Fanscape recently published a study that determines to assign an actual dollar value to your Facebook fan. The formula is called the Social Relationship Value (SRV). It uses a series of steps based on the number of fans, how they respond to a promotion or discount and several other factors. It is a well thought out approach in the attempt to assign a measurable value to a fan.
Without going into greater detail, I suggest you download the white paper – it’s only eight pages and is pretty easy to digest.
As social media marketing takes on more importance in the strategies of brands and non-profits it seems that the quest for a one-size-fits-all formula for social ROI is the marketers’ holy grail.
From a purely business point of view – I understand this. Dollars invested in marketing must show some level of tangible results in order to be justified.
But, does social ROI tell the complete picture of the value a fan brings to your brand or mission?
As Fanscape accurately points out, this is the evolution of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Social CRM. The key word here is relationship. You are developing a dialogue with your core constituency that makes them both more loyal to what you do and more likely to use their personal credibility to spread your message.
The Fanscape SRV is dependant on a promotional vehicle. It implies a direct cause and effect exchange that is measurable. This is all well and good for established brands like Target or Starbucks or the Humane Society.
But, it is also something that takes place long after the social media relationship has been established. While you can draw fans with great deals and offers it eventually becomes like crack – once the deals go away the relationship wanes.
Smaller organizations – or those just getting started in social media – must develop a relationship based around the emotional values of what they stand for. They must rally the troops based on passion – first. This is especially true for non-profits who are looking for a way to increase their donor base. The ‘ask’ cannot be the basis of the relationship with your fan. It is – hopefully – the end result.
As the quest for the perfect formula for ascertaining fan/follower value continues I think it is important that we don’t put the relationship ahead of the revenue. We need to keep in mind that we establish social media platforms as a way of interacting with our base, of keeping them involved, of learning what they do and don’t like about us.
Fanscape is dead on when they say this is about the customer relationship.
As you proceed with your social media strategy keep in mind that while the ultimate goal is to increase profits and donations it is really an outcome based on the process of building a relationship.
Social Media Specialist