We’re mere days away from the much anticipated Facebook IPO and all interested parties seem to be in an eleventh hour frenzy. First GM pulls $40 million worth of Facebook ad revenue from the site. Next comes a report making the rounds in major news outlets that Facebook ad clicks pale in comparison to Google ads. The AP now says this lack of trust may even cut into Facebook ad sales, which make up 82% of all current revenue for the site. Things don’t look so good for this week’s stock market darling…
But keep in mind this is all right before Friday (the rumored IPO D-day). The initial poll data from Associated Press-CNBC suggesting the ads on Facebook are ineffective comes in conveniently right before the IPO.
And these results only serve to heighten fears that the stock may be overpriced. Facebook lifted the stock price on Tuesday from $28-$35 to $34-$38 a piece. More seasoned investors caution against investing right away, while over half of those surveyed say they think Facebook is a good bet. However, one poll of 1004 users (by telephone, ahem) does not make for an accurate picture.
Facebook has almost 1 billion active monthly users, more than half use a cell phone and are under the age of 40.
There’ve been plenty of previous case studies (Expedia went from 250k fans to over 1 million with effective Facebook advertising). Ford even made a jab at GM on Tuesday with a post about how they model their advertisements to have engaging content. And those searching can now find a swirl of discussion around how to make their ads more effective if they weren’t initially.
For at least the past few years, people have become fascinated with the measurement of influence. Just how can you easily determine whether someone is influential about a particular topic? Is it quantitative? If so, just how can someone make money trying to figure it out? If someone could help companies determine someone’s influence, then that might stand to make a few bucks as a result.
Enter Klout, the market leader in influence measurement. This startup has helped pave the way into creating a business out of a vague concept most people probably had and found an appeal to both businesses and individuals. Of course, determining one’s Klout score doesn’t come without any criticism. But even when faced with public backlash about how vague it seemed, Klout still manage to persevere and grow into a sound business–they ran their race without compromising their integrity or standards–they knew what they wanted to accomplish and set forth to make it happen. Led by founders Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran, Klout has made some major strides in growing the business and developing new ways for the company to build. From introducing perks to their +K program, Klout has found ways to get people involved in helping to determine just who is influential.
One of the thoughts I had when thinking about Klout is that it’s not about the score that really determines whether someone is influential about something or not. It’s actually what they have done to merit them being considered an influencer. So if Klout tells me that I’m influential about photography, just what have I done to make that justified? Are people constantly talking about me and associating me with photography? Am I posting photos on Flickr and other photo-sharing services? Am I actively talking about photography and promoting the topic in my social graph? These actions play an active part in the grand scheme of what influence really is. I suppose that’s why Klout introduced their +K program as a means to help people share their thoughts about what topics an individual is more credible about. For businesses, this helps give them an answer to one of the missing pieces of the puzzle in understanding just what a score of 64 means in Klout. Now, those eager to reaching out to unofficial evangelists will be able to understand that while I may have a 64 Klout score, they know what topics I’m influential about and can work that into their program. This helps them justify their outreach.
Over the past several years, lots of people have been excited or confused by what has apparently been all the rage and has become the standard of measurement: digital influence. This unique form of measurement has been thrust into the spotlight through the high interest of services like Klout, Kred, PeerIndex, and many others. The intrigue one gets by looking up their score and determining their stature against their peers is quite interesting and on services like Klout, you can even give props (or +K in Klout’s case) to help show others why you think that person is influential. Consumers also like these services because the more chatter you throw onto the Internet through the use of social media can make you eligible for perks–and they’re not insignificant either…I’ve received Klout perks for Virgin America flights, TV shows, Eye-Fi cards, discounts to conferences, and much more. Real brands are starting to pay attention to these services because they feel that it can help them reach influential people and increase sales.
Well hold on a minute…trying to find a way to increase your reach and influence the influencers is one thing, but for brands who want to rely solely on those scores that these services provide you can be a bit misleading. Consumers probably don’t care about the breakdown of their scores, but for brands, it just might be the key selling point. They’re interested in knowing whether the score you have on Klout, PeerIndex, or Kred will tell them whether your social media engagement is relevant to their goal. Well shockingly, none of the major top measurement services seem to do just that. And what brands need to know is how to better understand the concept of “digital influence” and in a new report written by Altimeter Group’s Brian Solis, companies may have their answer.
One of the things that has probably plagued a lot of brands since the start of the social media era has been how to consolidate all their information and systems into one place. Just over a year ago, one particular startup chose to state their case for why their product would be useful to helping control the activity surrounding a company’s social presence. In February 2011, Echo, a real-time platform that enables companies to implement applications of scale for social TV, commerce, real-time commenting, and social content aggregation, just celebrated their one-year anniversary since they unveiled their flagship product, Echo StreamServer. For some, the belief in using real-time is a bit far-fetched, but in today’s use of social media, people (consumers and businesses) want to get feedback and news out instantaneously. No more waiting five hours before news hits the airwaves. People want it now. But while Echo clearly believes in the real-time philosophy, what they are striving to do is to kick it up a notch and bring the social to you, not the other way around.
Right now, many companies are simply giving their data away to the social networks. By forcing people to visit sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube, you will be enabling the customers to seek other profiles to fall in love with and befriend. This leaves the door open to a competitor stepping in or perhaps even giving away a good chance at them learning more about you and your brand. Echo’s StreamServer looks to be a tool that will enable your brand to completely control and monitor all the activity from a number of different sources. This holistic approach will enable them to leverage things from real-time comments on services like Twitter and Facebook, to creating a second screen experience, and even live, social events through a single platform. One social dashboard to rule them all, if you will.
This April, join some of today’s leading PR professionals at the PR Disrupted Conference. Focusing on Food, Wine and Travel!
PR Disrupted is a conference that explores new ideas and disruptive and engaging trends in travel, food and wine. Yet with a compass focused on how content, public relations, marketing and social media are shaping the landscape.
The conference will help you anticipate the shifts and changes in the market place, consumer attitudes and how social media continues to play a broader role in transforming the way we engage and interact.
Date: Monday, April 9, 2012
Times: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Where: J.W. Marriot Hotel – 500 Post Street, SF.