Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's a Facebook 'like' really worth? Depends on whether you're talking ego or money

When Jesus said to Peter and Andrew, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men," I don't think he was talking about 21st century social media, but who knows? Whatever you want to believe is fine with me.

This morning, prompted by my friend Melissa "Moe" Bristol, a local photographer and occasional BizMojo contributor, I invited all my friends and associates to like the Facebook page for her business,

I admit that part of this was driven by ego. Before I started my fishing expedition, she had 326 likes. A half-hour later she had 330. If she ends the day with 450, I'm really going to feel like somebody.

I won't endorse her except to say she's a person who sees pictures everywhere she goes and whether it's with an iPhone or a digital Canon, she almost always gets a shot. This can be annoying or frustrating, depending on how much of a hurry you're in. But as a single mother of two boys, Mikey, 11, and Leighton, 6, she's trying to make a living doing what she loves, shooting photos of families, engaged couples, high school seniors and weddings. More power to her.

Beyond that, however, this whole exercise has got me wondering, "How much is a Facebook like really worth?" If you drive down 17th Street and every business has a sign that says, "Like us on Facebook!" doesn't that devalue the currency?

Diving into the matter, I found this link from earlier this year:

Feel free to read it, but here's the sentence that jumped out at me:

Researchers have attempted to calculate the potential value of a user who "Likes" a brand, but those numbers vary wildly. Social Media Examiner's 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report surveyed 3,000 marketers, and 41% said they are "uncertain" about the effectiveness of Facebook marketing. The report also found that 17% flat-out said the site is ineffective for marketing purposes. Only 32% agree it is effective.

It's all very scientific and hard to quantify -- I'll grant you that -- but at the most basic level, who doesn't like to be liked?

Oh, by the way, if you want to like BizMojo Idaho's Facebook page, here's the link: Like everyone, I could use some validation.