Customer Experience News & Trends

The value of a strong Facebook marketing program? $174.17 per fan

There’s something much more valuable than trying to increase sales via Facebook: improving the customer experience — and there’s a defined payoff for doing so.

A recent study by the social intelligence company Syncapse found that Facebook fans are worth $174.17 over their lifetime on average — a 28% increase since 2010. Some fans could be worth more (BMW fans are worth $1,613) and some could be worth less ($70.16 at Coca-Cola).

They key to hitting the meaty part of the curve: nurturing customer relationships on the social site — and not simply trying to sell them a product.

Syncapse says there are three reasons Facebook fans carry a lot of weight:

  • 20% of a company’s customers represent 80% of its revenue — and a large chunk of that 20% segment is found in a company’s Facebook fan population
  • 75% of a company’s Facebook fans are more likely to share good brand experiences, promotions and discounts with friends than average social media users, and
  • Facebook fans are more likely to share a bad brand experience, as well.

Bottom line: Efforts to keep Facebook fans happy can be worth more than those to keep average buyers happy.

Looking for engagement, not sales

Thankfully, it appears companies are coming around to the realization that they need to focus on improving the social experience — and not just attempt to sell, sell, sell.

A new study of 500 small businesses and their social media habits by Staples found that more business owners (50%) invest time and money on social media to engage customers rather than to sell to them (48%) — a big change from what the same survey found just a year ago.

How to improve engagement

In its study, Syncapse offered this advice on how companies should tailor their Facebook marketing efforts to pump up fans’ lifetime value:

  • Attempt to understand what Facebook fans are passionate about
  • Solicit their input
  • Enable a feeling of ownership
  • Make sure they feel appreciated and nurtured, and
  • Find ways to share their opinions.

The Syncapse study interviewed over 2,000 Facebook users who have “Liked” a company on the social network. Then it used multiple factors to determine the average worth of a fan, such as product spending, loyalty, propensity to recommend, media value (how many fans a company can reach via Facebook), acquisition cost (how well existing fans drive new fan acquisition) and brand affinity (the emotional bond fans have with a brand).

Fans wanted more than Super Bowl ad

Given the value Facebook fans carry (assuming a company provides a strong social experience), companies involved in the Staples study said they preferred — almost two-to-one — to acquire two million more fans on the social site than receive a celebrity endorsement or Super Bowl ad.

In addition, three times as many companies said they’d prefer to acquire two million Facebook fans than two million Twitter followers.

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