The value of a Facebook like or fan is BS. That’s right, 100% grade A Tauro Sterculius! Anyone telling you any different is trying to sell you something. I told you about this when I said A Facebook fanpage isn't the small business silver bullet it's made out to be.
I’ll have to admit, The Harvard Business Review blog is not my standard fare. So the first I heard about Dan Zarella’s article “How To Calculate The Value of a Like” was in Olivier Blanchard’s November 27th post “How not to measure the value of a like.”
Olivier Blanchard also refuted the notion of a calculable value in general in his September post “The 5 basic rules for calculating fan/like/follower value.” Blanchard goes in depth and gets real specific with Dan Zarella’s formula in the November post. Mr. Blanchard does a great job of saying what the people of integrity in our business are thinking when we see these articles coming from someone who should actually know better.
What I did not see mentioned is likes do have some albeit unquantifiable value as social proof. Here's an example of how. The latest like on your page has zero dollar value to your business as a like because that person liked your page for a mindless meme and nothing else. The value comes when that like was a good number for social proof that your latest paying customer needed to see in order to have the amount of trust necessary to buy from you.
So what was that like worth? Even if you had the latest greatest analytics tool that measures any and all aspects of social media activity as well as interfaces with your CRM seamlessly, you would be fooled into thinking that like had zero value when it actually spurned a looker to become a buyer who never bothered to like your page.
Bottom line: Stop listening to the garbage about like value and social ROI and spend more time reaching out to and interacting with people who want to hear from you, building relationships, and adding value to their lives. That’s what social media is for. Only when you realize and do that will people add money to your bottom line.
I recommend picking up Olivier Blanchard's (completely B.S. free!) book Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization (Que Biz-Tech)