$136.38. That’s the value of a Facebook fan, at least according to a recent study conducted by digital consulting firm Syncapse and research company Hotspex.
Syncapse and Hotspex surveyed Facebook’s 20 largest corporate brands to determine this figure. Using an empirical formula that blends a hearty dose of “how much fans spend on a brand” with dashes of “customer loyalty,” “recommendations,” and “earned media,” this survey calculated a “voila”of $136.38 per devoted human.
Let’s face it; for businesses, the motivation in this whole Facebook fan page thing is that a fan equals a lead equals a customer equals a repeat customer. While I think it’s interesting to ponder a $136.38 price tag on every Facebook fan’s head, I believe the more imminently useful figure for businesses to know is the cost of generating that Facebook fan, particularly in comparison to other sales leads.
In the realms of sales and marketing, we’ve long calculated the cost of lead generation. A Hubspot survey from last year reported that companies that invest in inbound lead generation (where the potential customers initiate contact about potential purchases) spend significantly less per lead—$84—than companies focusing on outbound lead generation (think direct mail and the like)—$220.
An often more daunting figure is the cost associated with a trade show-generated lead. That cost factors in every plane ticket, square foot of exhibit space, wattage of booth power and every bite of steak dinner. And as I’ve seen throughout my career, most of those leads never receive follow-up worthy of the cost (the general rule of thumb is that 80% of trade show leads never receive follow-up…at all).
Considering that Facebook is a borderless society in which one person connects to another connects to another…and so on, and that there’s no cost for their connections, the phrase “one thing leads to another” is very applicable. This is inbound lead generation at its finest, mingled with the immediate gratification of seamless, real time interactions, aka “follow up.” If a Facebook fan page is created and nurtured well, presumably it has the potential to generate fans, er, leads—and follow up—at minimal cost.
‘Tis the “bird in hand” analogy. Facebook fans are “a bird in hand”—worth more than two “birds in the bush.” Whether that bird in hand has a $136.38 value, I don’t know. I do know that, just like any other lead, it must be nurtured to have any actual value at all.