The Wharton School recently asked what a social media “like” was worth. The response, derived from a recent survey of 2,000 social media users that “liked” something, was found to have a value of $174.17. Sound like a lot? Not your experience? Here’s why that won’t be the social media result for everyone.

That value only applies to big brands employing active, strategic social media management. Coke. Boeing. Disney. The Wharton School’s David Reibstein compares the use of the “friends” yardstick of measurement to that of counting people who walk past your bricks and mortar store. Will they stop? Will they consider? Will they buy?

Reibstein and I are in complete agreement: if you are not going to effectively tie friends to revenue, you are probably not doing it right. Participating in a social media campaign just because you are afraid not to, or because everyone else is doing it, is not justification.

Social media entry is a no brainer at first blush. Free or low-cost sites seem like a bargain, but they can be misleading doors to the rather large room housing content, creative, and analytics. That said, the Victoria’s Secrets, MTVs, and Red Bulls of the world use strategies that even small businesses can turn into value:

  • Earn your friends: gain likes through information, engagement, and fun
  • Know your audience: not just yesterday, but today, and tomorrow: http://bit.ly/12SNSzJ
  • Deliver content of value: give readers information they find important to share
  • Be socially responsive: honor likes, tweets, and comments with a response

Lastly, use analytics, customized with your company’s marketing goals and budget in mind, to arrive at a number that accurately reflects your social media participation. What is a social media “like” worth to you?

Williams Brown
Williams Brown

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