Monday, May 10, 2010

My favourite SM campaign lately

Oh Philips, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. The casette, the compact disc, the DVD, and now the wonderful Philips Cinema TV Parallel Lines campaign.

It has compelling content to launch with - 5 short films all made by Ridley Scott Associates. These films, from 5 different directors, all use the same dialogue, yet are all very different experiences. The are all very cool, especially the two I posted below.

It has fantastic prizes for people who enter their own short film - again using the same dialogue. This encourages people to create their own content. These prizes are open worldwide, so there is no moment when you realize you can't win because you dont live in the US. Blah.

It has a winner which will be decided (largely) by public vote, encouraging people to have their say. This will also ensure that those who enter will get all of their friends to go to the site, watch the ads, and vote.

It has subtlety. The short films are framed in a Philips TV, but this is the only branding visible, and you quickly stop noticing even this. But it does show you the back light function of the TV in question. This feature may sound like it is no big deal, but when viewed in this format it really shows off its own coolness.

It has an integrated Facebook page with additional content, including interviews, opinions, etc which further enhance the engagement of the desired audience. The page invites people to post questions they would like to ask the various directors, with the best ones answered the following week. This connects the audience with the celebrities, something all us normaltins aspire to.

Speaking of celebrities. It has Ridley Scott's stamp on it. Alien. Blade Runner. (cough) Thelma & Louise (cough). Nuff said.

This campaign is everything that a social media campaign should be (oh, except it is big budget, but hey - it's Ridley Scott!!!).

Well done Philips. Anthony likes this.

Here are two of the 5 launch films. I had real trouble choosing which ones were best though. I really like the one with the blind girl, and the one with the creepy voyeur. The CGI one is really cool too. I guess you will just have to go watch them all on the youtube channel.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How much is your Facebook page worth? (Part 2)

Yesterday I got lost in some math trying to explain my theory about how to value the PR of a Facebook page based on the initial number of fans, number of interactions, number of fans gained (or lost), and the number of wall posts you do during a given period.

It also takes into account 2 different personality types that can be found on the web – mass influencers & normal web users. After all, there are two kinds of people in the world – people who are stupid enough to think there are only two kinds of people, and those who know better.

If you are really keen, you can see the math & links to the research behind the theory here. Be careful though, it hurts my eyes looking at – and I wrote it.

It does not look at ROI in terms of sales, conversions, new customers etc. But tracking on your landing pages, ecommerce page etc should give you those figures.

Anyways, here for you to use, abuse, criticize and break is a little web thingy which you can plug your own numbers into and get a value for the PR generated by your Facebook page over a given time period.

The tool is designed to give you a value over a set period, the more frequently you use it, the more accurate it will be. Keep track of each ensuing week’s value and add them up to give you a value over a longer period of time.

This model will reflect the changes in the value of your Facebook page as you invoke more or less reaction, as you gain or lose followers etc. This makes it a bit more accurate than saying “We have X number of fans so our page is worth X x Y dollars per year.” Some weeks your page will be more effective (and worth more) than other weeks.

You can get all the info required from your Facebook insights page. If you have lost followers, enter a negative number into the box and see what happens.

Please note that this is using a CPM of NZ$6.95 as this is what Facebook charges for an ad on the home page. This is the default figure, but feel free to change it into other currencies or amounts.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How much is your Facebook page worth

I should warn you before you read this that I initially studied math & physics before giving up halfway through my degree. Turns out it was rocket science…

I recently blogged about how much a Facebook fan was worth, and promptly disagreed with the research done, but I did not suggest an alternative. Not so good of me I am afraid.

Valuing a fan is a flawed way to look at things. Fans have different values depending on their personality type, and they are worth very little if they are not interacting with you.

So lets look at it differently, how much is your Facebook page worth?

There are two parts to this, the value of getting your message to your existing fans, plus the value of your fans spreading the message in a word of mouth style. I will use the fan page from my work to plug in some numbers as we go, but of course, you can use your own data to see how you are going.

Part 1

We will start with the easy stuff, the value of your info showing up on your fan’s home page feed.

Facebook charges a CPM of NZ$6.95 for an ad to be placed on a home page feed. So, for every 1000 fans you have, every time you post to your wall and show up on your friends home page feed it is worth $6.95.

