This is well worth a listen. Loved Gary’s insights and they very much reflect what we learnt at Dell.
The Edison/Arbitron results show that 51% of Americans 12+ are now using Facebook. Amazing recognition.
What it doesn’t comprehend is the difference in tools. Facebook and Twitter are not technology – they are media sites powered by very cool technology. That’s different than consumption devices like eReaders. Facebook and Twitter are tools for creating and distributing content. A Kindle or Tablet is a consumption device.
Also not comprehended is that as distribution platforms, they are interdependent and interrelated. I haven’t visited my Facebook page in ages. But I post to it constantly, via Twitter and Foursquare.
Some other interesting thoughts from Jay on the rankings:
Last year, 7% of Americans surveyed used Twitter (and ExactTarget (client) research found 5% follow a brand on Twitter). This year, 8% of Americans use it. That’s not exactly hockey stick growth rates.
Hang on to your sombrero when you read this sentence: MySpace – which has become the butt of social media jokes that SecondLife is too pitiable to inhabit – has more than double the users of Twitter. Double!
300% more Americans listen to Pandora radio than use Twitter. Even Linkedin is bigger that Twitter, and when was the last time you got an invite to a Linkedin-focused conference?
So, is Twitter overhyped?
If I had a hundred bucks for every client that had told me “there is no such thing as bad publicity” I’d be a rich man. I’ve never really bought the argument – although one shouldn’t confuse a igniting controversy with a catastrophic and negative event.
Studies suggest it all comes down to your prominence. Alan Sorensen, a economics professor at Stanford University School of Business looked at the effect of book reviews in the New York Times (study published in Marketing Science). Positive reviews by well known authors sold 42% more while negative reviews caused sales to drop by 15%.
It was a different story for unknown authors. Bad or good, a review bumped sales by a third. Can we apply the same idea to business. Say to a relatively obscure company? I’d argue it all depends on the product. Say you make an expensive lock to protect a racing bike – a bad review for a product that to which low subjectivity applies will crater sales. That’s different to, say, a low-cost book or MP3 file to which there is a simple purchasing cycle, low monetary value and high subjectivity.
And inquisitiveness resulting from a poor review shouldn’t been seen as a proxy for buying. The argument that Borat caused tourism enquiries to increase as proof of the positive effect of a negative review only holds water if the only measure was increased enquiries. It didn’t actually mean any more people visited.
At the end of the day good press matters as much as positive recommendations. And, while a negative review might be ok for the obscure, for anything of value (product or personal brand) it can be a killer.