Facebook and comScore recently published a white paper on “How Brands Reach and Influence Fans Through Social Media Marketing.” The document is full of some pretty interesting case studies on Starbucks, Southwest and Bing, with regards to how they use their Facebook Pages to generate interest, buzz and business.
How to Measure a Like
What’s interesting to me is that we’re finally getting away from measuring ROI for social media in the terms of “this interaction = this in sales.” It’s about time. According to the white paper, Facebook fans can be valued in several ways:
- By increasing the depth of engagement and loyalty of fans
- By generating incremental purchase behavior
- By influencing friends of fans
So you can see, it’s hard to put a dollar amount on any one of these values, yet they are all tremendously valuable.
Why Friends of Fans Are Important
Another tidbit I learned from this report is the importance of friends of fans of a brand’s Facebook Page. If you’re a fan of, say, Starbucks, there’s a pretty good chance your Facebook friends might be interested in the brand as well. And brands realize this. According to Facebook, in looking at the top 100 brand Pages, they determined that for every brand’s fan, there are another 34 friends of fans that the brands can reach. So exponentially, you can reach a lot more people than just those who click “Like” on your Page.