The value of a Facebook fan – roi vs.reach

value of a Facebook Fan? $$$ 0r reach?
value of a Facebook Fan? $$$ 0r reach?

Everywhere I look I am reading articles, whitepapers and blog posts about this million dollar question, what is the value of a Facebook Fan?. The only thing all these sources have in common is that there is no conclusive answer.

I am not sure about the value of even measuring it in terms of a dollar value. Many people are so focused on the “next sale” that they forget to attribute value to the life time customer, loyalty, or to a fans ability to share and spread your message. Of course, if they buy your product that is great, but if they ALSO get others to buy it, that’s awesome.

At Diageo I have worked with one of the agencies on putting together a “social tracker”. The starting point of building this tracker was centred around the fact that we know that consumers who are more engaged with our brands, are more likely to purchase our brands. This is underpinned by the Syncapse Study: “The Value of a Facebook Fan: An Empirical Review”.

Putting an immediate dollar value on a fan was hard. Instead, we focused on how engaged people are with our content and we attribute different values to different types of engagement. This is because not all engagements are equal to us. This simply means we have visualised that someone posting a comment is more valuable to us than someone who watches a video.

Instead of putting a dollar value on a Facebook-head, I think it might be more valuable to take a PR angle to this and ask yourself how much earned media value you acquired as a result of your social activities. Your social assets are powerful tools in spreading the word for you about your product and brand. As a result , I think it worth measuring how well your message is spreading. This, however, is an equally difficult task. How much earned media did we get? For Twitter and YouTube you could use a CPM value to come up with a number. For Facebook it is a little bit harder as CPM is difficult to ascertain. Even so, whilst the earned media value number is more of an art than a science. I feel as a trend line, it is giving great visibility on how well our message is spreading.

Jen