We have 49 fans and have so far posted 13 times onto our wall. Pretending for a minute that every fan had always been there & seen every wall posting, we have shown up on our fan’s home page 637 individual times. Based on a CPM of $6.95, this is worth $4.43.

Not quite time for me to retire yet.

Part 2

By far the greatest value in having fans is to be found in interactions. This is where the word of mouth advertising comes into it. But how much is it worth?

According to Facebook’s statistics page, each user (and therefore fan) has, on average, 130 friends.

When a fan interacts with your page, this is posted as a news feed on the fan’s friend’s pages. Based on Facebook’s averages, each interaction would therefore generate 130 impressions on other people’s home pages.

Again using Facebook’s CPM of NZ$6.95 for an unsolicited ad on the home page, this equates to a value of 9.035 cents per fan interaction.

However, I am much more inclined to look at something that has been recommended by a friend. I estimate that people are 4 times more inclined to like/look at something if it is recommended by a friend/peer. This increases the value of an interaction to 4x 9.035 = 36.14 cents.

Not factored into this is the influencer group, the cool kids.

According to research done by Forrester, and detailed here, 16% of 10,000 American web users surveyed can be called “Mass Influencers”. This group was responsible for 80% of branding “influence impressions” on social networks last year, and are therefore 4 times more likely to spread the word about your brand than the rest of web users.

(WARNING: Now I am really going to get mathy)

We know that a “Mass Influencer” creates 4 times as much noise about brands as a “normal web user”.

1 fan has an 84% chance of being a “normal web user” and making me 4 times more receptive to an ad. But each fan also has a 16% chance of being a “mass influencer”, making 4 times as much noise as a “normal web user”, thus making me 16 (4 x 4) times more likely to see, and be receptive to, an ad.

We established that, based on Facebook’s CPM of $6.95 and on a multiplier of 4, a normal web user interaction (including the initial page like) is worth 36.14 cents.

An interaction by a “mass influencer” would be worth 4 times as much, or 144.56 cents, but only 16% of fans are worth this much.

Now, unfortunately we have to get really mathy to plug the numbers in.

(0.84 x 36.14) + (0.16 x144.56) = 30.3576 + 23.1296 = 53.49 cents per interaction.

Now you can plug in the numbers from your Facebook insights page to see what your particular page is worth. Based on the Facebook page I set up for my work last week…

49 new fans + 6 interactions = 55 times we have had our fans publish our company name (at least) onto their friends home page feeds.

55 interactions x $0.5349 per interaction = $29.41 worth of word of mouth advertising since we started.

Ok, we are almost there. To get a value for the total advertising our Facebook page has created so far we need to add part 1 ($4.43) to part 2 ($29.41), and from that we get $33.85.

So, since we started our page a couple of weeks ago, we have garnered $33.85 cents worth of advertising.
This kind of figure is changes depending on the number of fans you acquire, the rate you acquire them at, and the frequency with which your fans interact with your content. To be accurate, you would need to be updating the numbers regularly with the latest figures to create a rolling cumulative value.

My next step will be building an easy to use spreadsheet that will give you a figure for each day/week/month that can then be tabulated into a cumulative value. Ask me nicely & I will email you a copy.

But, have I got the multiplier of 4 right? By which I mean, have I overvalued the word of mouth component?

Am I forgetting something?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Email Design (Someone not so famous)

Fact – The right Email Design is crucial to the success of your campaign.

Some questions on email design to consider :

  • Is your email design representative of your core business design value and guidelines?
  • Has content and imagery been positioned within the email to ensure you get the best results? Has it been designed to maximize key real estate within the email campaign?
  • What is key real estate?
  • Is it designed so that it’s easy to work through and click in and out of?
  • Has it been designed to convey a message if the recipient has their images switched off?
  • Has it been created in an html format that has been tested and you know will render in the recipients inbox?

If you’re a business to business marketer going out to a supplier database to talk about your products or services, you can almost certainly get away with a pre-templated solution that may only require a design refresh every 3 to 6 months by a graphic designer BUT if you’re a business to consumer marketer, more often than not, you’ll need to design each campaign according to the campaign brief.

The design strategy necessary for your emails will depend largely on the type of communication you are going out with, for example, if you’re emailing a Monthly Book Club, it would be wise to make each email look similar to enable the person anticipating it’s arrival to quickly identify the piece. However, if you are a fashion retailer with seasonal changes to your ranges, it would be more appropriate to design to the season, the clothing, any themes around the range, integrated campaigns etc.

