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One Facebook fan can add 20 more vists to your retail site..

We’ve been talking at Hitwise for a very long time about the benefits of social media and how Facebook in particular is becoming critical to the success of multi-channel marketing.

We are constantly asked: “What’s the ROI with advertising on Facebook?”

Until now – that has always been a difficult question to qualify precisely. Leveraging our unique data sets we now have an answer: for retailers, each new fan acquired on Facebook is worth 20 additional visits to your website over the course of a year.

We’ve blogged on many occasions on just how massive Facebook is online but it is always worth reiterating some of the big “wow-factor” stats which highlight Facebook’s reach and influence online. Facebook is the second most visited website in the UK after Google and is now the second biggest source of traffic to other websites as well. 1 in every 6 page views from UK Internet users goes to a Facebook page, and 20 million hours are spent on the website every day from UK users alone.

With this in mind we’ve decided to launch a new service today in partnership with social media experts Techlightenment which allows brands to acquire thousands of new Facebook fans and then analyse other behaviours these fans exhibit online. We’ve very sensibly decided to call this our Facebook Fan Acquisition and Analysis service.

Our data shows that for the top retailers, even if they have no Facebook fans they can still expect to receive on average 62,000 visits from Facebook each month. However, by utilising this new service, brands can more rapidly build a fan base within Facebook and therefore drive more traffic to their website. Within retail each new fan acquired will drive an additional 20 visits to a retailer’s websites, which in turn will generate extra sales both online and offline.

The figure of 1 fan = 20 extra visits to a website uses a unique methodology that combines Hitwise data with data from Techlightenment. We took the top 100 retailers ranked in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category and benchmarked visits to those websites against the number of fans those brands had on their Facebook page. We then also looked at the propensity for people to search for those retail brands after a visit to Facebook using our Search Sequence tool.

We’ve used a similar methodology before in a previous blog to find the retail brands that were leveraging the marketing potential of Facebook. Looking at the data for the 12 weeks ending 18 June 2011, we can see that fashion brands once again are utilising Facebook the most, with a much higher proportion of searches after a visit to Facebook than in normal search.

The table above is an updated Index of the top retailers that were searched for after a visit to Facebook. Topshop, Boohoo and Jack Wills lead the pack, with consumers being 54% more likely to search for the ‘topshop’ brand after a visit to Facebook than they would in a normal everyday search in Google, Yahoo! or Bing. Out of the top 10 brands above, WHSmith was the notable exception to the collection, as the only non-fashion retailer in the top 10.

If you want to find out more about our Facebook Fan Acquisition and Analysis service you can send an email to