We're now the number two game store on Facebook with 1,300 fans. It's a list I conveniently keep, with over a hundred game stores. That's a lot of fans, but has it resulted in a lot of sales? Umm, no. What it has done is replace a lot of costly advertising with cheaper, much more time consuming advertising. It's a revolution in savings, but not revenue. It's fantastic in communicating with our user base. However, the bottom line is, just like customers driving by a store, having a bunch of peripherally interested people is not terribly lucrative. Lets take a look at how I get these fans.
About half our fans come from organic means, like telling folks in the store or our very successful (in getting people to fan) Facebook advertising. The other half, however, come from what I've discovered is the quickest way to get new fans, targeting friends of fans. The ads target friends of existing fans within a certain parameter, like 20 miles. Unfortunately, what I'm seeing is very quick growth of those types of fans, which also means high additional costs as those people fan our page. There's nothing wrong with them, they're just not terribly engaged with the page.
Basically what I'm saying is fan counts are crap. Don't chase them. Don't worry about them. Worry about providing solid content to your existing, organically grown, fan base of active users. 100 active users is far better than 1,000 passive fans, who like replicating clones, get farther and farther away from the original intent as the advertising process continues. John's brothers cousins uncles pool cleaner is not my target audience because he thinks games are cool. Some companies are actually selling this social media replication strategy as a business model. Weak.