While companies of every category encourage people to click their Facebook Like buttons, the accountability questions continue to surface: "How much does liking a company influence a purchasing decision and increase loyalty to the business?"
The best way to determine if there's a relationship between fans who've actually liked and purchased is to directly ask your customers and clients, "Have you liked us on Facebook? Did that influence your purchasing decision?"
A recent report from eVoc Insights (evocinsights.com) published in the eMarketer Digital Intelligence Report, said "54 percent of Facebook users who liked the page of a brand or company said they were somewhat or much more likely to purchase from that brand."
That means it's about fifty-fifty: half the fans are more likely to be real customers or clients, the other half are not.
Despite reports from various research companies, until you ask your customers and clients, you may never know the real value of your Facebook fans. Results will differ from one business type to another, to the creativity of your Facebook page and to the content you're posting on your Wall.
The bottom line: No business should assume that customer visits or purchases are earned just from the click of the Like button.