CPG Marketing Trends: Social Media Measurement: What are Fans Really Worth?

In a world of measurable media, the increased popularity of social media has some marketers nervous about how to best utilize social sites and what their real benefits can be.

A recent study by ExactTarget examined the reasons people have “liked” a brand on Facebook.  Topping the list were “to receive discounts and promotions,” “to show my support for the company to others,” “to get a ‘freebie,’” and “to stay informed about the activities of a company or future products.”

The study demonstrates that social networking sites are most successful if there is an inherent benefit for the consumer who “likes” the brand — either discounts and samples or exclusive information.

The newness of social media sites has many wondering if monetary values can be assigned to brand fans and followers.  Syncapse, a digital consulting firm, paired with research company Hotspex earlier in the year, to create a formula that would allow marketers to put an average value on Facebook fans.

The formula was based on a study of Facebook’s 20 biggest corporate brands including Skittles, Pringles, Coca-Cola and Oreo, and how their fans interact with branded pages. To establish a value for each fan, the study compared how much fans spent on the brands’ products, recommendations, and customer loyalty factors.

According to the findings of Syncapse and Hotspex, people spend significantly more on products they are fans of in a social media setting.  In fact, in their study of Facebook’s most popular food and beverage brands, fans spent more than twice the amount that non-fans did.

So how can you use social media help your brand? Is your social media site encouraging consumers to join through updated information and product offers? If so, how do you keep them engaged?


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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