Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Predictably, this has led many to view Facebook pages as resources. Valuing Facebook pages has thus become a relevant topic of discussion. There are several factors to take into consideration when trying to estimate the value of a Facebook page. Factors can vary in “weight” depending on a given page’s brand or intended audience, but all factors are consistently valuable to some extent. It should be noted that the value of a Facebook page does not actually reflect a proper market value. Having a Facebook page worth $100,000 would not actually imply that you could sell it for that value for cash. It does mean that you could hypothetically derive that value over the course of a year.
Using Web Pages for Comparison
The estimation of Facebook page value is similar in many respects to the estimation of web page value used for turnkey site actions. Predictably, the size of the audience is usually the most important element. It differs in the pertinent metrics. Traditional sites are valued primarily according to traffic. Social media pages use a combination of friends, fans and followers.
Friend are those that have added the page as a friend. This only applies to pages that hypothetically represent human beings. You can’t befriend most informational hubs on Facebook. This makes it the most fickle statistic to take into account. Its value will vary wildly depending upon the person who owns the profile and how they use it. One hundred friends for a high school student’s personal page will not be worth the same as one hundred friends for a business magnate.
Judging By Following
Fans and followers are the next two. These need to be distinguished. Fans include anyone that has added themselves to a fan group or otherwise shown an interest in a page or brand, marking it as one of their interests. Followers are those that actively allow the page to appear in their news feeds. All followers are fans but not all fans are followers. Followers are usually worth more than fans because they have a direct line to whatever the page promotes. However, fans will still visit the page of their own volition and see if any of their follower friends interact with it, so they still have pertinent weight in the equation.
The next factor is the number of posts. Different posts are worth different amounts. Images tend to be worth more than text posts, however. This is where value estimation grows the most difficult. The disparity in the value between any two individual posts and any two individual types of posts can be very broad. It is still possible to glean some estimations from the number of posts in an average time period, however. Pages that have more followers make more valuable posts as a general rule. The more viewers a post will get, the better.
These values are most easily applied to a formula via application. The Social Page Evaluator was the first notable tool to be rolled out for this purpose. Applications that are developed by teams willing to back their estimations up with data are generally the most reliable. This is especially true if they were willing to admit the shortcomings of their applications. Their estimations will inevitably hold truer for some brands and scales of business than others.
Deciding a Valuation
A rough estimation of the average value of a Facebook page has been consistently quoted to be around $60. This is derived from Facebook’s initial public offering processed through its 800 million users and 900 million apps, games and other aspects of the whole. Naturally, there will be wild differences between one user’s personal page and the page of a major brand, but it can be assumed that for the purposes of Facebook’s advertising revenue, lower-end pages will pull on average toward this number. For the purposes of how much value can be derived from them by their owners, this again falls back to the number of sales they can convert as a direct result of their promotion on Facebook.
One of the most compelling things to note in the discussion of Facebook page value is what some business owners are calling “COI”. “ROI” means “return on investment” and would refer to how much a page owner can milk out of a Facebook page given the number of hours invested into maintaining it. “COI” is the “cost of ignoring”. The thinking is that whether or not a Facebook page’s return on investment is high, the sheer size of Facebook and inevitability that competitors will be soaking up mindshare on social networks means that businesses cannot afford to neglect their social media presence. Given how imprecise the tools presently are for estimating the value of a Facebook page, it is easy to perceive this as a rather bleak outlook on the matter.
All the same, garnering an estimate of how much a Facebook page is worth is simply a matter of determining how effective it is at reaching its audience. Much in the same way marketers have to monitor and manage their conversion ratios, social media curators need to monitor and manage the attention their pages are paid. Companies and individuals that can produce compelling social media content people will pay attention to will be able to wring more value out of their posts, shares and follows over time, ultimately turning their social media page into a much more valuable resource.
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