The latest entry in the epic What's A Facebook Fan Worth? discussion comes from Syncapse, pegging this mystic social media marketing number at $174.17. Download their report here.
Syncapse's chart at the left demonstrates that the $174.17 average varies so widely between brands as to make an average figure pretty much useless. As have been most efforts to nail down the elusive number.
The best discussion of this topic we've seen is by Olivier Blanchard, "The 5 basic rules of calculating fan/like/follower value." In which he goes over the reasons why an average is often just marketing snakeoil, but brand- and context-specific calculations can be very informative.
The hunt for the value of a Facebook fan is the modern day equivalent of the Alchemist's search for the Philosopher's Stone. It's more worthwhile for the research insights it yields than for locating the actual item itself.
What strikes me as really interesting about this Syncapse report is their comparison of fans vs. nonfans: "they tend to be brand users first, they spend more, engage more, advocate more, and are more loyal." See the chart below.
Some marketers may take this as proof of the value of investing in encouraging people to become fans. But what if fans are just different people from non-fans? What if some people just naturally want to be fans and behave like fans, yet other people, with different personalities, don't?
Maybe fan-based social media marketing works on some people (who are inclined by their nature to become fans), but just does not work on other people. -- Bill Paarlberg, editor