Monday, January 9, 2012

The Limited Super Powers of Social Media

Social Media is so powerful it can leap buildings in a single bound. It can topple Governments, start revolutions, cook you dinner. Uhm yeah right.

I like the real world. You know that world that Klout doesn't measure. In the past I have tried using my extensive Twitter network (professional network that now has people I call real friends) and Facebook network (real friends pre-Facebook....ones I am close with off line) to help with everything from choosing cell phones to recipes. In my network I will get maybe a response or two.

My client Chunk-n-Chip has given me free reign to try everything I want for their marketing. It is from running their Facebook page and seeing 80% of Fans with 100% private profiles that I investigated just how much of Facebook is private thus negating the 'Privacy is Dead' mantra from idiots like Pete Cashmore.

Well my client makes one of the best gourmet ice cream sandwiches on Earth. They are based in Los Angeles/Orange County. Most of my friends are in Los Angeles. Do you know how many out of 300 are Fans on Facebook? 8. Do you know how many I have contacted to give away free BOO-Yahs!! who then don't take me up on it? A lot. My client has a rabid customer base. People drive 30 mins or more through Los Angeles Traffic to find them. Yet on Twitter I rarely get more than 3 or 4 out 4700 Followers playing a game to give them away.

Now comes this Eat St contest. We created this video hoping to win a segment on the Food Network Show. The requirement to vote is to register. People can vote once per day. We have about 18 employees. I told them all to register, to tell their friends and family, to post on Facebook to help us win! Vote everyday! We have 23 votes since January 5th! If you click the link and see votes vs views for all the submissions you will be amazed. If you don't think every one of these businesses hasn't told friends and family to help vote. To all share with their networks, why such a poor vote turn out?

Power of social media? KLOUT? People will do easy things. But make them take effort is hard. Social Media does nopt fix the need for a carrot. A BIG CARROT! Unless they are pissed they are passive users when it comes to Brands. Chat someone up about football people jump in. Mention a Brand and echos. I see this on major Brand Facebook pages when on average less than 0.01% of Fans participate. 

And thus is the big lie. The Power of Social Media happens only when people are pissed or bribed. Rarely does it just work because 'People want and love to share or participate'. You need to give them a reason and often this is a bribe. And bribes aren't always the best way to incentivize customers. In fact it could erode your Brand Image or your Pricing Power and Margins. But you need to give Fans a reason to take Action. This is the hardest part of Social Media. Things don't happen by magic and they aren't easy.

BTW prove me wrong. Register on Eat St and help my client win by voting. I bet you won't. Your lazy and are thinking 'What is in it for me?' just like everyone else.


  1. Damn it Howie, I was going to tell you I'm definitely one of the lazy ones and now you throw down the gauntlet to vote; it better be easy....:).

    Also, if you keep it up w/ your buddy Pete he will NOT be asking you over for dinner.

    You certainly speak the truth, so how do you change that?

  2. Yes, I am lazy and thinking exactly what you said. I'm thinking, it's ice cream. You can't ship it anywhere without paying ridiculous shipping. And I want some ice cream to rave about if I'm gonna vote. That's my carrot.

    Even Klout doesn't have as big a carrot as it seems to think it does. Somehow we're supposed to just go about our business, doing what we would normally do anyway (what we would do without an algorithm monitoring our every social media move), and then--suddenly and totally unexpectedly!--be offered an item we didn't choose, that's worthless to our reality, in the hopes that we will... what? do what we would normally do anyway, like recommend it to our friends? It's a joke I'll be shocked to see still panning out for them as time goes on.

  3. I definitely need a better comment system! Thanks for the two great comments.

    @Bill it is hard to change without a bribe. Or as with papa Johns outrage. I think it comes down to we like to chat and say hello. But driving action beyond that is really hard. Even when friends ask a favor. But if the content or the cause is huge of course you will take action.

    @Shakirah your take on Klout is so astute. And I recently mentioned in an older WUL post that Klout would think Shonali is an expert on Public radio Measurement if they read our tweets because that is my joke with her. Imagine a radio showing up at her door LOL