Saturday, March 10, 2012

Social Media Metrics Between Worlds

I've been wondering about various social media metrics, more specifically fan growth and how they impact our public image - then a thought popped in saying "well, like currency, wouldn't the value of a fan vary from region to region, country to country?" I say yes, absolutely! I don't believe anyone else has confirmed or written about this already, but there needs to be a measurement criteria that differentiates what one fan in the US is worth vs. what a fan elsewhere, say in Pakistan, is worth.

I'm not talking about a $ value, but a unique value proportional to their social media saaviness, the exposure they have and how generally aware people in the region are. This may correlate directly with how successful a fan page for a brand will be in different countries. 

It's a simple thought - like a ratio. For example, if we took an example and said a US fan is to a Pakistani fan in ratio terms, I would say 100:1. That means, for every Pakistani fan on a brand's Facebook page, there are 100 fans on a US brand page (which can also be considered relatively global).

Facebook fan pages for Lady Gaga and Atif Aslam (Mar 10, 2012)
This is not an exact science, I'll figure the math out further on, or with someones help. However, 40 million coke fans from around the world, most of them based in the United States, that means a fan page in Pakistan with 400,000 fans (say Ufone) shows that correlation works, based on one of the most popular brand page in the US (and the world for that matter) compared with one of the most popular brand pages in Pakistan. 

However, when you take a music artist with the global popularity of, say 40 million fans, and another with 3.5 million (Lady Gaga vs. Atif Aslam - both of global fame, one more than the other), you have a significant variance in the ratio, which goes from 100:1 to 14:1.

What, then factors into how you can measure the worth of a fan? Is it just the combination of elements mentioned above? Can we say:

A fan's own social awareness + How active a brand is + fan page growth (per sec/min/hour/day)
DIVIDED BY
Regional social media awareness + brand fan page engagement

If you've read thus far, you know I am NOT a math guy at all. However, it suddenly occurs that math factors in as a critical component to assessing the factors for this formula. Not only is there a need to understand how you can quantify the factors, you also need to know where to create the values from.

The fundamental problem with this theory is that because of an unsettled and continuous shift in social media growth and activity in each region, quantifying it depends on some basics like internet penetration, computer or laptop penetration, restrictions or limitations to content access (UAE and Qatar don't allow pornography or torrents - which make up a bulk of bandwidth consumption), and lastly one's own interest in being online and social. Relatively ambiguous and near difficult to quantify, no?

About being online and social, if you read my last post, I gave the example of my wife, who is online (website and all), but not social. She had a Facebook account, but then decided to toss it with the whole privacy debacle that started. She's one of those netizen's who believes in the preservation of one's identity, personal attributes and overall way of life. We've become so entrenched in sharing our daily dose of activity with the world, we've forgotten the people who might be sitting on the sidelines, just watching us as we make fun of others, ourselves and everything else that isn't covered. From my fake-bald picture to your last taco roll, our philosophy remains "leave no stone un-turned".

So, if the formula is entirely dependent upon those variables (and how), then could this be an unquantifiable calculation? How then do I assess whether my brands 69,000 fans are equal or not equal to my industry peers in the US? Or could it be that my engagement levels (and their frequency) determine my brand's visibility and general awareness? If not, then perhaps whether there is even sufficient connectivity at the individual level for the awareness to spread?

Considering how viral content goes also factors in as a variant because it has a lot to do with how quickly information spreads between eyeball to eyeball. We all know about Obama, but how many know about Zardari? We all know about Lady Gaga, but how many know about Atif Aslam?

We'll save the twitter argument later, since their growth is only just beginning and we see no sign of 500 million twitterati slowing in their adoption.

To be concluded another time...for now, share your thoughts and consider the approach.
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