Still Wondering What a Facebook "Like" is Worth?

Jun 13, 2012

Article ImageWhat is a "Like" really worth? It isn't quite an age-old question, but digital marketers and brands have been wondering what success really means when it comes to social media marketing. comScore is trying (again) to answer that question with "The Power of a Like 2: How Social Marketing Works" - a collaboration with Facebook.

In many ways, the report confirms what others - like our very own Content Wrangler, Scott Abel -- have been saying; social media marketing success is about a lot more than just amassing "Likes."  Rather than focusing on what each fan is worth, the report warns social media marketers that focusing on acquiring fans is not the way to go and instead gives advice on how to really achieve marketing success. "But with their Fan rosters growing well into the millions, many brands are beginning to wonder what their next focus should be to maximize the value of their investment in Fan acquisition," comScore says.

The report focuses on three areas: Fan reach, engagement, and amplification. In other words, brands should be aiming to get content noticed in the newsfeeds of fans, get those fans to interact with the content, and share it with their friends.

According to the report, "Most leading brands on Facebook achieve a monthly earned Ampli?cation Ratio of between 0.5 and 2.0, meaning that they extend the reach of their earned media exposure of Fans to Friends of Fans by 50-200%." comScore suggests focusing on reach and engagement can help improve this score - and, of course, to combine paid advertising strategies.

Still, none of this quite answers that initial question. The bottom line, though, seems to be that Facebook Fans and their friends buy more than the average shopper. "Amazon Fans spent more than twice as much at Amazon as the average Internet user (spending index = 209) while exposed Friends of Fans spent 8 percent more, suggesting strong brand af?nity but not as strong a persuasion effect - which may in part re?ect Amazon's less active promotional strategy compared to other retail brands (due to not having in-store sales events)," according to the report.

Of course it was only a few weeks ago that a SteelHouse survey revealed Pinterest users were twice as likely to buy as Facebook users. So while we now know more about how to get the most out of our social media marketing endeavors, it's still not clear what each fan is actually worth.

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It's time to put a stop to the content marketing amateur hour on Facebook. Seriously. It's really embarrassing. Begging people to "like" your Facebook page is not only pathetic, it's a waste of time and money.It's also unprofessional. Who cares if 1,563 people clicked the "like" button on your Facebook page? Seriously. What does that mean, exactly? Come on, I challenge you to translate "likes" into something meaningful -- sales, leads, something tangible.You can't. Can you?