How much value do your friends bring to you? Silly as this question may be, its one being asked in offices and boardrooms across the country. Companies are trying to understand how much a “fan”, a “follower”, or a “like” is worth. The most common response is, “I don’t know, but more is better.” However, in this case more isn’t always better.
Social media sites leverage something called EdgeRank to determine what content is shown to people when they log in. On Facebook, it’s believed that only less than 2% of eligible content has the potential to show up in the news feed. So, the question shouldn’t be how do I get more fans, the question should be how do I get my posts to show up more than 2% of the time. The simple answer is engagement.
When people interact with your content it’s more likely to show up again in the future in their feed and the feed of those that are “close” to them. When companies attempt to gain just any followers via contests and other means, adding them could in fact be decreasing the total value of all their fans.
So how much value do your friends bring to you? Within social media, just like the real world, in some cases less may in fact be more.
We make decisions everyday. Some big ones, some not so big, and most without really giving it much thought. Should I wear the white shirt or the blue one? What route do I take on my way to work? Do I want fries with my lunch?
Answers: The blue one, last time I wore it with this outfit I received several compliments. I’m taking the backroads, the traffic on the main road is unbearable this time of day. I’ll should pass on the fries, fried foods upset my stomach.
What do all these decisions have in common? While there is no wrong answer, they all rely on past knowledge, or historical information, to make a determination. When we make a decision we take to sum of our previous experiences into consideration to determine what to do next.
Why then do so many expensive decisions in the business world rely on only a small window of data? It’s still typical for companies that have been around for decades to base day to day decisions on only the last 13 months.
Firms that have successful data management strategies in place make data driven decisions based on years, and in many cases decades of learnings. If you can learn from the past you won’t be doomed to repeat it’s mistakes. By choosing to shortcut valuable historical data, you’re only fooling yourself into thinking your actions are supported by the numbers.