Dont be fooled by the Numbers on Social Media

December 31, 2012

It's been a very productive season for Prototype, with loads of attention to social media!

We introduced our social media lounge, a place where we get together to discuss the latest trends in social media, new opportunities, and more. So we would like to share some of our chitchats and findings with you, continue reading to find out more!

Don't be fooled by the Numbers!

In the past 2-3 years, brands on Facebook could not believe that they can now buy media (and fans) for so cheap, in comparison to how much a regular media plan would cost, Facebook ads have transformed how brands view or value ads in general. After all, you can buy media for as low as USD1 a day and still get some viral effect and increase your fan base. But what do these numbers mean and is it actually a smart investment after all?

While many measure the success of their social efforts by the number of fans and likes they receive, these numbers can be misleading and not represent real success. This leads to many marketing strategies being rather flat and one dimensional as most brands are still struggling to connect the dots and creating truly integrated marketing campaigns that show results.

�� What's a fans value and what is a fan anyways?

Let's look at another platform for now to evaluate the difference. YouTube, till today, is mistaken for just a video blog or a platform that has a lot of videos that you can search/share and replay. What most brands do not realize, is that YouTube is a much stronger platform in the social media hierarchy. How so?

Let's look at some stats:

  • 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc.) every week
  • Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month
  • YouTube is available on 350 million devices
  • YouTube is localized in 43 countries and across 60 languages

How is this information beneficial to brands?

YouTube has all the traffic that a brand would need to generate interest and possible purchase decisions. All a brand has to do is target its audience and place strategic ads as in-stream videos (which are no longer annoying as users have the option to skip them) or normal top right or skyscraper ads.

This however does not mean that you should place ads everywhere on YouTube. Sometimes creating a unique video that is owned by the brand is far more beneficial than creating and booking ads that have a lifespan of a couple of days. Such a video can stay online for an unlimited amount of time and can gather views and shares and further benefit your SEO strategy.

The trap that most decision makers fall into is 'the numbers game', similar to our Facebook fans example above, in all cases, setting KPI's and reviewing progress is essential but the numbers that are extracted from these findings have to be interpreted correctly. At the end of the day, a successful campaign is determined by the amount of targeted views your video gets, the actions performed or the affinity created. It's not about creating the next YouTube hit and getting 1 million views, it's about getting the right return on investment and the equation for this changes from campaign to campaign.


Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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