Some ridiculous and reckless newbies in social media monitoring have been promoting an actual dollar amount for the value of any Facebook Like. A recent “study” published the value at $174.17. This was produced by some self-proclaimed social media “experts” who will be selling used cars 12 months from now.
I see similar nonsense coming from small PR agency owners who joined Twitter last year and now want to spin you toward the idea that they do more that press releases.
$147 is the value of a Like? Why not just say a Like is worth $1,000? Sure, let’s go with that. That will make the CEO happy.
The truth is that a Like for Company A has much different value than a Like for Company B.
Social Values Overall
Let’s take a step back and look at all online recommendations and endorsements (if you can truly call “Likes” one of those). A positive review on a ratings & review site may be of great value to a hotel property, but much less to a retailer with a low-cost, hot product. A lousy rating on Yelp may scare people away from a local pizza franchisee but may not matter to a higher-end restaurant.
Take a further step back and look at an old yet still popular social media channel called the telephone: What’s the value of a phone call? I estimate somewhere between 2 cents if it’s an unwanted opinion and a billion dollars if someone is calling to acquire your company.
Ferrari Posters on Your Wall
Pop quiz guys over 30: did you have a poster of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Porsche on your bedroom or dorm room wall back in the 80s or 90s? Millions of boys had them in order to indicate which car they would pick up as soon as they had the means, as Ferris Bueller would say.
But how many of those cool young dudes now own a Ferrari or Lamborghini? Probably not many. The 2013 version of the sports car poster is a Facebook Like.
Ferrari’s Fan Page on Facebook currently has over 12 Million fans. I submit that those are 12 Million guys who do not own a Ferrari. Based on my own Facebook friends who I can see Like the Ferrari page, this is true. Seriously, if you guys had a Ferrari, you would not be on Facebook liking the page! A Like for a local sandwich shop may correlate much closer to a customer than that for Ferrari.
This commoditizing of Likes is doing is missing the whole point of engagement with a customer. If we’re merely counting Likes, then we’re measuring our current reputation, brand equity, and cool factor. For those of us marketing and selling Ferraris, the Like is just a starting point of an online relationship with a new prospective customer. Start your engines!