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New Study: Yup, Facebook Offers Good ROI for Your Business

There's no strong consensus on whether maintaining a Facebook presence is a net benefit for your business (we've reported it both ways ourselves), but some new data trickling in appears to suggest that there is indeed a good return on investment.

According to the Web metrics firm Experian Hitwise, each fan you accrue on Facebook contributes an average of 20 additional visits to your company Web site over the course of a year. Those visits then lead to sales, both online and offline.

Specifically, Hitwise took the top 100 retailers ranked in its Shopping and Classifieds category and benchmarked visits to their websites against the number of fans they had on their Facebook pages.

The study was intriguing, but there are some caveats. First, this was conducted in the UK, so the results may or may not be directly applicable to the US and elsewhere. In addition, some aspects of their methodology reveals some pattern bias. For example, they concluded that their tested consumers were 54 percent more likely to search for companies they visited on Facebook after a visit to Facebook than they normally would on a typical search engine like Google or Bing. But most of the brand names these consumers visited in fashion, and that result might be applicable to other retail sectors.

Ambiguity aside, this is an interesting result and might add further credibility to your business plans around supporting a Facebook page. [via PC World]

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