The debate about the value of Facebook fans continues to rage on. I hate raging arguments in the absence of solid evidence. So I was delighted to see that analyst Gina Sverdlov of Forrester Research had applied actual statistical modeling to address the question, in a new report called "The Facebook Factor."
Gina's technique is simple to understand. Using a statistical technique called logistical regression, she examined a large number of factors that potentially contribute to whether a consumer will purchase, consider, or recommend a brand. The technique could work for any brand; the report specifically analyzes Best Buy, Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Blackberry.
The results are very suggestive. Here are some facts from the report.
- For all four brands, being a Facebook fan of the brand boosts purchase, consideration, and recommendation. For example, 79% of Best Buy Facebook fans bought there in the last 12 months vs. 41% of non-fans. And 74% of them recommend Best Buy vs. 38% of non-fans.
- Of all the questions we asked (and there were many), being a Facebook fan had more influence over these behaviors than any other factor. Being a Facebook fan of Best Buy increases the odds that a customer will purchase by 5.3 times; the next closest influence factor is having researched consumer electronics, which only increases the odds of purchase by 1.4 times.