I just got pitched by a company that will give me 1,000 Facebook fans in exchange for a post on this site. They do it for others, why would I not want them to do it for me, right? Given that the real estate on Conversation Agent is taken up mostly by me, I must say they have extremely good taste -- even if misplaced. You and I have a relationship based on value.
The question is not if a post is worth 1,000 fans. There is no ad equivalency on people. Trust and credibility are not something you trade. We have countless airline mileage programs that already tell us what we need to know: loyalty cannot be bought. On the other hand, if you have a really good product, or a service people rave about -- something that helps them -- you have preference.
For another example, look no further that World Cup fans. There are countries that literally shut down when their teams are playing. Want to ask them how much for changing teams? Talk about brand loyalty. Football teams have had clubs of loyal fans for ages -- yes, even before Facebook.
There's been a bit of a discussion lately about the value of a Facebook fan. There is eagerness to jump on board with numbers -- making $136 per fan assumptions. Correlation and causality are indeed suspect in the Syncapse study.
We need to spend more time learning from brands that have true fans and are unlocking that value. It likely means understanding how they optimize their products, services, and customer experience with superior performance. That's what should be captured in the value of a fan.
The true value of a fan is a customer. As for that pitch, I say they think Facebook is money for nothin' and fans for free.