It never ceases to amaze us when we meet email marketers that have been using the channel for the past 5 years and are calling us now to enquire about pricing to refresh their email template. The odd thing is that these companies often have a beautifully designed website, meaning every time a link is connected back to that website there is awful display of brand disconnect and inconsistency.

As you can see by the opening questions, designing for email is niche, to get the best delivery, rendering and best response, our advice is engage a specialist in the field, after all….

Someone famous (maybe Winston Churchill) once stated….”if you’re website and email communications are crap, the perception is often that your business is the very same thing”!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fly Buys and email design

Recent Microsite projects

Latest email design for

What we've been doing with Les Mills

Social Media - What every business wants

Every business wants to be in Social Media, but not many know why, or how they can successfully take the plunge. Many businesses try, and good on them, but it is a sad thing to see a Facebook page with a thousand fans and nothing being said by the company who started it. Such a waste. Sigh.

But what is Social Media?

Social media has turned the internet into the worlds largest water cooler. It is a meeting place, a virtual mall, a barbecue, where people hang out and talk. It is a complaints forum. It is a commerce commission run and moderated by the public.

Social Media (a term I am still not happy with, but which I like much more than “Web 2.0”) is used to describe all of the new ways in which the internet is used to engage with people. Think of the traditional web site as an online brochure. “Read what we want you to read. Now give us a call, or go away. Thanks for coming.”

Social Media encourages people to post their own comments, or other content such as videos and photos. It is two-way communication through channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, and Flikr.

At its best, it is a self-segmenting collection of your target market. It is word of mouth advertising, which can instantly be picked up and spread around the world.

At its worst, it is a vessel for frustrated and angry customers to vent and spread their negative feelings about your brand.

Both of these aspects should be important to your business. At the very least you should be listening to the conversations taking place, but how much better would it be to direct the conversation, and use it for your own ends?

While the nature of Social Media means that may not always be possible, Skinny Marketing can empower you to be able to take advantage of any opportunities and limit any threats.

Social Media should be a cheap way for you to communicate with your customers, and it will give you much more engagement than traditional above the line methods. However it is important that the strategies behind any forays are sound. This is where Skinny Media specializes.

We will find your target market for you and help develop a launch strategy and a content plan. We can train your staff in the management and moderation of your channels, and then we will back off and leave you to it. We will happily offer advice and support as required, but we have no interest in billing you 4 hours a day to manage ongoing Social Media campaigns. We will show you how to do it yourself, without using too much of your own resourcing.

It is your voice which should be joining the water cooler talk, it should be your staff hanging out at the barbecue with your customers. We will just introduce you to the other people there, and show you the kinds of things they like.

So give us a call (09) 488 7485 or an email today. Let’s have a chat about what you are doing, and what you could be doing.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How much is a fan worth?

Mashable recently published an article highlighting some research done by a social media management firm called Virtue which looked at the value of a Facebook fan. According to their research, a fan was worth US$3.60 per year. This was based the following formula:

wall posts x impressions x $5 CPM.

And plugging in the average numbers from the 45 million fans they manage for their clients gave the following figure:

1 million impressions x 2 wall posts x 30 days = 60 million impressions a month
60 million impressions / 1000 x $5 CPM = $300,000 per month
$300,000 p/m x 12 = US$3.6 million per year per million fans.

Great! How tidy. And how easy that has made it to now explain the value of your Facebook fan page to the CEO. “We have 1500 fans, which is worth US$5400 in advertising per year. Not bad huh boss.”

Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is that simple. Surely some fans are worth more than others? For example, I would rather have Bill Murray as a fan of my Facebook page than Pauline Hanson. And even the kids at South Park know that a “chick friend is worth almost 3 times as much as a dude friend.”

There has been debate in New Zealand lately about whether or not PR should still be measured with Advertising Equivalent Value (AVE), a measurement tool that has been heavily criticized overseas. The measurement of social media and its value as an advertising channel is something that also needs debate.

Is CPM relevant when you are talking about word of mouth endorsement from peers? And how do things change if celebrities get involved, or even just the cool kid?

