Hitwise recently studied their data sets to determine the benefits of marketing on social media in general and on Facebook specifically. According to the results, each new fan acquired on Facebook is worth 20 additional visits to a retailer’s website over the course of a year.

“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,” writes Hitwise U.K. Research Director, Robin Goad. “However, by utilizing 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.”

He notes that Facebook just behind Google in the U.K. as the most visited website and is also a large source of traffic to other sites. One out of six British page views goes to a Facebook page and 20 million hours are spent on the website every day from just U.K. users.

“Topshop, Boohoo and Jack Wills lead the pack, with consumers being 54 percent 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,” notes Goad. “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.”

Source: Hitwise.com {link no longer active}