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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Wait 'Til They Count The Votes?
January 20, 2008
Vol. 3 Issue 5
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Resolving To Be Flawed
December 21, 2007
Vol. 3 Issue 4
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Foolproof Plan For Getting Rich
November 18, 2007
Vol. 3 Issue 3
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Sneaky Math -- Calculations For Curious Kids
October 15, 2007
Vol. 3 Issue 2
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Turning Blue Over Being Green
September 24, 2007
Vol. 3 Issue 1
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Bulletproof the Kids?
August 14, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 12
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: iConfess. iDon't Own an iPhone
July 17, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 11
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Is There Any Light?
June 14, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 10
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Barry Bonds' "Remarkable" Feat
May 14, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 9
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Ponyhawk and Earplugs-Reviving My Singing Career
April 20, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 8
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Bringing Back The CEO
March 23, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 7
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: War of Words
February 28, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 6
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Dinner of Champions
February 22, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 5
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Jerradamus
January 23, 2007
Vol. 2 Issue 4
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Do You Hear What I Hear?
December 12, 2006
Vol. 2 Issue 3
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Viral: Virtual, Voracious and Vital
October 21, 2006
Vol. 2 Issue 2
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Read 'Em and Weep
September 14, 2006
Vol. 2 Issue 1
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: The Sweet Smell of Diapers
August 11, 2006
Vol. 1 Issue 9
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Who Do You Love?
June 1, 2006
Vol. 1 Issue 8
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Goose Me!
April 25, 2006
Vol. 1 Issue 7

Public Relations Measurement
Other PR Topics (not measurement)
February 27, 2008
Losing Face On Facebook
Ignoring the Sales Pitch While Flirting Online
by Debi Parcheta

weak link

Websites, blogs, electronic newsletters, podcasts and online news releases give those of us who make our living as communicators exciting new ways to reach our audiences.

If you're not taking advantage of that, you're losing out, trendsetters whisper. I'm with them on that.

But I'm not so sure about some of the other "social media." Sure, some people are successfully using things like Facebook, Linked-In and YouTube to promote their message. But from where I sit, I think they're still the exception. Part of me thinks they always will be.

Iím The Weakest Link on Linked-In

No offense, but I don't want to be listening to your "message" while hanging out with my friends. And that's what Facebook and MySpace excel at, connecting with friends or other social groups -- people who like to bike, cook, or whatever. My guess is you feel the same way when it comes to listening to my message when you're hanging out with your friends. So, trying to use these social media to sell your message may not work.

Linking in is a great way to meet business contacts. Actually, recruiters, salespeople and other people whose success depends on finding lots of new prospects love Linked-In and similar networking systems. They have hundreds of "connections" or "friends." They want to be connected to you because they want to check out your connections and friends for leads. It's like inviting your colleagues over to your house for the weekend and leaving them alone to rummage through your closets.

Cobwebs the size of Texas

I know a guy whose corner of MySpace has cobwebs the size of Texas. He's not alone. I'm signed up on Facebook, Linked-In, Plaxo, YouTube and probably more that I've forgotten about. And I'm a little creeped out by it.

Though I'm not terribly active, I know the religious, political and dating preferences of people I don't want to know those things about. I hear about their birthdays and their chitchat with their friends. I know Jim sent Samantha a note last week, that Joe has posted a blog and tomorrow is Ben's birthday.

Why do I want to know all these things? Most of these people aren't my friends. They're business acquaintances. I'd like to do business with them. But I don't want to flirt with them or keep track of whether they're on line or who they're swapping notes with.

And the pictures? Let's just say a lot of them aren't very business-like.

Grown-Up "Kids" Just Wanna Have Fun, Too

MySpace has been extremely popular as a place for young folks to gossip and visit. I get that. And except for the pedophiles and the bullying, it's cool.

Facebook seems to be MySpace for grown-ups. Except we haven't figured out whether we're there for business or pleasure. Adults are like that. There's a kid buried in there somewhere wanting to have fun. But we keep thinking we have to "behave" Ė whatever that means. So we say we're there for business. But I'm not so sure, based on what I'm seeing there.

We Have Found Big Brother and S/he Is Us

Impressions & Sales Chart

The reason many of us end up on these sites is the hope of getting scads of leads or customer loyalty information. I don't think many people are making that work. And I, for one, hope they never do.

Things like blogging can be useful, if you have something interesting to say -- that is to say something your audience wants to hear. But marketing and PR-speak donít work very well in this environment. You have to be willing to be honest -- and transparent. If you say your CEO is writing the blog, that's who needs to write it. Not someone from the PR staff.

a little math

If you decide to venture online to use the social media to market your products a little advance work will pay big dividends:

  • Use measurement in advance to predict the best outcome. If you already measure, you have an approximation -- or can calculate one -- about how many impressions it takes for some amount of product or service to be sold. Social media sites can be measured and approximated for audience reach.

  • What ROI are you expecting? If you spend $10K do you expect to see $70K in sales or $700K? It will depend on what you are hoping to influence the customer to buy. Is the ROI enough to warrant intruding on peoples' free time? Even if you said yes, will they absorb your message or are they too busy flirting and posting pictures and gossip to even notice you're there? Will they resent you being there? How do you slip in a plug for Internet service, cookies, diapers or cleaning products while dishing about your bad date last week or your favorite hobby?

AUTHOR Someone gave Debi Parcheta a ruler the day she showed up for the first grade, and she's been measuring things ever since. She founded Blue Marble Enterprises in 1994, and over the past 14 years Blue Marble has built the world's largest database of media impressions and ad rates for media measurement. You can reach her at dparcheta@blue-marble.com / 303-750-9610.

Published by Blue Marble Enterprises, Inc.
Copyright © 2008 Blue Marble Enterprises, Inc.. All rights reserved.

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