Putting a value on the major social media: Yelp wins.

Nice going, pub.

Since it’s currently required that each media form mention Facebook at least once this week, the week of its historic IPO, well, I guess I better get at it.

I went searching for Facebook and restaurant marketing, though, and ended up with Yelp. What I found interesting was Sara Petersen’s blog about the value of social media.

She estimates what each entry/tweet/posting/review is worth to a restaurant, and what each user is worth based on stuff like how many people the interaction reaches easily; how influential the person is; how focused on restaurant-related material the venue is; and how likely followers are to come spend money in the end. It might be numerical voodoo, but by her logic, Yelp wins because “Customers don’t have to track down tweets or posts to read reviews, and they don’t have to follow or be friends with strangers who visit your restaurant.”

Twitter is elusive—it’s useful for relating to people in many ways, but she has trouble giving it numbers. And Facebook is good, but her parameter of accessibility makes the posts less valuable, since you have to be friends with the person to see it.

Anyway, maybe it’s not revolutionary information; it is an attempt to bring discipline to the chaos of the social marketing scene.

Her Breakdown:

Yelp review, $9.13

Yelp user, $21.21

Foursquare check-in, $.40

Foursquare use, $40.00

Facebook post, $.02

Facebook user, $118.34

Tweet [um, depends on the influence of the user and is thus not really calculated by Ms. Petersen]

Twitter User [with fewer than 200 followers and Klout score of less than twenty], about a tenth of a penny

Instagram photo, [UNCLEAR, is my summary of Ms. Petersen’s remarks]

Instagram user, $20.00