oliviersbookFor 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.

Owen said:

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.

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Have you noticed traffic to your Blog has dropped off a little, maybe alot. Have you noticed that comments don’t come as frequently as they used to. You may be wondering what’s wrong, is it you, is it your content, or is it….(insert what you think it is here). Are you feeling like you are being left behind, maybe not even noticed.

It may not be any of the above, it may be, that you are being left behind for reasons out of your control. If it is something you can control, then get on it, fix it as quickly as possible, but what if it isn’t. What if it’s sheer numbers. What if you can’t be found or heard because of one thing.

There is a saying out here on the Internet, one that matters today and in the future, if you want to generate revenue or be top of mind. You have to “Create More Content Than You Consume”. There is much to unpack in that statement, way too long for a Blog post, you may find it in an ebook soon.

But being left behind is something much simpler than what to do or how to do it. The truth is, you can’t control what’s happening, because it’s like a tidal wave, you can’t stop it. Here is the problem. There are 2.1 Billion (rounded up) people on the NET as of March 31st, 2011:








As you can see, Asia & Europe lead the way. The problem doesn’t reveal itself in this graphic, it’s the other 3 Billion coming, over 5 billion people will be online. They will be coming via the O3BNetworks project. And you can’t figure out why it’s getting harder to be found, harder to be heard, and maybe, harder to keep sales up.

Is it possible, that creating more content than you consume will be enough, probably not. You will need a great many things going on to be where you want to be when it comes to business online. You will want a large following, a community that cares about your product and or service, and a thing called Klout will become a factor once that mature’s. This combination will go a long way in making sure you are not left behind.

Today is the day, don’t wait, don’t sit and have meeting after meeting to discuss what went wrong, and worse yet, do nothing! Understanding the Future Of Business takes hard work, and figuring out how to adopt all that is changing requires you and your business to make a paradigm shift.


If you want some insight on what to do, and you live in my area, attend my Future Of Business Workshop, a great place to start. You will be glad you did, you’ll learn how to prevent being left behind. In the end, you will learn that Mindset Trumps Skillset Evertime. Come learn about the Future Of Business and Don’t Get Left Behind!


Most of you believe that Klout & Influence are important, you want it, and you tend to work towards finding ways to get it. I warn you, be careful what you wish for, you may get it only to find you don’t want it. Everyone, and I mean everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame at some point in their life, it’s part of human behaviour, and especially in affluent countries.

In the future, the next 15 years or so, it is predicted there will be 1 Billion Millionaires in the world, that number isn’t really that impressive because, the population will be over 9 Billion when the time comes. The majority will not be millionaires, it’s just more of what we have today.

In the future of business you will hear a lot about Klout & Influence, social networks are measured with these two terms as a way of determining who’s who. Websites like Klout and others are trying to bring credibility to individuals through mathematical measurements, it’s a digital representation of one’s possible klout & influence, not something human and tangible like integrity. One’s character and integrity should be in the equation somehow, it should be part of Klout & Influence scores in my humble opinion. But how do you measure motive and or doing the right thing, not too mention keeping your word.

Now Klout & Influence are not always related to money, so the number (millionaires) at the top is pretty small. The thing about Klout & Influence is, it wasn’t meant for those who have it. Those who have Klout & Influence are merely stewards of it. It’s really meant for those who don’t have it.

Martin Luther King had Klout & Influence, but he didn’t use it for his own gain, he used it to make the world a better place, more specifically for people that were being exploited, murdered and abused. For all people, not just black people to be blunt.  This individual set an example of how Klout & Influence should be exercised, not hoarded and hidden away for private use, it was and is meant to help and serve others who don’t possess Klout & Influence. Unfortunately, we are greedy, we want more, and we want to be the one who says who can have what and when, we want control. I’m not convinced this is going to change anytime soon, it might change shape, but it will still be a problem for mankind for as long as we are on this earth.

Social Networks has brought out the kinder side of the human race for the most part, we genuinely want to help others, sometimes without expecting anything in return, but the dark side lurks. Unfortunately, there will always be those who take advantage of folks trying to make the world a better place.

The Future of Business, and success, will be measured by Klout & Influence, it’s the way we are headed, and it will be difficult to determine the true sense of the word success. It will be misleading at times, but I think it’s personal, we need to figure out how to link Integrity & good character into the equation. To ensure we are dealing with honorable individuals.

Your Klout & Influence should answer one question in your sphere of influence, your immediate world, How Many People Are Better Off Because You Lived?