(Photo: Reuters / Thierry Roge)
Being a Facebook friend is worth $174.17, according to a new research study released this week.
The research results has suggested that every time someone "Likes" or "Friends" a brand or a business with their Facebook account, that action is worth approximately $174.17 to that brand, which is a 28 percent increase since just 2010.
The study was conducted by social intelligence company Syncapse, and analyzed more than 2,000 Facebook users who had "Liked" a brand. The study also took into account other factors such as product spending, loyalty, propensity to recommend, media value acquisition cost and brand affinity. Tying in all these factors the study sought to determine the equivalent monetary value of a Facebook fan, according to Live Science.
It is widely recognized that people spend more money on the companies and brands that they have "Liked" on Facebook, however, it has also been found that people generally spend 43 percent more money in that brand's sector as well than someone else who has not "Liked" any brand in that sector.
The study also advises brand managers to interact with their Facebook followers as much as possible to try and understand what they are passionate about, and gain their precious feedback and input.
Many people who "Like" brands do so to express their thoughts on it, and share their brand experiences with others; potentially helping the company to tap into the lucrative "word of mouth" market.
When brands offer promotions and discounts they will also spread these to friends easier, bringing even more attention to the brand. However, things work both ways, the study warns, and they are also just as likely to report bad brand experiences to friends if things do not go well.
The report states: "The increase in average fan value is driven by fans' tendencies to be super-consumers. Not only do they tend to be brand users first, they spend more, engage more, advocate more and are more loyal. The significant and increasing value of a Facebook brand fan affirms past social marketing investment and mandates deeper commitment and accountability in the future."