Social Media measurement is a tricky thing. How can a successful campaign be truly judged? I certainly don’t know, but it is not through the use of numbers.
We have seen, over the last five or so years the rise of the ‘viral video’ – that is a video which goes viral. These are magical things which just capture a moment in time, that people respond to and want to actively share with the people around them. Some of these videos rack up millions of hits, and this was the birth of a horrid, despicable phenomenon.
Does the phrase ‘we’ll make you a video, put it on You Tube and it’ll go viral, get your brand 4 million hits and your sales wil increase tenfold’ seem familiar?
The promise that a video will go viral is something that a cautious brand, not quite up with the social media space, will be made to think ‘oh yeh, that sounds cracking, here’s £130k, go get us 4 million You Tube views’. It is simply not the case.
A good video, often a brilliant video, will not go viral. Yes, you can have a pretty good stab at getting it right and be just about there most of the time, but a large part of that is down to the way that the community who the video is intended for, are engaged with.
It is who watches, not how many watch that counts
Moonfruit, the website building company, will tonight and over the next few weeks be patting themselves on the back over a great idea that went really well – simply add a hashtag #moonfruit to the end of a tweet to stand the chance to win a Macbook Pro. This is a really engaging idea and I applaud Moonfruit for doing it so well, sort of, spam aside.
The upshot of this is of course, that Moonfruit becomes a trending topic alongside #MichaelJackson and #Iranelection. What a great demonstration to the brand manager of how social media can bring your brand to the forefront of a community(!)
However, what happens if this becomes a standard KPI? Will digital marketing and PR people find themselves saying ‘not only will you video go viral, we’ll get you to be the top trending item on Twitter’?
We must be careful that this is not the case:
a) Twitter feeds will be full of brand spam
b) The noise will become indistinguishable
c) Genuine conversation will be drowned out by brands competing to get to number one