How Much is a Facebook Fan Really Worth?

Facebook is currently the most popular social media network in use by small businesses in the United States. According to research by various organizations, anywhere between 50-70% of small businesses (that’s between 14-18 million) currently have Facebook pages.

And each one is vying for the attention of about 180 million U.S.-based users purported to be active on Facebook every day.

But if the business succeeds in getting a user’s attention, and the user does “Like” them, then what? What does that actually mean to a business?

Let’s phrase that another way. In understanding the return on investment (ROI) of getting a Facebook fan, we need to think in terms of value or worth of that fan. So, how much is each Facebook fan worth to a business?

It’s doubtful that many small business owners consider this question. Rather, the number of Likes on a business’ Facebook page has almost uniformly become the measure of success for its social media marketing campaign.

But so what if your business has 1000 Likes and your competitor has 100? Is that the important part?

According to two studies, one conducted in 2011 and the other more recent, it’s not about the number but the quality of Likes that matters.  What’s more, this quality can be measured in terms of real dollars.

The first study by the social media marketing firm Symantic (which supports the social media efforts of such companies as Nike and Samsung) suggests that the value of each of your Facebook Likes is worth $136.00 per year above the value of customers who don’t “Like” your page.

This would seem great news, especially if you were to collect 1000 fans, right? But the caveat of that study is that the fans of your page must be quality fans. They must interact and engage with your business and your posts. This makes them more likely to refer friends to you, stay loyal to your brand, and buy from you more often.

Without this interaction or engagement, these fans are worth very little.

The second, more recent study (this time by the marketing firm, Imbue), places value on each of these individual interactions and engagements and not the fans themselves.

According to their research, it is worth $8.00 every time a Facebook fan Likes a post or update. The most valuable engagement comes when people share your post with their friends, an engagement worth $14.00 per occurrence.

Without these interactions, the fans are not valued at all.

So again, does it really matter if your business’ Facebook page has 1000 fans and your competitor’s has 100? Not if your 1000 never engage or pay attention to you, and the 100 your competitor has is consistently active—liking or sharing posts, commenting and otherwise acting like a true “fan.”

So what can you do to create this engagement and ultimately give your fans value?

Start by giving them something to engage with—and that’s certainly not advertisements. Share news with them, funny stories, inside information, tips or tricks—anything but advertising.

Second, you must interact with them as well. If they post a comment, tell them thanks. You don’t know how often I see Facebook pages in which customers ask questions that go unanswered—BIG mistake.

Lastly, remember that people are on social media networks to be educated or entertained, not to be marketed to. Take a purely hands-off approach and give your fans something worthwhile for making the decision to “Like” you.

There’s no secret formula for successfully marketing with social media, and it is far from an exact science. But, by remembering the “social” in social media, and approaching it from that direction, will certainly make your fans’ experience more valuable, which will in turn make them valuable to you.

Word One Consulting
575-496-6807
clint @ wordoneconsulting.com
2263 S. Main
Las Cruces, NM 88005