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)
We have to face the fact that the Cloud is where we will store our publicness, our legacy is going to live on forever, not through people, but through Kilobytes cached on servers all over the world. The Cloud is a fact of life, it is only going to grow up and be another reservoir of data, a deep well of information, unlike anything we’ve know to date. You think Wikipedia is awesome, wait till the Cloud matures. The Cloud is not connected computers in a closed network, they are outside, and can connect to any computing device.
Microsoft offers 25GB on Windows LIVE SkyDrive, Online Storage, Google allows you to run your entire business on their servers and with their services. I shared that this was going to happen in 2001 at a conference, I spoke to 500 I.T. Leaders, and they all said I was crazy, it will never happen. Businesses won’t stand for it, people won’t use it! As you can see they didn’t have the foresight an I.T. leader should have, they were closed minded executives, imagine that.
Everything is moving to the cloud for many, many reasons. Business is becoming more social and mobile, and the requires the cloud for that kind of environment to work properly. Location-based services are a perfect fit for the cloud, so going mobile means going to the cloud.
In a previous post I talked about the shift, we’re going from pages to streams, from PCs to the Cloud, Today to NOW, from Me to We, and Items to Data. Where everything will generate a stream everywhere. The cloud is full of storage, full of streams, and filled with the new oil, DATA!
The best way to take advantage of the cloud is to make everything in your business mobile, the cloud lets you access your data and the rest of the worlds data on the fly. Every business will become a platform to use, not unlike Google or Microsoft, people always come back to places they find useful. You can even build your own cloud, well sort of, you can connect an external drive to your router that is accessible from anywhere in the world. That in essence is a cloud, your external drive is where you store everything, so no matter where you are, you can reach your data, but the other options are better.
Almost all major technology corps are offering some form of cloud computing, even though the question of security is still on the table. Security is always going to be a problem, as long as there is humans on this planet, security will be paramount. Having said that, many are clamoring to put their data on the cloud, it just makes good sense for those who work from home / travel most of the time.
The jury is still out on who offers the best solution and I’m not sure it will matter if there is some kind of standard in this environment. Considering the security issue, will you put your data out there, Google has most if not all that you do on the NET anyway. The Cloud opens up new business models based on access, more so than today.
On a different perspective, when clicking the Like Button or Follow, to get access, the dollar value assigned to Likes & Follows will create a whole new metric to measure, one more thing to track, will all cloud environments or storage devices require engagement or just a Like or a Follow.
How will your business use the cloud?