2ROIfbQuite obviously the impact of social media gets bigger and bigger on a daily basis, hence, it is no surprise that marketers frequently get asked the same tough questions from their management: “What is the value of our Facebook fans?”

The Value of a Facebook Fan 2013 report, released by Syncapse recently, applied a rigorous fan valuation model to 20 major brands across key consumer categories to find an answer to this hotly debated question.

Brands in their latest study were selected based on their wide consumer adoption and a Syncapse SynQ rating, a proprietary social brand index that ranks brands’ relative performance. SynQ incorporates blended Facebook Page metrics such as “Fan count, Fan growth, engaged Fans and engaged Fan growth”.

Data from more than 2,000 panelists could be collected, where respondents had to self-identify themselves as ‘Fans’ by indicating which brands they have “Liked” on Facebook, or reveal which product has been purchased, besides pinpointing their brand loyalty, recommendation propensity, media value, or comparing their cost of acquisition and brand matching.

Fan motivators and brand value can be measured

The reasons for a "Like", as the study found out, are particularly interesting for anyone responsible for marketing or the planning of an appropriate social media strategy.

According to Synapsis research these are support of the brand (49%); coupons or discounts (42%); regular updates about the brand (41%); participation in contests and sweepstakes (35%); sharing of good experiences (31%); or sharing of general interests (27%).


Resulting value of Facebook fans

In the case of the car manufacturer BMW, for instance, the resulting value of a Facebook fan is calculated to be $ 1,613.11 - although only 36% of the world's 13 million "Likers" actually own one of the Bavarian luxury cars. According to marketing experts, the average value of a Facebook fans for companies is, by the way, currently $ 174.17. And interestingly, three years ago when they determined the figure last, it was still at $ 136.38 - although it may be much higher for top brands such as BMW, Zara, H & M, Adidas, Walmart, Levi's, McDonald's or Starbucks (see chart).


Of course, it is still controversial how useful such surveys are in the end. Still, the question of the return on investment (ROI) in social marketing remains exciting for many companies. What is clear is the fact that fans and followers are loyal towards a brand they recommend - and naturally they spend more with them, too.

Facebook's ads have apparently become very relevant in the advertising market and have reached a similar status as Google Adwords for many companies. However, the possibilities of Facebook Ads are not as well-known, yet. Besides that, the prejudice prevails that you can only promote a Facebook page with Facebook Ads and not a traditional website.

While Adwords satisfy a specific search requirement, Facebook Ads are ideal to very selectively get the audience’s attention for a product, as you can target an audience socio-demographically or regarding to interest, which is actually the great strength of Facebook advertising.

The clearer the picture of potential customers, the higher the chances of success regarding an advertising commitment: Who are the customers, how old are they, what are their interests – for many companies these questions are unfortunately still quite challenging to answer.

Despite that, Facebook as an advertising platform is expected to play a more crucial role, while the traditional banner advertising will lose in importance. Users spend a lot of time on the network, and the longer a user is moving around there, the clearer the advertising profile will become and the better the potential targeting. The wastage therefore will continue to decline and reflect the growing importance of Facebook as an advertising platform.


Marketers, armed with the right knowledge, will get empowered to optimize their fan acquisition strategy to improve social marketing impact, Syncapse states.

“With that premise, this report probes prerequisite behaviors to becoming a brand Fan; ratings of the top reported reasons among consumers; and prescriptive guidance to improve social marketing”, the company concludes. Fact is that Facebook brand fans have proven highly valuable in key consumer categories and as the “trend of acquiring fans for ego’s sake fades away, employing such knowledge about fan motivations will greatly improve targeting and overall segment value”, the company asserts.

By Daniela La Marca