Friday, April 16, 2010

Social Media Use Becomes Pervasive...Kind of

The subject of today's post is this Article from Ad Week

The one or two people who read my blog know that I like honesty in numbers, and that numbers do not lie. I have broken down Facebook and Twitter's numbers claims to show that like Fox News they hype certain measures that help the IPO cause, and omit other measures that might reduce the IPO cause.

The viewpoint of the Marketing Sensei is that of someone who would either A] Invest in Stock of a Business or B] either advise a Client on Advertising to increase R.O.I. or if it was my own business that I had to make these decisions. The biggest factor being valuing Media/Advertising on the buying side.

So with that in mind have I have asked why doesn't Facebook explain what they term an Active User. If I was a Brand looking to reach a potential customer via Facebook someone who logs in only once per month is of zero value to me. But someone who spends 1 hour a day on the site is of value to me.

So when they bring up the 73% number that engages in social media once per week they are including people who potentially spend 5 minutes of a whole week. There are 86,400 minutes in a week btw. So as a Brand the 73% is of zero value to me.

And for Facebook even if 100 million US people logged in once per day, what does that mean to a Brand? The live feed is such high volume to place an Ad or a Fan Page Post it is a crap shoot that someone would see your post. Your lucky if 10-15% do. The fact is we go on there to chat with friends and family, not engage with Brands. And if like me, one has FireFox with Ad Blocker Plus, none of the Paid Advertising on the site gets viewed. So the utility for a Brand really needs to be valued properly.

So my point is measuring usage doesn't give the real story. Its how Social Media is used, can it be utilized for marketing/advertising, if so how does one overcome the barriers/limitations these networks have. Is there a difference between someone spending an hour posting photos, commenting on friends posts and exchanging emails, vs someone who spends the whole hour in Farmville or YoVille?

Lastly, it only took me 5 mins Nielsen to announce the 7-15 mil users/per day active on Twitter. This occurred immediately after Twitter announced 50 mil/tweets per day. I think my research then for all my 'objections' to the Hype should carry slightly more validity now.

But again numbers are deceiving. Of that 11.4 mil/day most are in the upper 50% of earners in their respective countries. So the value per user is higher than say those who read Sports Illustrated or watch ER reruns or spends time on Facebook. Ask a Media Company or a Brand the value of that demographic, or pool of potential consumers.

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