No One Is Paid To Hype Email

After the training today I thought it strange that the most obvious question that was asked didn’t occur to me.

Why in 8 hours of training wasn’t Facebook or Twitter mentioned apart from in one slide?

The one slide that was the presentation earlier that had sort of given me the answer. In the example of the huge global 1GOAL campaign, which was to get countries to to commit to their millenium development goals

  • a virtually unknown site called Stardoll (8% of referrals) referred more traffic than a Facebook page (2%), Twitter (1%), Youtube (2%), and Flickr (0%) combined.
  • search engines and email actions accounted for almost 50% of traffic

A longer report on this can be found on the Fairsay website at http://fairsay.com/blog/hype-vs.-reality-what-digital-channels-are-the-most-effective

I’m not convinced that one example proves the case (and Duane is not claiming it does!) – but the numbers involved are impressive – there were 315k Facebook fans, and 28k Twitter users, and 4.7k YouTube followers. Although you can’t make a conclusion from this, it makes it clear that website and email are very important ways to reach people, and you shouldn’t drop them at expense of new social media.

However, I know actions on Facebook or Twitter can make a huge difference. I have seen the Robin Hood Tax get huge media coverage on the back of hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans. I have seen outrage on Twitter over the Trafigura super injunction destroy a mutlinational’s reputation. So they can make a difference… why were they not even discussed really?

According to Duane, this is down to luck. There is no repeatable model that guarantees that theĀ  Facebook or Twitter followers will take action, even if they support and want to take action.

And so I am coming to my own conclusion, and that is that we talk about them way too much, if they are moderately successful tools, then we have already talked about them too much.But, of course, it depends what you want to do with them. They might be good for having conversations with people (and many other things), but they are not good for translating into actions at least.

Food for thought…

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