Back To The Future: True Facebook ROI In The Classic Subscription Model

There’s been a lot of discussion over the years regarding the viability of Facebook as a marketing channel. Everything has been challenged, from FB Ads to the value of Likes. That’s good. Most of the conversation is bunk, the same way soothsayers have been saying that SEO is dead, for years and years. #Snooze. There are no crappy channels, only crappy marketers. It’s also notable that PR firms play point/counter point trying to disparage and prop up FB.

Facebook is a subscription marketing list. Everybody quite freaking out! We say Facebook marketing is the same sh_t different day. FB is yet another in a generational cavalcade of subscription marketing models. Newsgroups were the first subscription model, back in the nineties. Email emerged as a primary subscription mechanism at the same time. Listservs, newsletters, AOL Messenger, MySpace, Digg, Del.ico.uc, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter are all somehow subscription models. Sure, each channel has quirks all have their quirks and features.

Still: User A somehow follows User B. User B can therefore broadcast to User A. User B, upon receipt of the blast either takes an action…or not. Studying Facebook marketing in the subscription model and finding the metrics in FB to truly measure ROI, yields what we consider to be one of the secrets of making money in Facebook.

This post also introduces a new social marketing metric, “Community Focus” score which does an excellent job of grading the quality of your community’s subscription list. In this case the “List” at hand is a bucket of Facebook Likes you’ve either earned and purchased effectively (or not). Finally we have a method to judge whether your FB friends are valuable. We believe community density to be one of the secrets of measuring Facebook likes. Scoring “Community Density” gives marketers insightful ammunition even the most stuffy brands seem to understand. Here’s a small amount of background by way of Power Facts:

Power Fact #1: FB Insights Analytics have recently been made realtime. The data is incredibly useful to community mangers FB PPC hybrid marketers. Having access to this type of data quickly is important to the tactical execution of subscription marketing.

Power Fact #2: Nearly blind (users can’t easily tell it’s an ad) Facebook sponsored stories in the newsfeed means marketers are finally able to understand the newsfeed click through ratio (CTR). This insight is key and, as you’ll see in a moment, a foundational metric for classic subscription marketing ROI.  The Newsfeed CTR is high, sometimes over 5%. That applies both to organic and paid.  The CTRs below are for sponsored stories in the newsfeed.

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© Dudarev Mikhail –

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