- Thu, November 17 2011
- Filed under: Social Media
I just finished reading Dan Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness, a short manifesto on rigorously measuring what works in social media.
I loved it, because he refuses to revert to hollow social media “conventional wisdom” and the unfortunate tendency to eschew scrutiny of return on investment (ROI):
“The most odious social media myth I’ve ever heard is that you cannot measure the ROI of social media. ‘What is the ROI of putting your pants on?’ is my favorite version. To argue that the future of marketing is beyond - or above - effective measurement and monetary justification is insulting.”
Amen to that.
I’d recommend looking at conversion metrics (lagging indicators) like donations, volunteer hours, acts of advocacy, etc. You can also do surveys to determine brand affinity. He urges looking at leading indicators—like referral traffic and reach. This can help you track and build a case for early successes that are important but not yet yielding specific actions or dollars.
So what has he measured? Here are just seven fun and surprising facts he had learned from his own measurement and analysis. Some fly in the face of conventional wisdom. The book has far more.
1. On Twitter, people who have the words “official, founder, speaker, expert” or “guru” have more followers than average. Be authoritative.
2. Negative remarks have a negative effect on followers.
3. Using the word “you” gets attention and retweets. People like it to be about them!
4. Friday at 4 pm is the most Tweetable time, and email is most likely opened very early in the day or on weekends.
5. Adjectives and adverbs are viral kryptonite - punchy verbs and even nouns spread far faster.
6. Content with “why” and “how” gets shared the most on Facebook.
7. People share content most often because it is personally relevant, funny or useful.
In the end, Zarrella’s message is this: Base your engagement online on real data, not on what he calls “unicorns and rainbows” or facile adages. He has lots of real data to share - and urges us all to collect our own. I think that’s great advice.