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Managing Editor and Online Editor

Ways of Thinking

By Thorin McGee

About Thorin

Thorin McGee is Managing Editor and Online Editor of the All About ROI magazine, and He's worked on several other Target Marketing Group products, including Denny Hatch's Business Common Sense and the Publishing Executive magazine and website ( Before joining NAPCO, Thorin worked on consumer media websites and magazines for Wizard Entertainment and helped design the now-defunct European careers website In Ways of Thinking, he probes trends, tools and tactics in marketing to and interacting with consumers online.



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A Facebook Fan is $136 in Lifetime Value, $3.60 in Media Impressions

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The lifetime value of a Facebook fan is about $136 to top brands, according to this study on Facebook fan lifetime value from Syncapse and Hotspex. Another study, from Vitrue, comes up with a media impression value per Facebook fan of about $3.60. From either angle, having a framework to talk about the ROI of Facebook fan investment is priceless.

Ad Age has a good comparison of the Facebook fan studies and their methodologies. The Syncapse/Hotspex study didn't term the metric lifetime value, but that's what the study tried to get at by surveying fans of the biggest brands on Facebook and analyzing their self-reported behavior and future plans in terms of product spending, loyalty, propensity to recommend, brand affinity, media value and acquisition cost. It's a dollars and cents analysis.

Vitrue (whose social media blog is worth checking out, too) looked instead at the value of media impressions made through a site's news feed and evaluated that on a CPM basis, basically calculating the PR benefit, and came up with a number around $3.60. Vitrue also provides an app that lets anyone calculate the value of a Facebook page.

Vitrue's evaluation of your Facebook impressions is valuable information, but the Syncapse/Hotspex survey is a model for how e-marketers are starting to count Facebook fans, especially as Facebook e-commerce apps (f-commerce) are making the network a stand-alone selling channel. Facebook is becoming almost an internet within the internet, and such evaluation is the best way to justify investing in it.



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