Thursday, October 22, 2009

Setting reasonable expectations in Social Media

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
Tuesday night, I gave a presentation for the October Social Media Club Louisville meeting, called Setting (Reasonable) Expectations in Social Media.

Basically, I trashed the default stats attached to the Forrester Social Technographics Ladder because they include the likes of Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube, which collectively represent about ten percent of the page views on the entire Internet. Call it a classic case of outliers skewing the average. Forrester is trying to sell people on the need for dealing with social media -- which I agree with, folks should be dealing with and embracing social media -- but as a side effect they are making it sound like social media success is an inevitability. It ain't.

Here's the slideshow:

The above was basically an expanded version of a similar presentation I gave to a marketing class at the University of Louisville last month, which was designed to ground the budding marketers who will be asked to work miracles in social media once they're hired in a year or two. Surprisingly, many of the IT and social media pros in the room on Tuesday seemed a bit floored by some of the stats I threw at them. Basically, my premise is that if you want serious user interaction, you need a large audience size, because only a small percentage of any audience is going to give you the kind of user-generated content people seem to want (for free). That means you won't get decent user-submitted videos the day you launch your site, and you shouldn't launch a site on the premise of receiving user-generated videos.

Today I'm giving two more presentations to local business owners --Twitter for Businesses and Blogging for Businesses. Let's see if these topics generate as many jaw-drops and eye-pops as my last one.