An interesting 107 character tweet came through Twitter last week. It did what a tweet is supposed to do – it got my attention. It stated that a definitive calculation determining the value of a Facebook fan exists. So I bit and clicked on the Business Insider link. According to Hitwise and the social media company Techlightenment, 1 fan = 20 extra website visits. At first, I thought ‘That’s cool.’ Then about 10 seconds later I said to myself, ‘So what?’
Driving website traffic is an important indicator of business performance and brand awareness. For instance, it’s always nice to see Google Analytics reports showing an increase in visits to this blog. However, when it comes to this equation, the ratio is a little problematic.
Facebook is a valuable marketing tool for driving product interest and sales often by promotional means; i.e. discount offers, free trials, daily deals subscriptions. For consumers looking to get bang for their buck, becoming a fan might be a short-term means to a short-term end – the one time sale. Where is the long-term customer value to deliver repeated sales? Also, while this measurement is a step in the right direction, a more worthwhile stat would be something like this – 1 fan = 20 extra website visits = 5 extra sales.
It’s becoming an old social story. Having fans is nice. Having fans that bolster website visits is good. Having fans that boost visits to your website and drive ROI increases should be the ultimate goal.