How to Cut Through the Social Media Start Up Bullshit and Get to the Meat

Marketers are gullible. It is in their nature. They are trained to often not tell the truth in order to sell product. Watch TV Ads. How many are truthful? Almost none of them. They all fib in some way. Talking Gecko’s eh? I notice that the Journalists who cover Advertising/Media tend to also be of the same vein. It drives people like me who are Sales/Finance folks crazy. I see the same Bullshit regurgitated and tweeted and blogged and written about all the time. They want to cloud ROI so they don’t have to be accountable for the fact they are snowing Brands and taking their money.
So I am here to help you understand what someone on Wall Street who crunches numbers would look at. This is important because its one thing to accept a lie or fib, it’s another to pass this on to clients. The goal is being able to reach someone with an Ad or Pitch. 
Twitter has 100mil accounts. That is the number you hear over and over. WOW 100million! But I want to reach someone. That is the goal of a marketer (never mind a friend using it to communicate with another human). I look at number of Tweets/Day and divide by 4-10. That is the number on the network that day. I tweet from 4 accounts (3 personal, 1 client) about 40-50 Tweets in a day. But taking people who tweet once to balance things out I use 4-10 to give me a range. Which is 9m to 22mil people world wide. 60% of these people are outside the US. Which gives me 4mil to 9mil in the US using the network. (Currently they are running at 80mil-90mil Tweets per day)
Facebook has 500mil accounts. 500 MILLION! Holy baloney Batman. Isn’t it in Facebook’s best interest to focus on that? What if they created 100million of them just to ensure the Hype? How do we know they did not? So key metrics I would look at is actions/activity. In April I blogged about the metrics taking everything from their stats page. At the time they claimed 200mil Log Ins per day!
But the stats page since scrubbed clean of the damning info said this:
35 Million Updates per day.
65 Million Comments per day.
So let me get this straight. 200 mil Log Ins. 100 million actions. If each action was done by 1 person and no one took more than one action, that means half the log ins did NOTHING. I assume many people who do take an action do more than one. My estimate thus becomes 30mil-40mil Active Users Per Day. World Wide!
How can you reach someone via a Fan Page or an Ad if people are not Actively Engaging on the site?
Yesterday was the Coup De Grace: Ad Week in a Myspace Article said Facebook had 146mil unique Visitors in July. Now even the 200mil log ins seem very suspicious.

But now you have better parameters for discussion. You can tell clients the pool of users is bigger than an American Idol Audience but smaller than the Super Bowl. You can discuss how you can build small communities and develop loyalty. But in a framework of honesty so expectations are set properly.

My next blogpost will cover how to analyze Engagement Rates for Brands on Facebook from the context of their complete customer base.


About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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