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What is the Real Value of the Facebook “Like”?

What is the Real Value of the Facebook “Like”?

I remember when Facebook began to gain momentum, and there was an option to “poke” someone else.  Overtime, the newsfeed changed, the look changed, and suddenly Facebook exploded. Today, it offers a space for people and friends, public figures, businesses, social groups, and more.

As a business owner who uses Facebook for social media marketing, I often take a look at our social engagements and how many “Likes” our page has, as well as how many “Likes” our posts were getting.  Naturally, my brain computes that the more “Likes” we were getting, the better.

But then, I began to dissect the “Like”.  What is it?  How is it defined? And most importantly, what is the value of a “Like”? Turns out, I am not the only one asking these question of the elusive yet noteworthy Facebook metric.

In today’s post, we explore a few of the best thought-provoking arguments (from algorithms and equations to dollar amounts and fraud claims) of what the value of a “Like” actually is:

Facebook’s Take

According to the Unofficial Facebook Blog, the “Like” does, in fact, have a quantifiable value coming in at $174 per page like.  This number has risen from it’s value in 2010, when a Facebook page “Like” was only valued at $136.  To determine this value, Social Media Marketing company, Syncapse,  compared the consumer habits between fan and non-fans using the categories of: product spending, brand loyalty, likelihood to recommend, media value, cost of acquisition, and brand affinity.  The data was collected from around 2,000 panelists, across a wide range of demographics.

FacebookSign 300x194 What is the Real Value of the Facebook Like?

But for some, this value does not touch on an important piece of the Facebook Fan base: engagement.  It is a known fact that conversions in Social Media looks differently than conversions in other mediums, and people are asking how exactly we can measure engagement and conversions in a way that is forward thinking?

How to Quantify It

We know that pitching the above to the higher-ups isn’t going to get you much klout.  In fact, for those who are outside the world of marketing, and calculate sentiment as a quantifiable measurement, it’s hard to understand how the above information makes social media marketing worth the time, money, and effort.  In order for most people to see the value in a business effort, they would like to see the dollars spent vs the dollars that are acquired.

Lucky for us, the team over at Hubspot has come up with an equation to calculate the actual value of a “Like” in dollars and cents:

Spelled out this equation says:

[box]Total Likes (L) divided by Unlikes Per Month (UpM) multiplied by (30 days of Likes per Day) times (Average Clicks (C)divided by Total Likes (L) multiplied by the Conversion Rate (CR) multiplied by the Average Conversion Value (ACV) will equal to the Value of a Like. [/box]

Before writing that down, be aware that you can try this equation on for size for yourself at valueofalike.com.

And while this will bring some satisfaction to your manager’s mind, it also makes sense.  Until social media marketing, marketers would never have put money into an ad campaign that they couldn’t detect a monetary value, conversion rate, or ROI from.  Even though it’s a bit harder to pin down, the ROI of social media shouldn’t remain a mystery.

clickfarm 300x225 What is the Real Value of the Facebook Like?

Is It Real?

For some, regardless of an equation, a Facebook “Like” does not seem like a “real” or quantifiable measurement.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that Facebook is pretty confidential when it comes to it’s own algorithm of their News Feed.  How exactly is it calculated, and, is it really the case that a business must pay to boost their posts in order to have a fighting chance?

These questions would pertain to the “Like” when discussing our post engagement, but also can be applied to the “Likes” generated on our Facebook Fan or Business pages.  Does a larger number of likes really equate to a larger amount of engagement?  Simple math would tell us: “yes”.  But, according to Derek Muller, the man behind Veritasium, a popular YouTube channel for Science videos, suggests that more Facebook “Likes” do not equate with a higher post engagement, especially if you use Facebook’s paid advertising.

Muller’s hypothesis is that there is no getting around the “click farms”  used in other countries, even for Facebook’s security.  And when this happens, “Likes” are generated from a couple of hundred or thousand users that actually will not engage, or add real value to your page and post visibility within the News Feed of the clients and customers you are targeting.  And since, the whole point of a “Like” is to get your post and page more visibility, if it’s only being seen by an irrelevant audience, then it’s not giving the business a leg up in the News Feed algorithm.

likeasemotional 300x200 What is the Real Value of the Facebook Like?

An Emotional Response

What about organic “Likes”? As in, home-grown, old-fashioned brand awareness that is not sprinkled with Facebook paid advertising.  In an interview with a Belgian marketing magazine, Pub, we are reminded that people “Like” business and fan pages for many other reasons than simply engagement.

These reasons run the gamut from promotions, to interest, and even to scoping out the competition.  Whatever the reason, the idea is that a “Like” is a response to an emotion of some kind, and must be earned over and over again in order for the sentiment (and engagement) to stick. So just because someone has “Liked” your page, doesn’t mean that they will automatically “Like” your posts from there on out.

In fact, a page “Like” should be first seen as a potential client, and until this client becomes a customer, then the value of the “Like” is at zero.  But again, “client” shouldn’t always necessarily mean a paying customer.  In the social media world, a “client” is someone who is buying what it is that you are doing on social media. In this sense, a “client” is someone who is engaging in your posts, sharing your content, and interacting with you on a level more than passing your posts in their mini feed.

What are your best methods to regaining “Likes” after you have already earned it once?  After all the thought we put into our social media campaigns, it would make the most sense to have more than one level to our strategies. One of the ways you can accomplish this is through the collaboration with a third party.  Sometimes an outside perspective is all you need to get into your prospective client’s head.

At Taylor Digital, we know that real engagement begins and ends with great content.  If you want help setting up an editorial calendar to drive engagement, results and brand awareness, start by calling us today, or liking our Facebook page, and we’ll respond to you online, and get started working together. We would be more than happy begin the collaboration process to help you succeed online!

Randy TaylorWhat is the Real Value of the Facebook “Like”?