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Facebook Pages: Diminishing Returns & Long-Term Value

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One of Facebook's most powerful resources for businesses is the free "page." But with so many potential areas to focus on with Facebook pages, what's the best place to invest time and monetary resources? And how much is a single "like" on Facebook worth?

Facebook's Diminishing Returns

Facebook Newsfeed Impressions Pageviews

The old axiom of "the bigger you are, the harder you fall" seems to apply to Facebook pages: The more users a given page gets to "like" them, the less likely each user is to actually see pages and news feed updates.

According to a PageLever study, the average number of unique news feed impressions per 100 fans is 7.49. However, pages with over a million fans receive only 2.79 unique impressions per 100 fans. An even more dramatic drop can be seen with the Facebook page view statistic, which include visits to both the core page and page tabs. The average of 3.19 impressions per 100 fans drops to just .15 for pages with over a million fans.

Here's the real point: Optimization efforts should focus on generating a highly engaging news feed, and not on the page or tabs. That doesn't mean the page and tabs aren't important (they are what garners those fans in the first place), but the news feed is far more vital. This was discussed, along with other social media strategies, in Amber Mac's keynote speech at SES.

What's a Fan Worth?

It's easy to see the small number of unique impressions and feel that Facebook isn't as worthwhile as it once seemed, but the world's biggest social network isn't to be underestimated. A recent study from Experian Hitwise claimed that a single Facebook fan was worth 20 visits to your web page.

In describing the methodology of this claim, Hitwise stated, "We took the top 100 retailers ranked in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category and benchmarked visits to those websites against the number of fans those brands had on their Facebook page." Hitwise also evaluated other user behaviors, such as doing a search engine query for a brand after being exposed to that brand on Facebook.

While it's difficult to track ROI in a concrete way, the Hitwise figures demonstrate real value in winning loyalty on Facebook. Paired with an effective news feed strategy, Facebook becomes one of the most powerful ways to drive traffic to your site.


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