I believe many are looking at this in too narrow a fashion. Everyone is trying to assign a dollar value to a Facebook fan or Twitter follower instead of addressing the fact that engagement and interaction that takes place in these mediums and are incredibly important to a brand. Building a relationship with existing and future customers is the true value and strength of social media/marketing. ROI is certainly incredibly important whenever investing, but companies have to start looking at ROR, Return on Relationship, when planning, strategizing and most importantly evaluating social marketing.
A new study shows that those who are fans or followers of a brand on Facebook or Twitter, respectively, are significantly more likely to buy products and services or recommend the brand to a friend. Specifically, the study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found that consumers are 67% more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter, and 51% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Facebook. Moreover, they’re 79% more likely to recommend their Twitter follows to a friend, and 60% more likely to do the same on Facebook.
Welcome to the “Age of Influence,” where anyone can build an audience and effect change, advocate brands, build relationships and make a difference.