The Social Egosystem

This article by Brian Solis, paints a fascinating picture.

He echos much of what I have written about here previously in relation to our ‘me’ brands and the narcissism of today’s consumers.

What’s clear is the need for brands to identify their biggest potential influencers. It’s summed up best by this quote “Brands seeking reach, presence, and connectivity must look beyond popularity and focus on aligning with the influential beacons who serve as the hubs for contextual networks or nicheworks.”
But what really permeates throughout this article is the firm belief, which I share, that actions by brands, via social tools, can indeed be measured and deliver an ROI that brands will expect in the future.

I know from my own experience, when an agency sits and squirms at the suggestion that their funky viral project should carry an element of measurement, it’s the first sign you should run away. And when they say that a calculation of  ROI cannot even be attempted, show them the door.

The refinement of Twitter will, allowing better profiling based on keywords, history and other variables means that this microblog could well become the dominant force of the social web. The launch of new Twitter indicates that they are developing more ways to keep users on the Twitter site itself and away from various third paty ‘clients’. Combine this with their growing ability to analyse user data and in turn what that means they can offer advertisers and you can see where this is going.

I’ve read recently more and more complaints about Facebook and its user interface. The constant changes are becoming an annoyance. When people become more familiar with new Twitter’s ability to show images, video and sound, the reasons we have for spending time on Facebook may decline

In the week that “The Social Network” is released, Zuckerberg surely needs to get his team to raise their game back at the ranch and avoid the red carpet?

What do you think?

ROI – Return On Investment, Involvement or Ignorance?

Speaking with my Financial Director several years ago about my thoughts on an acceptable ROI for our paid search campaign, he thought we could probably go to 3.2:1 whereas I was more ambitious and having diced and sliced the numbers, felt we should push for 3.7:1.

I feel embarrassed recalling this now, but as someone brought up on direct marketing and crunching the data until the pips squeaked, it was (and is) in my DNA.

Social media experts I met back in the day used to shy away from my final question to them; “What is your projected ROI for this activity”. I was secretly sniggering as I asked, knowing that they’d struggle and squirm to avoid answering.

Recently however, I’ve heard some more experts talk about not even pretending they could measure this thing they were about to charge me the world for – felt refreshing.

But my DNA keeps nagging away at me. The bottom line is that, although you can’t measure ROI in the way you can a paid search campaign, a direct mail campaign or an email campaign, you can make some pretty good assumptions and track results from the impressive set of ‘listening tools’ available now that will report on spikes in discussions across the web.

For example, hotels can listen for people looking for stay in a particular city, offer them a discount and hey presto, a highly profitable Return on Involvement!

What gets measured, gets improved. Was always the case, will always be the case.

What do you think?