“If you could pick between building a fanbase of 300 people who regularly buy your products and a fanbase of 30,000 people who are actively engaged with your brand, which one would you like to develop?”
That was one smart question I faced when I was interviewing with a startup some years back. Back in 2010, I didn’t really think twice before choosing the latter option. Well, four years later, things have changed.
Ever wondered about the monetary worth of your facebook fans?
Syncapse, a social intelligence company, published a paper which essentially discussed the ‘Dollar worth of a Fan’. The report’s title read something like “An average Facebook fan is worth 174$,” creating a frenzy within the social media fraternity.
You’re probably too busy now, trying to multiply the number (i.e. 174) with the fan count you have and I can envision you smiling behind your screen after you see what they deem to be the net worth of your fans.
Now, before you drift off thinking about the many BMWs you could buy selling your fans, let’s do a reality check. The report was a result of a focused study conducted on the Facebook pages of 20 brands that included Starbucks, Oreo, Coke and McDonald’s. The company considered half a dozen factors such as Loyalty, Engagement Rates, Acquisition Cost and more.
The net value, 174$ as calculated by Syncapse was the cumulative average of the worth of each fan across only these 20 brand pages. What this means is that your fan isn’t worth 174$. Nope, don’t frown on me now.
If 174$ isn’t really the worth of my average fan, then?
For years, makers of Social media analytics’ tools have been trying to convince everyone that branding ROI is the practical solution good enough to be considered as the true Social Media ROI. This limited the scope of view of brand managers and social media marketers when it came to analyzing the worth of their efforts trying to build/manage their respective communities.
Rarely do the page managers look beyond engagement metrics like ‘likes, comments and shares’ to validate the worth of the community that one managed. No wonder your social media guy was hell bent on pushing you to approve a post like, “Like this post to win awesome goodies!” or a contest that reads something like “Win a shopping voucher by just uploading a caption!” and so forth.
The result of these futile efforts will be nothing more than a few new fans and quite a staggering number of likes/comments. Forget making a loyal customer, you won’t even end up getting a single visitor to your site!
So, are my fans really worthy of being entertained then?
Yep, now we’re talking. Now this might sound crazy, but in my humble opinion, the worth of a fan eventually has to be mapped out with the likeliness of the fan becoming your customer. A fan is good, but a customer is better. Waaaaaaaaaaay better, because at the least, he’s your brand’s word-of-mouth marketer, bearing your message to the corners of the earth.
What really determines the worth of your fan crowd are 3 factors that are closely linked with the sales cycle.
- How much are they spending on your product?
- What is the probability of them recommending your product?
- What is their brand recall quotient if they are not buying it immediately?
Hmmmm… How to track these?
If you are nimble with Google analytics, you would have figured out the answer for the first question on the list. Even though this can’t really be done on a micro level, a macro level study can be done to map the visits to your site through Facebook and eventually the conversion rate to the point of sale to determine how much an average fan is spending on your products.
To be honest, the answers to the next two aren’t that simple. The solution to these questions lies in calculating the share of voice you have managed as compared to your competitors across all the digital platforms (Yes, the keyword being tracking!). Well, put it together with a sentiment analysis and there you go! You will have got a decent report to understand what your brand means to your audience, and you’ll understand its result even if you don’t get the exact worth of your fan.
I can see you booing at me as I am finishing this article without giving you a solid formula to find the dollar worth of your fan, but I would like to add a quote by Einstein here.
But then, this should ideally get you started in the right direction to figure out what your fans are worth as a whole on Facebook.