Tech Support
Apr 29, 2016

Dear Tech Support: How much are my 'likes' worth?

In the first of a regular column, Campaign's resident tech guru answers your pressing questions on all aspects of digital marketing. In association with Xaxis.

Dear Tech Support: How much are my 'likes' worth?

Dear Tech Support,

My agency and social media team keep dodging me whenever I ask them how much a Facebook Like or an Instagram follower is worth in monetary terms. I’ve got a report to the CFO to submit, and I need to have something.


—Desperate Marketer

Dear Desperate Marketer,

Way back in 2010, in the early days of all this, an analyst from Forrester noted, “It may be best if marketers approached this question as if the answer is zero—unless and until the brand does something to create value with fans.”

Well that was six years ago, and social networks have long moved to garner sustainable revenue from brands like yours. There are now ways to calculate this.

You (or your social media team) just need to factor in new sets of metrics and tools to deal with things like first-touch attribution, multichannel analytics and influencer monitoring. Therein lies one potential reason for your social team dodging you: you’re probably not set up for all that yet.

If you happen to have the resources to make things happen, investing in advanced tracking might enable you to track how much a follower is worth by tracking them from discovery through to a sale.

But it's not easy. For example, if I like your page you may not be able to see my email, or perhaps I used one only linked to my Facebook account.

If there is only one metric you should track, then track conversions. These are your direct line for ROI and one of the main points of you spending money in the first place.

Ultimately, you can track and calculate all you want but it’s about what you do with your community, and how it feeds into all the other things you’re doing in the bigger marketing picture. After all, you don't own these channels, so if they shut down then bye-bye followers.

But don’t panic, if you’re really desperate and short on time, the internet always delivers.

You can head to a microsite hosted by HubSpot called Value of a Like (or VOAL because we’re all about awesome acronyms, right?). It’s a tool that helps you calculate how much each fan is worth to your brand based on a formula the team over there came up with back in 2012.

Good luck!

Tech Support


Dear Xaxis, 

What is it going to take for programmatic TV to become a serious offering in Asia? I'm talking about broadcast content, not online video inventory.


Square Eyes

Dear Square Eyes,

I would define what we mean by programmatic TV as it is fast becoming a wide-raging term. Firstly, it covers the instance where TV broadcast companies can place their traditional TV ad inventory in TV ad exchanges, pool it together and sell it with some level of data to advertisers using specialised ad tech software. Very few, if any, major TV broadcast companies are doing these with their TV inventory. In the US, only cable companies are starting to do this very slowly.

Michel de Rijk

Secondly, it covers tech providers, such as Clypd, that are enabling TV broadcast companies to package and sell inventory direct to advertisers or agencies who are using their proprietary data to select particular relevant slots or shows. Again, major networks are not jumping in on this because commoditising their inventory and potentially allowing advertisers to cherry-pick ad inventories scares them as it could lead to decreased revenues.

Then there is the use of set-top box data accessed from the major cable or satellite providers to deliver addressable linear TV ads, which we don’t see that same scale in APAC. In the US, again, only the cable companies are experimenting with this.

Finally, there is the more familiar use case of offering addressable ads via OTT streaming apps on connected devices (phones, tablets or connected TVs). This, if any, could be the scalability opportunity in APAC. However, there first needs to be an increase in local networks which offer these OTT services across local TV content so as to give consumers an alternative to the Netflix service that does not accept advertising. If we look market-specific, only China has shown that development in OTT platforms and is able to deliver it at scale.

So what is it going to take? It will take time, for starters. App-based OTT opportunities will be the first to scale. Beyond that, much must change within the TV broadcast industry to push these companies into change. They will need to see significant audience shift or a proven business case as to how they can maintain their revenue by moving to an addressable, programmatic future where the buyer controls targeting. 

Michel de Rijk
CEO, Xaxis Asia-Pacific


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