What is the Value of a Facebook Fan?

Have you ever wondered what the value of a Facebook Fan is? You’re not alone.  An article which appeared on AdWeek last week has provided a calculation of its own.

The featured study showed that, on average, a fan base of 1 million translates into at least $3.6 million in equivalent media over a year. By this calculation then, each fan is worth approximately $3.60 of equivalent media, or what you would be spending on traditional advertising to expect to generate the same marketing outcome. At Wildfire we’ve seen many customers use our campaigns to build their fan bases for under $1 per fan and in some cases for just a few cents per fan. So for these clients the return on investment can be huge!

To obtain these numbers, Facebook data from a collection of large and small brand Fan Pages was analyzed, with a combined 41 million fans, and showed that on average marketers who post twice a day are able to achieve monthly impressions of around 1.5 times their number of fans (i.e. 60 million monthly impressions yielded from a fan base of 41 million fans). An “impression” is the equivalent of one ad view and accordingly to the study an impression using paid advertising generally costs around $5 per 1000 impressions. So according to the calculations in the study, a fan page owner that has 10,000 fans and posts content to their page twice a day can expect that they’ll receive around $36,000 in ‘advertising’ value from these fans. In other words, if this fan page owner were to try to achieve the same level of exposure for her brand during the year, she’d have to spend around $36,000. Of course, not all fan pages are made equal – some achieve much higher engagement levels than others (the study found that some fan pages achieved 3.6 impressions per fan per month and others just 0.44 impressions per fan) but nevertheless the potential exists for fan bases to be highly valuable.

Of course, this study only measures impressions. Wildfire clients achieve far more than just impressions from the campaigns they run with us – they grow their fan bases, newsletter lists, Twitter followers, website impressions and even drive store visits and sales via coupons and giveaways. So for our customers, the value they get from a Wildfire campaign could well exceed the potential $3.60 value of a fan cited in the the AdWeek article.

So what does this mean for you? Well, for starters it means that all the time and effort you’re putting into building your fan base can have a quantifiable return (and a pretty significant one to boot!). It also means that the more regularly you update your fans, the more impressions you’ll likely be achieving and thus the greater the value of your fans. Of course, this can be a double-edged sword because if you ‘spam’ your fans with content that is not relevant or compelling they’ll likely opt-out of your activity streams, thus reducing your overall impressions over time. Finally, it means that the more you can do to engage your fans beyond just impressions – for example, have them sign up for your mailing list, refer your brand to friends, claim coupons etc, the greater their value will grow. Fortunately, Wildfire’s campaigns are designed to help you achieve all these goals – sweepstakes, contests, giveaways and coupons have been shown to be one of the most effective ways to not only grow a fan base but to keep them engaged and to keep them ‘looking out’ for your brands content.


8 Responses to “What is the Value of a Facebook Fan?”

  1. 1 john April 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Very cool analysis! Our experience at GroupCard is that – in addition to the media impression value of the fan, companies can drive direct-ROI value by offering Fans direct commerce features such as gift card sales (which we do at groupcardapps.com), coupon offerings (which Wildfire does well), and more.

  2. 2 Anthony La Rocca April 21, 2010 at 10:32 am


    Facebook fan’s do not exist anymore 😦 As of yesterday, Facebook has now replaced “Fan Pages” with “Community Pages” and you have to “like” instead of “become a fan”.

  3. 4 Matt April 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    At Essence Limousines we have found our Fans…oops ‘Liker’s’ 🙂 to be a valuable tool when it comes to brand awareness. (OK we are only a small Hervey Bay Limousine and Wedding Car business in a town of around 60,000 so 160 fans is big for us) and utilising the right FB adverts we increase our fan base, again oops…. Liker Base, with relevant people that are more likely to buy, ie, they live in our service area.

    We have also noticed an exponential growth in sales since we first started our page. All we can put it down to is the ‘connection’ prior to the first contact by phone, building a sort of trust or knowledge of our product via FB, prior to hiring us.

  4. 5 Jason April 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Great article. I just gave a presentation today on Using Facebook For Business and could have used this 🙂

    Being able give an estimated “value” of a “liker” makes a great case for starting a Page.

    • 6 Maya Grinberg April 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, Jason! We agree that there’s never been more of a reason to create a Facebook Fan Page for your brand or product. And once you do, to make sure to interact with your fan community in an open and compelling way!

  5. 7 Yorkshire Web Design April 24, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Great article, thanks for taking the time to put together. cheers Ted

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We are a group of innovative developers, designers and marketers with a passion for creating a social media marketing platform that helps companies & agencies to engage the millions of social network users. Our platform allows you to easily grow and cultivate your fans & followers.

Wildfire Interactive, Inc.
3485 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Email: info@wildfireapp.com
Phone: +1 (888) 274-0929
Website: www.WildfireApp.com


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