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Facebook fans of a brand provide more value as customers than non-fans, according to [pdf] a new study from digital consulting firm Syncapse Corp.

Average Fan Worth about $137
The average value a Facebook fan provides a brand is $136.38, but it can swing to $270.77 in the best case or go down to $0 in the worst. This value is based on Syncapse analysis of five factors per fan: product spending, brand loyalty, propensity to recommend, brand affinity and earned media value.

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On average, a Facebook fan participates with a brand 10 times a year and will make one recommendation. Value can differ significantly by individual brand. For example, in the case of Coca- Cola, the best case for fan value reaches $316.78 but is $137.84 for an average fan. In the worse case scenario, a fan is worth $0.

McDonald’s saw the largest variability, with fans reporting spending $159.79 more per year than non-fans. Oreo saw the lowest value with a difference of $28.52. Factors influencing these differences may include both product price and purchase lifecycle.

Syncapse advises that these differences are less an indicator of marketing performance, and more a confirmation that Facebook fans are more valuable customers than those who are not. It is probable that these numbers can be influenced by a number of factors, including sales penetration, brand health, product health, as well as Facebook marketing success. This study did not investigate these mitigating factors as they could vary greatly depending on region, brand, and product category.

Adidas had the highest variance of loyalty between fans and non-fans with 42.5% of fans indicating a heightened likelihood of continued product usage. Secret saw the lowest difference in loyalty, only 15.83% between the two groups.

Fans Continue Use, Make Recommendations at Higher Likelihood
Facebook fans are 28% more likely than non-fans to continue using a brand, and are also 41% more likely than non-fans to recommend a fanned product to their friends. Overall, 68% (on average) of Facebook fans indicated that they are very likely to recommend a product across the 20 top leading brands. This is contrasted by 28% for non-fans.

Gaming brand Playstation led all brands covered in overall likelihood to recommend with 81.4%, followed by Victoria’s Secret with 79.4%. Notably, the lowest likelihood to recommend by fans was still quite favorable at 59.5% for Secret.

Facebook Fans Influence Others
Becoming a Facebook fan has a demonstrable impact on others. Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported that they would likely become a fan of a brand if they saw a family member or close friend do so. This influence is slightly reduced to 34% if it is a person known through Facebook rather than a family member. Likelihood to try a product if somebody else became a fan is 44% if it was a close family member or friend, moderating to 36% for a Facebook friend.

Research indicates that 81% of fans said they feel connection/empathy with the brand, compared to 39% of non-fans. Another 87% said they felt warmth, gratitude, happy or satisfied, compared to 49% of non-fans. Most brands show a significant gap in results between those who are fans and those who are non-fans. Syncapse advises this provides further evidence of the value of an audience to an organization and the necessity of factoring in fans as a key aspect of long-term marketing value.

Social Engagement Aids Branding
Retailers seeking to increase brand recall, awareness and purchase intent should consider engaging consumers via online social networks, according to a recent study from The Nielsen Company and Facebook.

Consumers who were exposed to a standard homepage ad on Facebook had 10% higher ad recall, 4% higher brand awareness and 2% higher purchase intent than consumers who were not exposed. In addition, consumers exposed to Facebook homepage ads with social context (i.e., the ad includes a list of people on the viewer’s “friend list” who are registered fans of the brand or product), had 16% higher ad recall and 8% higher awareness and purchase intent than non-exposed consumers.

About the Data: Syncapse partnered with Hotspex Market Research to conduct a 25-minute survey using their online panel. Data was collected from more than 4,000 panelists across North America in June 2010. Findings were then analyzed contrasting fans and non-fans for these top brands: Nokia, BlackBerry, Motorola, Secret, Gillette, Axe, Dove, Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, Nike, Coca-Cola, Oreo, Skittles, Nutella, Red Bull, Pringles, Playstation, Xbox, Starbucks, and McDonald’s.

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