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How much is a like worth? Facebook fans ‘spend 24% more’

Online retailer has claimed that its Facebook fans are worth 24% more in direct sales than non-fans.


The announcement comes amid growing questions from brand managers across the world seeking to quantify the elusive “value of a like” on Facebook.

The online retailer, which is owned by Japanese digital firm Rakuten, also claims that it can directly attribute £2m worth of sales to Facebook in 2011. Direct sales through the social network have increased 80% in the past year.

The retailer used social marketing platform EngageSciences to analyse the shopping behaviour of its Facebook fans. is using the platform to create “holistic profiles” of its fans and how they engage and share content so that it can develop “more compelling” online campaigns that better reward its biggest social promoters and advocates.

By doing so it claims to have increased the number of “actively engaged” from 2,000 to an average of 12,000 a day, rising to 40,000 for some activity.

Furthermore, shoppers that made their first purchase on Rakuten’s referred through Facebook spent 30% more than an average customer in their first year of using the website.

Fan Growth: Over the last 12 months Rakuten’s has more than quadrupled its social following. Without any paid for media promotion it has attracted 370% organic growth, taking its community from 75,000 to more than 350,000

Fan Reach: Through friends of fans, the 350,000 plus fan base (calculated on the number of friends of fans) has potential reach of over 38 million – that’s more than the active number of internet users in the UK

Sales Growth: Volume of sales directed through Facebook to Rakuten’s is growing rapidly with year-on-year sales through the platform up 80%. Sales that can be directly attributed to Facebook now account for over two million pounds of gross merchandise sales (GMS) for Rakuten’s

Tweet Reach: Rakuten’s is not only focused on Facebook as its social channel, but also has an active community on Twitter with over 40,000 followers. Top tweets can receive over 1 million impressions

Adam Stewart, Director of Marketing at Rakuten’s (@adster1), commented on the power of a like: “We know that there is a lot of discussion at the moment about how to quantify the value of social fans. Our results show that through intelligent engagement, social fans, particularly on Facebook, are massively valuable to online retailers. In fact, Facebook fans can be more valuable to online retailers than those gained through paid-for channels. Our approach has helped Rakuten’s attract over two million pounds of sales in 2011 that can be directly attributed to Facebook.

“It’s not just about increasing sales through our Facebook fans; we see social channels as being a huge part of engaging and rewarding our fans. Through the EngageSciences platform we can create holistic profiles of our fans – looking at how they engage with and share our content, we can create online campaigns that are more compelling and better reward our biggest social promoters and advocates.”

EngageSciences CEO Richard Jones commented on the importance of engagement: “Engagement is critical for all brands using social channels. When we started working with Rakuten’s they had an actively engaged daily audience of around 2,000, but by getting to know its social community better the team has increased average engagement six fold, with daily levels now averaging over 12,000 and peak engagement topping 40,000. It’s great to work with Rakuten’s to finally prove what we’ve been saying for a long time: intelligent use of Facebook does directly support revenue generation. We look forward to a long and rewarding partnership with Rakuten’s to continue to lead the way in driving sales through social channels”.

To see some of the campaigns running on Rakuten’s Facebook page visit on Facebook


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