For a long time now, social media marketers have been trying to find a way to assess the value of a social media fan. In 2010 July, Dynamic Logic and Millward Brown conducted a survey of marketers targeting Facebook users to find out what they expect from their brand fans. Surprisingly, increased short and long term spend ranked at the bottom rather than top of the list of marketer expectations.
In the survey, 85% marketers responded that increased loyalty and value as a source of insight were most desired from the fans. Increased potential for recommendations or advocacy ranked second with 80% votes. Deepened level of fan engagement with brand and visible signs of brand popularity received 74% and 50% votes respectively. Increased long and short term spend on the brand ranked lowest on the list with 45% and 15% votes each.
This indicates that marketers are giving more importance to less obvious benefits offered by brand fans rather than placing a dollar value on them. But these metrics being difficult to measure can leave marketers doubtful about their ROI. The same survey also found that a majority of marketers were unsure about the ROI on their social media marketing efforts. 50% marketers in the survey were uncertain about the ROI, 23% felt that they were getting good returns, 18% answered that the returns were average and 9% thought that the returns were poor.
A method to calculate the exact returns on social media efforts still remains elusive. Marketers need to develop their own metrics, based on their business, to assess the benefits of social media marketing for their overall company internet marketing.