The Real Value of a Facebook Fan

Increasingly, social media is being seen as a smart investment, and not just because of the strong signals it sends to major search engines. With integration into almost every major website and online tool your customers are using, ubiquity on mobile and desktop devices, and a population rapidly approaching everyone, social media isn’t a fad or a marketing channel – it is the new standard of communication.

So how do you measure the value of a “fan” or of any other follower through a social media channel? How do you attach a value to a person who is just as likely to never interact with your brand again as they are to interact with everything you post?

It’s not easy, but with increasingly sophisticated tracking tools, more advanced marketing tools, and a growing audience that not only is willing to interact with brands, but enjoys doing so, it is quickly becoming easier to track these numbers.

Housekeeping

Before you can assign a value to any one person who follows your posts, you need to have as much data in hand as possible. That means:

*  Analytics Installation – If you don’t have Google Analytics installed for every page of your website, it’s impossible to know how any specific traffic source will perform. Don’t cut yourself short.

*  Customized Landing Pages – Create a custom landing page for every type of traffic you drive to your site. So a different landing page for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. Know what works for each.

*  Minimum Fan Counts – Get to at least 30 fans on Facebook as fast as possible (even if you have to pay for ads to get there). That’s when you unlock Facebook’s statistics tools. More fans mean more tools as well – aim for 100 before you do anything substantial.

*  Profile Minimums – Don’t market your timeline unless you have a good cover, enough tabs and lots of information on there for people to interact with.

Once you have the basics out of the way, we can start measuring the value of each fan you get.

Real World Fan Value

You’ve probably seen numbers tossed around by various brands, but in reality, Facebook’s fanbase is the most diverse in the world – the value of a fan for a local restaurant will be different than for an international marketing firm.

Depending on your demographic, the average generic, vanilla ad for your page will convert at about 40-50% – so you’ll pay between $1 and $1.50 for each new like. The actual value of those likes can be much higher if you engage them actively.

For example, check to see how much viral traction any one post gets. A single share, for example could lead to 10,000 people seeing one of your posts – what’s the value of THAT one fan now?

The best way to ensure you maximize ROI on your Facebook Page is to keep track of these things. If you write a blog post, sponsor it for $50 and have 200 fans, how many new fans, how many clicks, and how many sales does that directly generate? Don’t stop there though. How many new subscribers to your list, repeat visitors, and twitter followers does that lead to?

There are so many paths to customer, but not many to trusted Fan. Track both, see how often they overlap and you’ll have a better idea of total fan value.