Really honored to be quoted today in this article. Understanding where your data comes from as a marketer is critical, as more and more decisions are based directly on this information. Good read!
Reggie Watts, ladies and gentlemen!! #sxsw #sxscout (at GSD&M)
I’m in the same freaking room as Sir Tim Berners-Lee. And it feels amazing. #sxsw (at The Driskill)
Got my tag up, yo. And I do love this Dino. (at Facebook Austin)
Snowy day visiting @golinharris HQ! (at GolinHarris)
Ink drops? Or a visual ballet of impossible beauty at 4K? You decide.
If you’re managing a Facebook Page of any significant following, you’re probably keeping a close eye on three measures:
- Fans - how many people “like” your Page
- Reach - how many people see the content you create
- Engagement - how much people interact with your content
All fair metrics, but like all metrics, problems start when you emphasize one of these over the others.
Most large brands today are emphasizing virality as a measure of their success on Facebook. EdgeRank has so beaten brands down that they often see just two ways out: Pay Lots of Money, or Make Our Stuff Viral. Yes, Promoted Stories will create Reach for your page (measured as Paid Reach), and you’ll likely increase your Engagement along the way. The drive for virality also makes sense, as brands want to get the absolute most out of their content before they start paying money. So we look at measures like organic or viral reach and try to drive those as high as possible, so we can potentially reach people outside our Fan base through free means, rather than paying to reach those eyeballs.
To make this happen, most brands start posting more multimedia content - photos and videos primarily. And yes, this content is generally more engaging, especially so because you have to “engage with” (read: click on) a photo to view it, or a video to play it. But here’s the catch:
All those clicks you’ve created from photo views or video plays don’t do a thing for your virality.
The crux is all found in Facebook Stories. Literally, the Story shared from content is a simple, formulaic one:
[name] [liked / commented on / shared] a [content].
This is what pops up in the News Feeds of people who may not be your Fans, if EdgeRank so allows, and this is what you want for viral reach. But take a closer look at that Story - the only way it’s generated is through a Like, a Comment, or a Share. ”Viewed” or “Played” isn’t part of the Story formula right now, and none of those actions generate anything that will be seen by anyone.
(NOTE: Yes, for a while Facebook’s “frictionless sharing” created a lot more actions that generated Stories, most notably the “read” action coming from all those reader apps that proliferated late last year. But even as early as Sept 2012 it was clear that Facebook would pull back on that idea, primarily due to privacy concerns. We still have some vestiges of this in “listened to” Stories generated by Spotify.)
So the ultimate paradox is, while multimedia posts are more engaging, they’re actually less viral, because they have actions readers can take that don’t generate Stories. That’s not to say we should abandon multimedia and go back to straight Status Updates. Rather, brands need to focus on all three of our original measures - fans, reach, AND engagement - and take actions that drive all three as much as possible. By THIS measure, multimedia posts are great - they often generate more Engagement, which keeps our Fans coming back to our content more and more often, which will keep us from losing Fans as well as improve our EdgeRank with them.
So the next time your client tells you they want virality on Facebook, tell them a story - or rather, a Story of a really good Facebook paradox.
Today, you’ll meet a 11yr old climbing phenom of a girl that will make you look like a wuss.
Video courtesy Animusic - A Computer Animation Video Album (Special Edition) (affiliate)
Rule #1 of great blog posting: open with an awesome video. :-)
One good way I know I’m a geek: I look at this video, and I see social media. Think about it - as brands, we’re throwing out bits of content all over the place, trying to turn what looks like chaos into beautiful music. Moreover, our customers / employees / competitors are throwing bits of content back at us, some of which remix what we’ve created, some collide in midair. Social Marketing is a very real practice, because it’s the art and science of measuring the journey of these packets through Internet space, predicting where they’ll land, and creating our own to play the music we want people to hear.
While I’ve been on board since mid-December, I’m proud to officially announce here that I’ve joined the team at GolinHarris as Director of Insights. My role in short? To help our clients map, understand, and predict these flying bits of content so we can create compelling narratives in this ever-shifting space.
Another good way to spot a geek is to see what they do with a good challenge - and GolinHarris has given me some of the best: world-class clients demanding world-class (and multilingual!) measurement of social media; unifying the survey-based marketing research used to define traditional PR impact with digital inputs and media like display advertising, SEO/SEM, and social analytics; architecting new methods to push Insights ever closer to the moment of publishing, such as what we execute in 13 offices across the globe in The Bridge. This ain’t your grandfather’s measurement of PR with “weight of the editorial generated” - this is a teamwork of agency and clients creating new ways to understand what it means to be a Real-Time Brand. I was tremendously impressed with the honesty of the team and open embrace of change I found - particularly in the Dallas office.
Speaking of which, I will still be located here in Dallas, and still VERY involved with my favorite passion projects like Digital Dallas and the DFW Burger Meetup. GolinHarris is headquartered out of Chicago, so maybe I’ll get to catch a Cubs game out at Wrigley soon (I HOPE!).
If all this sounds fun to you, too, I’d love to talk to you. I’ve got a team to build and new challenges to tackle every day, and I’d love to have like-minded people along for the ride.
Here’s to a great 2013 - and beyond!
“…and to all, a good night!” #MerryChristmas (at Swayne Manor)