Perhaps an AVE kind of measurement involving a multiplier is required. It is opinion based advertising after all, closer to an editorial than it is to anything else. Seeing that one of my Facebook friends likes a certain page/band/company is worth much more to me than seeing an ad on

Maybe Facebook itself will provide the answer as they improve on their insights page. Maybe they will end up dictating to us how much our fans are worth. Nothing would surprise me from the people who control the worlds 3rd largest population these days.

Oh, and when you have 20 spare minutes, watch this fantastic South Park episode. The guys have once again hit the nail on the head with their summation of Facebook.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A pocket knife can do lots, but not everything

I was doing some blah blah blah about social media to a class the other day, and was posed with a tricky situation.

One of the people in the class had seen, via a mutual friend on Facebook, someone talking smack about their company on their personal status update. She asked me what the company should do in that situation.

The company has no official Facebook presence (yet…), but even if they did, this person would not have been a fan or friend, so there was no way the company could officially reply on the disgruntled customer’s personal page.

So what to do?

Having mulled it over while drinking beers & watching David Attenborough (my muse) I decided that this is not a problem that can be solved by social media.

My opinion is that the best course of action would be make a phone call to the customer & try to resolve the issue that way.

Having righted the situation via a traditional channel, the hope is that the opinion of the customer would be changed sufficient that they would then tell their friends and family at a later date – maybe via social media, but maybe not.

Had this been on Twitter, a much more public forum, it would have been ok for the company to get in touch directly through the same channel. But as Facebook requires expressed permission before you can eavesdrop, and as the company did not have that permission, even acknowledging that they had heard the complaint through that channel could be construed as an invasion of privacy.

It got me thinking about one of the myths of social media. It can’t do everything.

There is a bit of talk about being wary of the social media douchebag. I think one of the signs you are dealing with a douche is that they discount any other means of dealing with issues. They think social media can do anything and everything.

In this example the problem was created by social media giving the customer a public outlet for their frustrations, however I do not think social media could have resolved it.

Going back to my favourite analogy of social media being like a barbecue, this was the equivalent of the company finding out that someone at a different barbecue had been complaining to the other gusts. But the company itself was not present and was not invited.

To crash the party purely for the purpose of changing what the complainer was saying, even if the company had come in with frankincense & myrrh to give to everyone, would only have seemed big brother-ish and defensive.

Social media can do a lot of things, like make you aware of perceptions, however it can’t do everything. It should always be thought of purely as another tool at your disposal, and you should not forget about the rest of the shed.

It was an interesting situation though. What would you have done?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The worst Facebook page in NZ?

Is this the worst New Zealand corporate Facebook page?

It is a pretty big call, but it is the worst I have come across.

Where is the conversation? Where is the personality? Where is the content?

Why would I look at this page?

What is the plan behind this? What are they hoping to achieve?

Who are they talking to, prospects or existing customers?

It looks like they intend it for existing customers, as it is mostly full of information promoting programs and competitions. If this is the case, it must be intended to add value. But how much extra value is it giving? All this information is available through other mediums in a much more unobtrusive way.

They do not seem to be provoking discussion at all. There is even evidence of comments being deleted, horror of horrors!!

Sky TV must have a huge customer base, yet 272 fans on their page does not represent much of a following. 272 fans would be enough though, if they were engaged in conversation.

Maybe they are trying to talk to new customers through this channel. The videos they have chosen to display are all their TVC’s. Is that the game plan?

I really can’t tell what the strategy is behind this page. But whatever it is, it does not look like it is achieving anything. It hurts my eyes almost as much as this does.

It is republishing content designed for other mediums in a channel that is capable of so much more.

When you put a brochure in front of people, even if it is wrapped in a Facebook logo, they will treat it like any other brochure. They have a look, then throw it in the recycling bin.

Is there a worse Facebook page in New Zealand?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A ruler measures

What is it that you would like to achieve with Social Media?

“Oh, umm, it is just a space which our company should be in.”

Sigh. Unfortunately, this is an all too common response to the first question I ask. If you do not know what you want to achieve, how would you ever know if your campaign was a success?

Every other tool you buy for your business is researched and planned. Every other system implemented is done so with a desired outcome in mind and measurement practices in place to check if these goals are met. Social Media should not be any different.

Outcomes will be different for each organization. Maybe you want to increase conversation, or sales. Perhaps you want to add value for existing customers, or find new ones. You could use SM to drive more traffic through to your website, or use it as a promotional channel for new products, services or events.

