Social media followers and fans are not particularly good metric for judging the success or ROI of a social media campaign and I'd advise strongly against measuring success through these numbers alone.

However as businesses attach a commercial value to their mailing and email lists, as a corporate asset, I thought it would still be interesting to look at what might be the value of a social media following.

While it may not be legal to sell such an asset, it can contain value in providing a cheap way to reach part of your audience quickly and conveniently. In fact, I have railed before about organisations who pour money into building a social media following for a campaign, then throw their investment away by closing it down or neglecting it - just as they are used to doing in traditional media when renting eyeballs.

So as a starting point for calculations of social media value I put together a little spreadsheet on Google to allow you to calculate a value based on several key social media networks and blogs. It uses research figures that have been calculated to average out the value of an individual follower or fan.

Just plug in your numbers in the boxes provided and see what you get.

Feel free to extend the spreadsheet as well.