Facebook Posts and Your Brand: Defining and Measuring the Value of a Post

Written by James GunterMay 10, 2011

Social media marketing is the new frontier, and new frontiers scare people. They especially scare marketers and executives who have virtually no way of measuring the benefit of crossing into the new frontier. I know we all say that social media marketing is highly targeted, virtually cost-free, and will bring huge returns to those who invest in it, but it has been historically hard to measure the actual ROI on a social media marketing investment.

Because social media is such a new field, there are—as of yet—no standardized ways to measure social media ROI, although many social media metrics companies have tried and had some moderate success. The real question is, how much is your social media campaign worth to your company, brand, and profits? Let’s start with Facebook.

If Wall Posts Were CPM

Facebook is the biggest social network in the world and will allow you to potentially connect to millions of your customers. The cool thing about Facebook is that your customers will voluntarily become fans and receive targeted marketing messages directly from you on a daily or weekly basis in the form of updates, links, photos, and other posts. And each one of these posts is basically equivalent to a CPM banner ad on a well-placed, highly targeted blog or website at no direct cost to you. How much would you pay for ad placement on such a site?

The team at Vitrue sat down and ran the numbers. They calculated that if Facebook wall posts were paid for at a conservative $5/CPM on a 1 million member fan page, that page would be worth about $3.6 million annually, or $3.60 per fan. That means your company would have had to pay close to $300,000 a month in CPM to get the same amount of page impressions that your Facebook wall posts were already getting for free.

The Real Value of Your Facebook Fans

But that savings is only the beginning. Sure you can get $3.6 million in marketing exposure for virtually nothing, but Facebook fans are worth much more than that because of the monetary return they provide your company.

In June 2010, Syncapse released a study they conducted, covering 20 high-profile brands and the estimated real-world ROI of their Facebook marketing campaigns (PDF download). They found that brand fans were 28% more likely than non-fans to give repeat business and 41% more likely to offer recommendations to friends. Not only that, but they found that—on average—fans tended to spend $71.84 more on brand products than non-fans. Their results concluded that each fan was worth an average of $136.38. (However, they admit that individual customer worth is highly variable according to brand and can be as high as $270.77 or as low as $0).

Optimizing the Value of Your Posts

After looking at these numbers, the question is not, “Will my Facebook marketing produce ROI?” but rather, “How can I optimize my Facebook campaign to obtain the highest fan value possible?”

In order to increase individual fan worth, you need to optimize your Facebook posts to build loyalty, encourage recommendations to friends, and create customer satisfaction—all of which will result in higher customer spending on your brand. Let’s take a look at these individually.

Loyalty

You can build brand loyalty through your Facebook posts by making sure that your posts create a feeling of interaction and validation for your fans. If your fans feel as though they are important to your brand, they will continue to buy from you. This doesn’t mean you have to send a personal message to each fan, but it does mean that you need to monitor your Facebook account and interact with fans on a regular basis. Primarily, you should always respond to question posed by fans on your Facebook page, giving them the answers they are looking for or pointing them to the resources that can give them satisfaction. Secondly, pose open-ended questions or polls, and respond to the results. When your fans see that your brand is reading and responding to their feedback, they’ll feel like they are building a personal relationship with your brand and will continue to be loyal.

Recommendations

Fans already like your brand, that’s why they are following you. And they are already 41% more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family. But you can encourage more recommendations by posting sharable content to your Facebook page. If you are posting useful or entertaining information and links to your Facebook page, you’ll increase the likelihood that that your content will be shared through your fans’ social graph. Press releases are not sharable. Neither are comments about your company’s big profits in the first quarter. Offers, coupons, in-depth and interesting blog posts, links to useful information outside your corporate website, entertaining videos, and more are all sharable. When you can prove to your Facebook fans that you are a useful daily or weekly resource, they will be more likely to share your content and recommend your brand to their friends and family.

Customer Satisfaction

Building customer satisfaction through your Facebook posts is a little trickier than simply offering a few discounts to fans. To build customer satisfaction through your Facebook post, you have to build a sense that, when fans buy your products, they are joining a community. When they feel like they have been initiated into an exclusive group by buying your product, they will be more happy with their purchase and more willing to continue to buy and recommend your brand to friends. Create posts that congratulate and celebrate your community of fans. Encourage them to interact with each other. And give them special rewards that they can’t get anywhere else. If you can build a sense of community within your brand fans, you will be building their satisfaction with your brand.

Increasing ROI

Of course the end result of all these strategies is to increase profits. It may be difficult to measure exact ROI from your social media campaign, but you can increase the likelihood that your brand fans will provide value to your brand by optimizing your Facebook posts for maximum fan value. Instead of using your Facebook page to simply promote your company, explore ways to build loyalty, increase recommendations, and create stronger customer satisfaction, and your Facebook campaign will pay off.

Social login powered by Gigya