For whatever reason we seem to need to assign a dollar value for anything and everything, maybe there isn’t one, but we just have to have one. I’m not going to layout the proper conditions or equation in this post, I’ll let you do you own research, but let’s spend some time getting it right.
Yesterday I talked about Barking At Shadows, where we put far too much stock in the number of fans, likes and followers. Those indicators make you feel good but are really a false sense of security, it just means someone came knocking, they probably didn’t do anything else. So we start asking the question, what’s the value of a follower, a fan and a like…what’s the ROI?
The question of Social Media ROI comes up all the time, and immediately everyone points to the number of followers, likes and fans, but that would be the wrong thing to do right? In my last post I said I would introduce you to someone far smarter than I, he knows this stuff, he lives it. You will love his directness, he calls it as he sees it, so be prepared to learn Social Media ROI with passion. My good friend and author, Olivier Blanchard understands Social Media ROI metrics, he has clear and definite thoughts on how to plug Social Media into your business as well. I am a little biased but I highly recommend you read his book called Social Media ROI, you will be amazed at what you don’t know. I was in an exchange with Olivier and friends on FaceBook the other day in reference to this Mashable story posted on Olivier’s FaceBook wall called, “4 Ways to Convert Facebook Fans Into Super Fans”.
Olivier said with the above link:
Actually, no. Don’t. Attract fans with ads? Create advocates with… contests? Seriously? Who writes this crap? I wonder what the folks at Brains on Fire think about this garbage.
The problem with the “FAN” & the “LIKE” or the “FOLLOWER”, there is no real accurate way of measuring its value, it’s similar to KLOUT trying to accurately measure ones influence. Individually they don’t matter, but the SUM of these inaccurate metrics is more important. The SUM leads to a perceived value, not a real value that can be manipulated. The “SUPER FAN” is one more attempt to bring value to a single digit, WOM is hard enough to measure, the total number of those WOM messages matters more than the single blabber mouth being a SUPER FAN. But what do I know, I’m Canadian.
Olivier responded with:
You know how they do it, right? The CPF (cost per fan) gets magically transformed into fan value:
Because the fan cost $4 to acquire, that fan’s value is now estimated at $4. So the media buyer’s ROI equation, based on media equivalency models, becomes a factor of average acquisition cost – actual acquisition cost. It works like this:
“The average (cost) value of a fan is $4. Our CPF is $2. We acquired 100,000 fans, for a total fan value of $400,000. Your acquisition cost was $200,000. We provided an ROI of 200% with this campaign.
Whether the agency’s fees were included in that $200,000 depends on the agency. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. That’s the scam.
I responded with:
Its all scam, whomever scams best…. wins.
The conversation ended there, but almost everyone tries to game the Social Media Fan, Like and or follower, its barking at shadows.
The ultimate place to be is for you (your business) to bring extreme value, powerful solutions, backed by qualified data, and that might actually include the shadows, but it’s the lessor of all the metrics to be watching.
There is much to learn, and much more to unlearn when it comes to the future of business, but you should start with Olivier’s book, then his blog, then my blog. I am more about a new of changing, Olivier wants you to be honest and realistic about what you measure, and he’ll get in your face if you or I start spewing a bad message. We’ve talked about this value before, over and over again, it keeps coming back to the table. All it means is, many still don’t understand what it is and where it should go.
The Fan, the Like & the follower do have a value, but let’s put that value in perspective, and most importantly, let’s put that value in the right place in the equation.
- Barking At Shadows (owengreaves.com)
- Which are the most important social media metrics? (Hint: they’re nothing to do with social media) (brendancooper.com)
- Be careful what you ask for, you might just measure it (briansolis.com)
You might remember I wrote about a young lady named Emilie Wapnick, she has been turning the business world on it’s ear lately, and I highly recommend you listen to her before you go any further:
As you just heard, younger generations want more than the older generations are offering, and more importantly, they don’t want to be catagorized and told what they can and can’t do for a living. recently Emilie released a book for those who have more than one passion, and that is probably all of us. Here book is for Multipotentialites, what does that mean, I’ll let her tell you in her own words a little later. But first, I want you to get her book, it’s called “Renaissance Business – Make Your Multipotentiality Your Day Job”.
