I’ve been a pilot for a number of years and recently started training for an aerobatics competition. It’s one of my life goals and it gives me a whole new perspective on things and the importance of real time information. I was upside down last weekend looking at the ground 3,000 feet “above” me through the plane’s clear ceiling, and thought about how much perspective (and gravity) can change everything. My instructor said I needed one key element to be successful. It dawned on me that was the same element for success in social media marketing.
If you remember last year there were two monumental announcements: one was that physics found the “God particle” and would explain the entire universe and second was that the Facebook IPO would be the biggest in history. Both were wrong. Guess who had the biggest IPO*?
The hysteria around both the Higgs Boson “God” particle and the first social media company to go public created a classic hype cycle that has taken over a year to sort out. There was no solid data to back up either massive claim. In the mean time, LinkedIn and Yelp have quietly obliterated the stock market by increasing in value 400% since their IPO and out performing expectations. Largely because they have specific value and data to back it up; in Yelp’s case to local businesses who have seen footfall double when they run Yelp Ads.
Many advertisers still look at the Facebook advertising through an overhyped lens – not giving serious analysis to the data available around advertising in socia media. Too many brands are buying Facebook ads without serious consideration for what makes Facebook a successful marketing medium. Word of mouth advertising is much more than paying for an ad to interrupt someone’s browsing experience.
The biggest brands know they need to invest money to make social media work – what they all may not realize is that user-generated content that creates a social media product placement can be 5-8x more effective than regular Facebook ads in creating buying influence.
Mr. Herscovici: “In today’s world with Facebook you need [paid] media in order to reach consumers at scale. We have 17 million fans across our brands, but we know when we post something in our pages we are not reaching all of our fans, we are only reaching a certain percentage of our fans because Facebook has algorithms that control that. So if you really want to reach a bigger audience, you need to put money behind it.”
The algorithm he is talking about is called EdgeRank and it means only about 15% of those 17 million fans will see any one post.
With user generated content and good creative we have regularly documented OpenGraph actions appearing on 40-50% of a users social graph, and then being shared virally to friends of friends even more. At the 2012 Olympics Cadbury used a social media operating system to obtain over 600 earned impressions per photo posted. No wonder the project was nominated for 14 awards and won eight of them!
So by now you have probably figured out that what I need to be successful in aerobatics is data and real time information. Things like airspeed, altitude, pitch and bank angle, weight and balance, cross wind component, etc all effect how well and how safely aerobatics are performed. The right data can be the difference between life and death in an airplane. The right data can mean the difference between life and death of your career in social media. Use information and data as much as you can to make buying decisions and you’ll always be flying the friendly skies even if you seem a bit upside down at times.
Make your marketing as well hyped as the God Particle and put some sound logic behind those dollars you spend by creating user generated content with a social media operating system for events.