and pages they’ve fanned.

Vitrue analyzed Facebook data from the company’s clients with a combined 41 million fans and found the majority of fans yielded an extra impression. This means that a marketer posting twice a day can expect approximately 60 million impressions per month through the feed on Facebook.

The company also came to the conclusion of the exact amount of $3.60 each by working off a $5 CPM, meaning a brand’s one million fans would generate about $300,000 in media value each month. A great example of this would be Starbuck’s 6.5 million fan base is worth $23.4 million in media annually.

Likes on the Web, Real-World Monetary Value

Another new study analyzes how much money each fan could hypothetically generate for a brand or company. This one was by Syncapse, a social media management and technology partner. Syncapse breaks it down to the following variables weighing in on a value:

  • Product spending
  • Loyalty
  • Propensity to recommend
  • Brand affinity
  • Media value
  • Acquisition cost

An asterisk to this is that Syncapse used fans of some of the big brands on Facebook to create the most accurate picture of what a fan is actually worth. From examining how much money fans and non-fans respectively spend on a given brand, Syncapse found that the monetary value of a Facebook fan is approximately $136.38.

While this number may seem high, it is important to note the following key points:

  • On average, fans spend an additional $71.84 on products they are fans of compared to non-fans.
  • Fans are 28% more likely than non-fans to continue using the brand.
  • Fans are 41% more likely than non-fans to recommend a fanned product to their friends.

From Facebook To Website

A recent study conducted by Hitwise, this one with website traffic in mind, determined that each new Facebook fan is worth an additional 20 website visits per year.

This number was achieved based on Hitwise data combined with data from Techlightenment. They took the top 100 retailers ranked in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category and benchmarked visits to those websites against the number of fans those brands had on the brand Facebook page.

However you want to slice or measure the worth of a fan, one thing is for certain. Each Facebook fanbase is unique and every individual has different only tendencies and behaviors.

And regardless of the social media channel, the brand involved will only be successful if there is quality content and sincere interaction with the fan base. But that’s a different topic for a different blog.