Taken From Her Website:
Imagine having a business that allows you to focus on many of your interests and use all of your skills on a regular basis.
In Renaissance Business, you’ll learn to use your multipotentiality so that instead of it being an obstacle to income, it becomes fuel for income.
But first, maybe you can relate to this…
My resume reads like it belongs to ten different people.
The famous and very talented Michael Martine had this to say about her and the new book:
“I wasn’t sure I really believed at first that Emilie had figured out a way to help “scanners” create a single business when they have multiple interests and skills. I just didn’t see how she could pull it off. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I read Renaissance Business: the methods she walks you through step-by-step for creating a single business out of the soup of all your varied skills and interests as a scanner or multipotentialite are, in a word, brilliant. She really has cracked the code. I’ve never seen anything like it. If you’ve felt stuck and dismayed because you feel a conflict between your potential and the need to make a reductive decision, you must have this book.”
– Michael Martine | Remarkablogger.com
Renaissance Business is Designed Specifically for the Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur!
So why did I just share all this, well, I want you to buy her book, I want you to experience a Business Of The Future, for you to learn from Emilie, and I want to help her fulfill one of her passions. Sell Books.
Also, I had the opportunity to speak with her on a Skype call and I want to share it with you. The quality is sketchy but you will find what she has to say helpful and interesting. I hope you can carve out some time to listen to this 25 minute chat.
Podcast With Emilie Wapnick – Enjoy!
I’m up late every night trying to find new ways to teach you the ins and outs of where business going, the future of business. It’s my hope you are actually learning something here. You’re probably seeing it’s not business as usual, that things have been changing rapidly, and it’s painful too. I hope I’m making you think long and hard about what to do next in this new open economy. As I’ve mentioned many times, the future of business is not a skill set, it’s not mechanical, it’s not even about technology, it is however, about how you and I think.
Throughout this blog I have covered a variety of topics, I even share local events in my community, I do that for couple of reasons, to keep it interesting (I hope), and that I am a real living person practicing what I preach. The difference between you and I is, I see things you don’t, and I share that foresight with the intent of helping you take your first steps toward this new world of commerce. The Future of Business is a broad topic really, there are so many paths to go down but there isn’t enough time in a day to cover it all. So I tell you about what I find in my research, in my collaboration with other futurists, and then hopefully you can see the same patterns and trends being presented before us.
You probably find it difficult to implement strategies and tactics to an uncertain future, to something you can’t see clearly. That’s why I write about it, the best way to figure it out is to learn, find sources that can help you understand the paradigm shift we are going through. I pay attention to other futurists, 265 of them, I collaborate with some, and I do countless hours of research of my own, and I don’t get paid to do it! I’ll talk about that another time.
One of those 265 futurists I refer to is Gerd Leonhard, he lives Basil, Switzerland. He heads up The Futures Agency, The Futures Agency is structured as a virtual organization with global reach, deep knowledge and domain expertise, and extensive experience as strategic advisers. He is a digital mentor of mine, I respect his work, and he makes it interesting.
Now you may have noticed there’s push back from the corporate world, most Industrial Age businesses, they are throwing up paywalls everywhere, trying to control you, trying to prevent you from having information freely. Gerd talks about the end of control regularly, he even wrote a book on the topic a few years ago, so I’m not even going to try preaching it, I’ll let you read his book. You can get it here: End Of Control By Gerd Leonhard
The month of March has been great for new books in my office, I love social business books, and I like this one, Gary has a special way of saying what’s on his mind and what he sees. CRUSH IT was just a sampling of what’s yet to come out of Gary, he describes his first book as his Keynote(s), and this second book is his consulting. This book is packed with example after example, be sure to pay attention while reading.
I finished the book today, I am full, this book has more to digest than CRUSH IT, more to think about, and it makes you look at your own business again and again. The book grabbed me right from the first paragraph, why, I’m older and remember small town thinking, maybe you do to. Everyone knew each other, everyone helped each other for the most part, and we watched out for each other. The neighborhood watch was invented back before Jesus walked the land. The first chapter has you reminiscing, Gary starts the book with, “Think back on the last time someone did something nice for you.”
That opening sentence really sets the tone for the rest of the book, I’m sure that’s no accident, he touches the nerve-endings that make you remember back to a better day. A couple paragraphs jumped out at me, ironically, near the end of the book, but I enjoyed the book from beginning to end.