It can be used as an internal communication tool, or to get chatting with your customers. Just remember that if you have set up a public network for external communication, anyone could be eavesdropping – including your competitors and the media.

One of the key things it can be used for is market research, finding out what people think about your brand, what perceptions exist and by whom. This kind of qualitative research used to require focus groups, surveys etc. It can now be done by instantly and for free simply by typing your brand name into a web site like addictomatic.

These are just some of the different goals which could be desirable for your business. Each one requires a different approach, and different measurement tools.

If done in an integrated way, each outcome can be measured through analytics or monitoring programs. Isn’t the internet great?

Increases in sales, web traffic, customers etc are all fairly easy to check and they should be things which you measure already. Conversation can be measured, however it can be a bit tricky to locate thanks to text language and leek speak.

If promoting a certain event or a new product, you will probably have a dedicated landing page set up on your website. The success of your SM promotion can then be measured with analytics., or by number of people at the event, buying the product.

One thing which does irk me is when people try to measure and compare the engagement levels of Social Media to those of TVC’s and print. To me, that is like comparing having sex to watching Sex In The City. Watching ≠ engaging.

Engagement is the social part of Social Media and any campaign should elicit that as a matter of course. However, engagement is NOT measured in the number of friends/fans/followers that you have. It is how many people are talking with you and passing on what you say.

Trust me, it takes more than one half of a relationship to be engaged.

There are many different things you can look to achieve through the use of Social Media, and any desired outcome should be measured to ensure that it is successful. But if your only desired outcome is to have 100,000 followers, you probably won’t effect much change to your business.

The thing with having followers is that you need somewhere to lead them. And you need to be able to see when they get there.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What is Social Media?

What the hell is Social Media anyway?

There is a lot of buzz around Social Media at present. It is a space which every company feels they should be in. But what is Social Media?

Social Media is a term which has come to represent the ways in which the internet is being used to connect people in a two way, conversational style. It allows any individual to generate content and share it with the rest of the community. This content can be text, such as comments, questions or opinions, or it can be photos, videos, audio files…anything which someone can create on their computer - or cell phone for that matter.

Think of a traditional website as an online brochure. It is a one-to-many form of communication in which one person talks, and everyone else listens. “Come and read what we want you to read. Now give us a call or go away.”

Telecom’s website is a classic example of an online brochure. Visitors can read what Telecom has to say about itself, but to interact with the company, they then need to leave their computer and pick up a telephone, or send an email and wait up to 24 hours for a reply. Telecommunication companies should be doing better. I am already at your website, I want to engage with you now! Help!

This kind of website is like a deaf and blind person yelling from a soapbox and handing out business cards. Social Media is a barbecue where you can invite your friends and customers to talk with you, while other people eavesdrop. And it is the eavesdropping which is the difference.

Social media is a many-to-many broadcast style. This is most usually thought of as the big networks, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn and YouTube. Services like this are indeed the most social of Social Media networks. They are entirely composed of user generated content and, depending on your privacy settings, this information can be instantly viewed and shared all around the world.

However the term Social Media should not be limited to just these services. It should also be used to describe any website where people can post their thoughts and have them read by anyone else. Forums and (most) blogs invite visitors to comment, question or debate. Some corporate websites do this very well too.

By publishing content generated by visitors to your website, you can turn your online brochure into a social media portal. You are allowing social interaction through the media you have provided. This can be done by building the functionality into your site, or by embedding it from existing sources.

The point is Social Media is not just Facebook and Twitter. Any website can be a Social Media portal. You just need to be lucky enough to have people who care enough about what it is you are doing to want to interact, and you have to be brave enough to publish what they want to say about you.

That is not to say that you should be publishing anything anyone wants to say, but it is important to acknowledge people’s frustrations when they arise. You may be amazed to see your brand champions jumping to your defense, particularly on fan pages on Facebook, or through twitter. These kind of set ups can be very self-moderating towards negativity, but you do need to consider a system to control offensive and incorrect comments. More on that later…

So, if I had to define Social Media in 3 words? "Eavesdropping with consent."

That is how I define it anyway. Maybe you disagree? If so, send me an email. I aim to reply to all emails in 24 hours. Just kidding. Abuse me in the comments section below, or catch me on Twitter, or Facebook.

Footnote: I don’t know if Social Media is still the correct term, but it is a hell of a lot better than the extremely esoteric and self-empowering “Web 2.0”.