About three years ago, when Facebook marketing suddenly became popular, a number of studies attempted to quantify how much, on average, a single "Like" on Facebook might be worth to a marketer.
The numbers varied wildly, of course, depending on the variables you use to calculate the value.
As time went by, marketers became less interested in simply amassing likes and followers. One of Facebook's biggest ad clients, TBG Digital CEO Simon Mansell, once famously said, "The mindless pursuit of likes on Facebook is stupid."
But with the launch of Graph Search likes have become newly valuable. Graph Search is powered in part by your friends' likes. The more likes a brand has among your friends, the more prominently its search results will be.
This made us curious about the historic dollar value of a like. So we collected all the results here and ranked them in descending order:
Blackbaud, NTEN, and Common Knowledge, in their 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report, said the average value of a like for non-profits seeking to attract donations, calculated based off total revenue received from a supporter over the 12 months following acquisition, was $214.81.
A study by Syncapse, an enterprise social media marketing management company, quantified fans' and nonfans' product spending, loyalty to a company, propensity to recommend a company, brand affinity, media value, and acquisition cost, according to eContentmag. On average, a Facebook fan is worth $136.38 more than a customer who is a nonfan.
Syncapse's research also found that a single recommendation from these influencers can generate $22.93 in "earned media value" (i.e. publicity) for a brand.
ChompOn, a platform for companies that need a group buying/flash sale platform, analyzed its traffic and found that each like could be worth $8.
Vitrue, another social media marketing management firm, found that a fan base of 1 million translates into at least $3.6 million in equivalent media over a year, Adweek reported.
Diamond Candles, a Durham, North Carolina-based company with more than 143,000 Facebook likes, found each engagement on the social network was worth 1 cent, and every “advocacy,” in which someone actually recommended the product, was valued at $1.07.
Ecwid, an e-shopping cart provider and the self-proclaimed "second largest store-building application on Facebook," found that its e-commerce storefronts on Facebook generate 21 cents per like. For the top 10 percent of stores by sales volume, the value of a "Like" increased to $1.20 a pop, soaring to $21.49 in the top one percent of stores.
Forrester, the research group, says each like is actually worth zero. Likes are more akin to "potential energy" in an object that's being held aloft. None of the energy is valorized until something engages the object, which may then fall to earth expending kinetic energy as it goes.
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