Gary says, “the biggest disconnect for business leaders is in their understanding of how they should treat customers they meet face-to-face, and how they should treat the ones they meet through their computers, iPad, iPhone and what have you, there should be no difference.” He’s right of course, I’ve always said, Social Media is not new, it’s just gone digital, so your off-line conversations have merely moved to the Internet.
Later on he makes another interesting statement, “companies that soar in 2011 and beyond are those that will figure out a way to balance the short-term demands of what wall street or investors with the long-term demands of The Thank You Economy.” Think about that for a moment, maybe read it again.
I loved his few words on how fear blocks innovation:
“It’s becoming more unusual for a big consumer brand to really innovate and create a great product. Vitamin Water didn’t come from Coke; Pom didn’t come from Pepsi. Too many companies get stuck in the muck of their own fear and short-term concerns, which prohibits them from taking risks and following through on great, creative thinking. They’re too wrapped up in meetings and procedure and stock value, or worst of all, the politics of keeping their jobs, whereas smaller, scrappier companies are often still ruled by passion and have the freedom to experiment.” WOW! I couldn’t say this better!
On page 228 he lists the biggest mistakes companies make with social media, keep in mind this what most companies and individuals do in my humble opinion, here is Gary’s list:
1.) Using tactics instead of strategy
2.) Using it exclusively to put out fires
3.) Using it to brag
4.) Using it as press release
5.) Exclusively re-tweeting other people’s material rather than creating your own content
6.) Using it to push product
7.) Expecting immediate results
I’m not going to add much here, I can’t improve upon anything Gary shares in his book(s). As a futurist, I see much of what Gary claims, and some things he doesn’t, in the end we are shouting from the roof tops to pay attention to what’s going on in the world of business. Great book Gary, thanks for being who you are.
I hope you enjoy the book, if you don’t have it, you can buy The Thank You Economy right here.
Gary’s point is this, The Thank You Economy is about the life-time value of a customer, brands / businesses need to be human, period.
Tell me, did you like the book, and what was the best part for you?
It finally arrived, Olivier Blanchard’s book called Social Media ROI, Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization. I am truly humbled and honored, I was not expecting to find my name in the book, thank you with all the appreciation I can muster.
I have never met Olivier, but I have had an online relationship with him for over 3 years, and I can tell you he knows what he is talking about. He is firm in his stand and he has always taken the time to try and explain why he takes the stand he does, a man on a mission, a man with Integrity, which you will read in his book.
Now, for some reason the world has missed a simple observation, Social Media (conversations)is not new, its just gone digital. What has been overlooked, is how to accurately translate these conversations into revenue, how these conversations become conversions, how they actually bring about a result worth measuring. No Olivier is not the only one to see that conversations can have a Return On Investment (ROI), he is however, the only one to date that can articulate it with clarity and passion. And now with this book, he is working with you side-by-side.
What caught my eye upon cracking the cover, is how Olivier walks you from beginning to end, from what a Social Media Program IS, what you need to think about, to what it should look like,and what you should get from such a program. It’s the first Social Media University TextBook in my humble opinion.
Right from the beginning you’ll read how to create a social company, all the way to analysis and reporting of your social media program.
This book is easy to read and yet it is serious heavy lifting at times, but if you take the time and follow Olivier’s thinking, the confusion simply goes away. If you do the work, you will have a solid foundation of how to not only leverage Social Media networks, you’ll know how to participate in them, how to plug Social Media into your business, how to listen, how to monitor. and as he says, ” Listening Before Talking”. You learn more from this book than sitting at your computer trying to figure it out. Olivier is your Social Media ROI Mentor, all for the price of a book.
One of my favorite chapters is, The Eleven Key Best Practices for Social Media Program Management.
I highly recommend reading this book many times, not just once, it is packed with so much, one reading would merely set you up to fail. You have in your hands a text book if you study it, you will increase your odds of success in all social networks. A MUST have on your book shelf. This book will protect you from those who consider themselves Social Media GURU’s, the so called Social Media Expert.
This book will play a huge role in my work, how I see the future of business, how this fits an open and free business model, and how an ROI can be achieved. I look forward to implementing many of the steps in this book, and you will too, it’s the best investment you’ll make for the future of your business.