Following on from my rant about poor research into social and ecommerce, we had a good conversation at the ADMA course I lecture about social media and the value of a fan. With various numbers being bandied about, I did a bit of research and the guys from We Are Social did some interesting research with their client Bulmers which they presented at the IAB Great British Social Media Festival . They worked closely with TNS looking at the comparative life time value of Fans vs general consumers, and came up with a value of an additional £3.82 more a week, or £198.64 per year. Whilst this number is obviously unique to this brand, the methodology is easily replicable for most brands and can provide an easy benchmark for brands looking to justify the value of social media within an organisation.
However the added dimension to all this is how Facebook are changing the exposure you can get with a standard wall post. As users are connected with more and more brands, the chances of your post getting a high enough Edgerank to be seen are getting less and less. And with Facebook hunting revenue to create returns for shareholders, they are strongly pushing brands towards “Promoted Posts”, reducing the reach that posts have against existing fan-bases and pushing down the value of the Like.
Facebook seems very keen to move themselves from the Owned Media space into the Paid Media space – and it’s important that brands adjust their digital strategies accordingly, or risk investing significant amounts of money acquiring Likes, only to find that the Fans aren’t worth much at all unless they are willing to spend more cash.