I know what you’re thinking – not another acronym metric to think about!
But in this case, a person’s TSF – or Time Spent Facebooking – may say a lot about her value to brands looking to take advantage of social media.
Nielsen has a new study out that suggests there are many demographic factors that play into just how much time people spend on Facebook.
Ethnicity plays a role, as evidence by this chart that reveals how much more engaged Asians are with Facebook:
And from a financial standpoint, isn’t it interesting to note that higher income people kill more time tagging photos, writing wall posts, and searching for “friends.” In fact, the chart below reveals that of all the time that those in the $100K+ category spend online, nearly 40% is on Facebook. That’s a pretty amazing share for any medium.
But what is the value of a Facebook fan? As more and more stations, personalities, and brands set up Facebook Fan Pages, is there a way to calculate just how much these web users contribute?
According to Forrester senior analyst Augie Ray, maybe not a whole lot.
His reasoning is that simply aggregating fans does little to nothing to bring value or revenue to a brand. It’s what you do with fans that determines whether a social media initiative is successful.
As he notes, the critical question isn’t “What’s the value of a Facebook Fan?”
Brand managers, marketers, and even CEOs ought to be asking “How do I make Facebook fans valuable?”
In radio, we’re seeing many stations and personalities having varied success at adding more and more fans on a weekly basis. And most companies are tracking their social media efforts based on the raw number of fans/followers, a la Ashton Kutcher versus CNN.
Dunkin' Donuts is a case in point. While they have 80% fewers friends/followers than Starbucks, it is easy to make the case their fans are more engaged - and building awareness and good feelings about the Dunkin' Donuts brand. In a recent Fast Company story sent to me by Entercom's Kathryn Kercher, Dunkin' has two rules for social engagement promotions: 1) Make them fun, and 2) make them cheap.
They use real customers to highlight their products. For example, fans submitted pictures of themselves drinking iced coffee in the winter were worth to earn in-store discounts. But the "gold" is in the viral sharing. Overall, 140 entries generated nearly 4 million online plugs and mentions via posts and status updates.
Just like with email databases, it’s not the number of listeners but what you do with them that separates the blasé programs from ones that truly engage consumers while creating more conversation, participation, recommendations, and a greater sense of belonging. Don't tell me how many email addresses you've aggregated - tell me how you're activating them, sharing your brand, and providing them with fun promotions and activities.
It wasn’t that long ago that radio could measure its true fans by observing the raw numbers of bumper stickers on the backs of cars and trucks in your markets. If someone was willing to display their loyalty by decorating a Lexus or a Malibu with your logo, it was a sign that “liking” your station was a reflection of how they defined themselves. That was true brand identifying. Over time, this display of unabashed fandom disappeared.
Today, consumers may or may not join your database. And they may or may not become a fan of your station or your show.
But the voting booth has moved from car bumpers to laptops, desktops, and iPhones.
Radio managers and strategists would be wise to learn from the successes – and the failures – that have been made along the way with email databasing efforts. Are you simply using these valuable consumers to test music and to spam them with sales promotions? Or are you making them part of your conversation and providing them a seat at the table where their input, energy, and contributions can build better brands and enhance customer service.
How do you define "fan?"
P.S. Tomorrow morning is Jacobs Media's "Summer School" at The Conclave. We have 12 great mini-sessions featuring Jacobs' employees, as well as "guest lecturers," including Saga's Steve Goldstein, Arbitron's Gary Marince and Ed Cohen, and Media Monitors' Phillippe Generali.
School starts early - 8 a.m. - but the educational benefits will be great. And to add a little incentive, everyone in the room when our sessions start will be eligible to win a pair of tickets to Thursday night's sold out game between the Twins and White Sox at the fabulous new Target Field. So bring an apple, and show up early!