|Valuation of social media followers|
Because I might get hit by a bus someday...
So, like most smart self employed website owners, I keep a dead file. You know, that "In case I am dead, my loved ones can figure out what the hell I do and what is going on and how to get into relevant accounts" file.
I also keep an approximate valuation of the site, because I have always told my hubby that if something happens to me, he needs to sell the site and I don't want him to get screwed on that.
So this year, I was reworking the expected valuation of the site and I realized that I have a lot of followers on various social media networks and they have to have a worth.
I know the typical way to value a site is based on income per X number of years, but I also know that plenty of sites have been sold for plenty of money not based on how much money the site makes, but how many eyeballs or users it can potentially get. Forums are a classic example, but social media is not really all that different.
So what is the best way to calculate a value for social media followers?
So, just in case anyone else ever wondered this.
What I ended up doing is looking to see how many visitors came from a social network over the course of the past year.
Then I multiplied that times the average amount each visitor to the site overall is worth.
I then took this number and divided it by the number of followers that I have for that social network. This was then the value of each follower for that network.
In terms of selling the site, I figured that the typical 3 year stretch would be applicable. So I multiplied the number of followers by how much each one is worth times 3 to get the total current amount the social network is worth.
Thank you for the information about how you did the evaluation. As in most things valuation-related, there are several ways of calculating. But in the end, it all comes down to what a buyer is willing to pay. (And we've seen numerous cases where a buyer's willingness seems to have no basis in reality...)
I haven't seen any specific evaluation methods for social media (although I haven't really looked before), so I can't comment on how common this method may be.
My personal feelings are that unless you have some way to monetize members/visitors/followers today, those members/visitors/followers have little to no value- the value would be created by the buyer who implements some way to monetize them (in which case, the buyer is doing the bulk of the work, so why should he pay you for that?).
Alternatively, you could try to value those members/visitors/followers in terms of cost of acquisition- how much someone else would have to spend to get those members/visitors/followers, which all depends on your industry/niche and other competition.
|some way to monetize members/visitors/followers today, those members/visitors/followers have little to no value |
I think if you own a website that makes money, you have a way to monetize them. They are no different than an email list, really. The follow itself has no inherent value, but every time you post/tweet/pin that follow has the potential to have value.
The idea behind monetizing them is as old as direct marketing and mailing lists. You have a list (postal or social), you encourage said list to take an action that will bring you value - and if you can do so effectively but subtly, you have achieved marketing greatness.
I think this is where a lot of people fall short in getting value out of their social media efforts. They think that you should be chatting or interacting without a goal, to be "friends" with their audience. To make them have value, you have to approach it as you are that "friend", charming and disarming, who is always asking for favors from their friends.
Every post/tweet/pin should be aimed towards driving traffic to your site or getting more people to join that list. You can do this without being a pest or appearing to be pushing an agenda. Even the friendly "thanks for following" snippet garners a feeling of good will and personalization, which in turn gets that person to recommend you to others.
I approach social media as a replacement for email marketing. Really, it is just a more personalized version of email marketing. But I am surprised at how many people think it is somehow a different beast altogether. It is not.
Are we speaking hundreds or tens of K?
Further do they interact or respond to your posts?
I had a site with Ks of followers, and some day decided to look in details, to each one.
I ended to weed out at least 60% w/out any collateral damage.
So are you able to figure the value of each one in term of really interacting with you in your terms?
|Are we speaking hundreds or tens of K? |
Let's just say that my likes/follows rival the size of healthy email lists. ;)
|Further do they interact or respond to your posts? |
You know, funny thing... Twitter, interaction has only been intermittent. Facebook though, it is like we hit a tipping point in the past month or so in our numbers. Suddenly, everything I post gets a lot of comments, where before, we were lucky if we got one. Shares and likes have shot up too. But I don't know what has changed. All I can think is that we are experiencing the tipping point theory. Pinterest - they send me the most traffic but I have no clue how to interact with them beyond pinning.
|weed out at least 60% w/out any collateral damage |
We are too large to do that now. I know this is the truth with Twitter. But I am not sure how to weed out the crap on Twitter.
|So are you able to figure the value of each one in term of really interacting with you in your terms? |
The formula I am using does value them on what I actually made from visits to my site from social medial sites. At least in the general terms of that I know what the average visitor to my site is worth.
But if there is other ideas, I want to hear them. I think this is a very important aspect of site valuation for the future and there seems to be very little information on how to handle this.