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Does It Really Matter How Much a Fan is Worth?

Syncapse has identified [pdf] what it deems to be the value of a Facebook fan - $71.84. According to the study, that is the additional amount people who declare themselves to be a fan of a specific brand will spend compared to non-fans.

Syncapse backs its contention with interesting data: for example, Dove's Facebook fans spent an average of $141.76 per year,; nonfans spent $57.02. For Axe body spray the stats were even more compelling - $101.48 for fans vs. $61.87 for non-fans as well as ($89.11 for fans vs. $54.20 for non-fans). So not all brands on Facebook are created equal — some have found a way to engage their customers in an especially effective way.

Recently another firm - Vitru - came up with its own metrics: Starbucks' 6.5 million fan base is worth $23.4 million in media annually, or broken down to a per capita number, $3.60. Vitrue came to this conclusion, it explained in a blog post, by determining that the ratio of impressions to wall posts was approximately 1:1 (0.96:1 to be exact). Hence, a one million Fan Facebook Page can average one million impressions with a single post to the wall and a two post per day strategy would garner approximately 60 million impressions per month.

The difference between the two is that  Syncapse zeroed in on how much Facebook fans spent on a brand vs. non-fans, while Vitrue focused on so-called earned media, according to Syncapse CEO Michael Scissons. (via ClickZ). "I think people may get confused by reading this as a top-line synopsis on Twitter, Facebook, or on a blog," he said. "We are not saying that if Facebook didn't exist the fans wouldn't still be worth that much, and that the value would disappear. We are trying to show marketers what the value of that audience represents to the company vs. a lot of traditional tactics… The sum of the [report] really talks about the overall value that the Facebook-specific audience brings to the company."

Does It Matter?

The common factor to both reports lies in the emphasis they place on engagement - that is the reason behind the larger numbers between fan and nonfans with Axe and Secret. It is also a point emphasized by Vitrue. "Brands engaging their Fans stand to earn much more value, potentially doubling or tripling these estimates," it said in its blog post.

At bottom, a larger questions companies might want to ask themselves is when - or if - it is worthwhile to market on social media.

A recent study by Edison Research provides a complex and multi-layered picture of Twitter - along with some interesting data points that suggest it may in fact not be worthwhile for some companies to focus their online marketing efforts on the micro-blogging site. The Edison study doesn't discount the popularity of Twitter - in fact it reports that 87% of respondents have heard of Twitter, compared to 88% who had heard of Facebook. The findings also suggest that Twitter users are hyper-aware of brands on Twitter. The study found that 42% learn about products and services via Twitter and 41% provide opinions about products/services. An additional 19% seek customer support. A grand total of 49% follow brands or companies.

"Combined with their above average income and above average education, Twitter users' propensity to interact with brands make them a huge potential source for Mass Influencers," said Tom Webster, the VP of Strategy & Marketing at Edison (via Social Media Today).

But the data also suggests that Twitter users do not necessarily convert brand awareness to usage, Social Media Today says. Although 87% of Americans have heard of Twitter - only 7% actually use it. Compare that to Facebook, where 88% have heard of it, and 41% have a profile, which is a conversion rate approaching 50%, Social Media Today notes.


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