Does Facebook Advertising Pay Off?

One of the issues in the early days of Facebook for businesses (the “early days” being last year or so) was that while it allowed a forum through which to interact with customers, it didn’t drive much traffic to your site. And traffic to your site is obviously of central importance for your bottom line.
A new survey of UK retailers from metrics firm Experian Hitwise shows encouraging news for businesses and their Facebook efforts.

Robin Goad, research director for Hitwise, UK, writes, “We are constantly asked, ‘What’s the ROI with advertising on Facebook?’ and until now that has always been a difficult question to qualify precisely.” What has Hitwise found?

  • For every fan on Facebook, a business receives an average of 20 additional visits to their websites per year. Twenty extra visits is modest, but it grows exponentially as you gain followers.
  • Consumers were as much as 54 percent more likely to search for businesses they see advertising on Facebook.
  • According to Goad, top retailers still get about 62,000 visits from Facebook per month even if they had no fans.

A 2010 study from Syncapse found that Facebook fans spend an average of almost $72 more than non-fans. They are also 28 percent more likely to become repeat customers. Syncapse CEO Michael Scissons estimates that each Facebook fan is worth about $130.

The take-home message? Facebook is important. Social media can be a powerful tool. While you cannot neglect other SEO tactics, namely providing excellent content on your website, creating an effective Facebook campaign may be a good financial move for your business.

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