According to a study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, an important sounding group, Facebook fans are basically really worthless. In an ideal world, all these brands would love to believe that consumers “like” really means something, but it seems that “likes” have little or no value.

Most people would probably ignore this study, except that Ehrenberg-Bass Institute is supported by some of the biggest brands in the world, including Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble.

The study, in a seemingly slap to Facebook, even uses Facebook’s own metrics, “People Talking About This,” which is supposed to be a running count of likes, posts, comments, tags, shares and other good feelings towards the brand. Well, according to this metric, their own study shows that based on the top 200 brands on Facebook, the actual engagement of fans is 1.3%. Meaning that most of the people who like a brand on Facebook never do anything whatsoever.

It gets worse: If you sub-track the initial like of the fan, the rate of engagement then drops to a really sad 0.45% That’s mean approximately out of 200 people who like a brand on Facebook, only 1 of them actually does anything to interact with the brand. More than likely, knowing Facebook, that person is probably some guy in China spamming a gift-card offer.

These are some scary numbers if you think about it – which means that all that money that companies spend to acquire Facebook fans is nothing more than a masturbatory effort to show how amazing them feel about themselves. While there are a few exceptions to the rule, It seems that maybe Facebook marketing really is just a money pit.

Studies like this show why Facebook is now rushing to go public and cash out, “just incase” their long term strategy doesn’t work. Remember, just two years ago, everyone was talking about Myspace. What’s going to happen in two years if advertisers start to realize that people are ignoring Facebook?

What Social Media Networks offer Return On Investment then?

High average incomes and a huge base of affluent purchasers if you advertise or brand right you will have plenty of ROI.

A great branding tool with real possibilities through sponsored tweets.

Social Influence measurement and perks are great tools for any business.

Social Management tools to consider:

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Author's Bio: 

Jason Baudendistel is an entrepreneur, consultant, LinkedIn expert and business coach. He is the founder of Bored Student Records and Cofounder of Dynamictivity LLC. His prior projects have included Director of Marketing at two different technology startups and building a web business. He resides in Valley Park Missouri with his fiancé Abby.
You can learn more about him at