Does Using HootSuite Kill Your EdgeRank?

There are so many myths about what fans like, but we're strarting to understand that what one person sees on Facebook or Twitter reallys isn't predictable- their graph will determine what they see, and Facebook now gives brands more headachess than ever for getting into the newsfeed.  

A possible answer to this is the rising numebr of studies which use the facebook API, and largwe scale data collection, to break news about what may be happening to page content (with the implicit point that most of thye a brand's fans will engage via tyhe newsfeed rather than coming to the page).

Solid analytcis, have been published on this topic, such as Facebook Engagement analysis from Visibli or L2's Facebook IQ.  A new study by EdgeRank Checker -suggests that using Third-party applicationsto post to facebook results in the creation of content that gets lowerr engangent than native Facebooks posts.

There are a variety of reasons for pages to want a managed publishing solution, including regulatory, workflow, manpower, and moderation, in additon to those you'll also hear in the sales pitches from Buddy Media, Vitrue, Involver, and the others named below.  

So what is the enterprise digital social strategist to do?   Never, ever, take the top line conclusion from the vendor and appluy it to your bsuiness.  Ask for data about your client specifically.  Dig into which pages were used.  

For example, there are so many tiny fan pages doing a terrible job with mediocre nontent, I bet the amouint of objects created by those pages dwarfs the major brand pages.  We've all seen those pages.  I'll be digging in, let's see what else EdgeRank can tell us.



Relationships: your ticket out of Social Media Slave Labor

Are social media sites the agents driving us all into slave labor creating the means for marketers to oppress us?  Or can marketers be smarter than that?

Instead, I would argue that only marketers who fail to create relationships need slaves.

The Internet as Playground and Factory conference explored these issues recently, and at first blush, an excerpt like this gives us all the willies, doesn't it?

Only a small fraction of the more than one billion Internet users create and add videos, photos, and mini-blog posts. The rest pay attention. They leave behind innumerable traces that speak to their interests, affiliations, likes and dislikes, and desires. Large corporations then profit from this interaction by collecting and selling this data.  Social participation is the oil of the digital economy. Today, communication is a mode of social production facilitated by new capitalist imperatives and it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between play, consumption and production, life and work, labor and non-labor. 

Am I a slave right now, blogging and tweeting and mentioning brand names and leaving a trail of data crumbs all over the interwebs?  True, all the data the "slaves" create is fodder for data-driven marketing. Tracking people across social media, .com properties, searches and video views, it all becomes the cloud that companies are seeking to profit from.

Many of these approaches create highly interesting optimization problems.  However, I would claim that we cannot reduce all marketing to an optimization problem.

1. You can't optimize awareness- if you want people everywhere to know what you are doing, this will cost you in terms of money, people, or time, or frequently all three.

2.Once a user finds you, marketing strategies must combine the use of personalized offers with actual relationships and content.  So no matter how many times you test your banner creative to see whether people who saw the "pizza hut and taco bell" video like your banner ad better than people who saw the "Peanut butter jelly time" clip from Family Guy, these correlations do not get people to like you.  They're just data. 

3. Data in marketing organization often reduces perceived uncertainty about a tactic without really proving it's the right strategy.  It's just a better use of money, but spending money without creating relationships is a first class ticket to

4. Optimization-driven marketing creates perceived value for middlemen and service providers, and moves dollars around between ad nbetworks, exchanges, publishers, advertsiwers, agencies and niche service providers:  it does create valuable relationships with customers.

The Human Relationships  forged when your product or sales force take care of the customer, however challenging, last longer than an ad campaign or an agency retainer agreement, and are forgiving of mistakes but not impervious.  It's a long-term value play.  Some companies play this game well, and many, many, do not.  Patience is a virtue.

Hat tip to @kcheyfitz for giving me something to think about this Sunday morning.

Facebook’s approach to data and analytics

Saw a really interesting post on insidefacebook (a blog I may be reading more in the future) which features a tech talk given at Yahoo! by Facebook's Jeff Hammerbacher on Facebook’s approach to data and analytics. It's almost surprising that the analyst people within Facebook say "Don't collect data without a purpose."  It's expensive and time/resource intensive, when it seems like everyone is 1)afraid that FB and Google are doing nothing but collecting data and  2) this is not for the good.

I think most of the insight is in the "Philosophy Slide" and when Jeff talks about that.

I wonder: does this mean that even if they could spy on us, it's just too resource intensive?  I bet it won't be for long.