Many claims are made about social media and particularly about Facebook. Some state that fan pages and fans do not pay off. I have personally read many studies that argue both sides of the equation. Most have valid points and usually have data to support those points.
DDB recently did a study in six countries that focused on Facebook fan pages and the fans that like those pages. The "Facebook and Brands" study showed that while most of the fans used the brands products, after following the fan page over one third of the surveyed wanted to buy more of the brand's product.
The survey polled over 1,600 Facebook users in the U.S., U.K., Italy, France, Australia, and Chile who were already connected to fan pages. The survey was conducted between Aug. 27 and Sept. 27.
"I was expecting [brand page likers to be] a lot more benefits orientated versus, 'I'm joining because I actively want to recommend it to friends,'" said Lautier, director of business intelligence at DDB France in Paris. "I thought it would be a lot more passive than that."
Ford took a gamble earlier in the year. They decided to launch the new 2011 Explorer on Facebook. They currently have over 63,000 fans on the Explorer fan page. Will all 63,000 of those people purchase a new Explorer? Probably not. Will some of them? Probably. The question is, did the fan page influence that decision? My guess is the actual reveal of the Explorer on Facebook will not influence the actual decision to purchase a new Explorer. That is not a fact, just a guess.
While this survey does not prove 100 percent that Facebook fans do spend more money, it does prove that these fans did. That is part of the problem. There are tons of surveys that show both sides with research to prove it. It really seems to come down to the particular brand/company/product that the fan page is about. Some fans are more engaged then others. Some will end up spending more money because they are fans, while some will not.