27 June 2010

Monetizing Social Media

OK I admit it – the Professor is decidedly skeptical when it comes to the economic value of Social Media. I have a hard time figuring out if there is anything actually good about Social Media other than it is the ultimate thief of time. Sucking out our lifeblood like a leech – a resource that is unrecoverable. Somehow on my holiday here in Greece where I am writing this post – no one among the locals seem to care about Social Media. I haven’t heard one Greek talk about Facebook. Actually other than the odd smattering of Brits and French few have been talking about it. Even under probing – few here in this little Cretan village seems to care.

So I was pleasantly surprised that someone has actually tried to put a value on this phenomena. Digital consulting firm Syncapse and research company Hotspex have come up with an empirical formula that puts an average value of $136.38 on the Facebook fans of the site’s 20 biggest corporate brands. I feel very uncomfortable about becoming a “fan” of anything. According to one of the online dictionaries a fan is” An ardent devotee; an enthusiast” Sorry but I don’t think I buy the whole “ardent “thing here.

Here are the results as presented by eMarketer.

Do I really think this is a valid formula – well I will keep my sense of skepticism for now thank you. For now I will just say that we are too early in the cycle to say if this will be the ultimate trend. I definitely think that one doesn’t need research to tell you some common sense things like the ground is hard. Monetizing the value of “loyalty” for example is a far harder thing to quantify. I would say consistently that is impossible.

Still this is pointing to some interesting ways we can evaluate things. But for now let me just say – I am happy being unquantified. Pass the Raki!


1 comment:

Paul Addy said...

Can someone please tell me what the "value of loyalty" is... even in the most general terms?

In the case of a website or social media site... if a user does not click on CPC/CPA ads or is probably too focussed on their social interaction to take notice of CPM/Display ads, then just where does the cash come from?

If people visit their local park each day - displaying significant loyalty to the local facility - this only puts pressure on the authorities to spend more to improve the facility and does not generate any revenue.

That's my analogy and I would be very grateful if someone could educate me with an alternative view which carries commercial value.