How less planning improves Return on Investment.
There was quite a lot of buzz on twitter today as the covers came off the intrigue that was the latest in the Social media reportage by @sizemore and @documentally. As you can read from Sizemores and Ourmaninside blog the idea was spawned on a Friday and through the weekend Sizemore and Documentally were working towards a deadline whose purpose would be embargo’d until delivered. You can see the results of the event on their blogs but I wanted to highlight the value of the JFDI, low planning, fast tools, approach to this event and its long term Return on Investment for Reuters.
Whilst I had no prior knowledge of event or the purpose it was clear from a few tweets that @Sizemore and @Documentally were planning something and it was likely to be something interesting in the Social Media sphere.
For my own part the occasional twitters and vague suggestions added to an awareness that something was going to occur. Between this genuine lack of knowledge on my part and the clear indications from Documentally and Sizemore that something was afoot the messages were engaging and intriguing enough to capture the imagination of others.
This on going short notice conversation created a level of awareness which in later speculative conversations I had put some numbers to.
If we were to apply some maths to this then lets assume a few values. For instance the value of a twitter follower might be as cheap as possible so lets call a twitter followers worth 10pence each. Between @documentally, @sizemore and myself there are 5,495 followers on hand lets round that up and call that £550 a day of advertising should someone have paid for the event to be twittered. Followers are like magazine subscribers theres no way you can assure that they are paying attention to your Advert but the magazine is going to tell you ther subscriber base so I am going to reuse that model a little here.
As I write this I can see that there have been at least 5 separate blog posts detailing the event. The potential cost for “paying for those posts” to be written might be set at £50 per post.
Its hard to “guess” the reader base and the spread and subsequent retweeting of content from these sites and events so lets assume a very light 5% response thats 27 other readers whom will be the ideal audience for the content. As a result they are going to be worth 20% of the value of your advertising £110 making another £2,910 of advertising costs.
two days of creating awareness £1100
five blog posts £250
Hitting a target audience £2,910
I make that about £4,320 ( not including tax ) of awareness capital that is generated for and on behalf of Reuters through @Documentally and @sizemore taking a direct approach to creating content.
Remember there was no overplanning and over communication in the event in as much as it was discussed, agreed and delivered.
The availability of Social Media is several fold compared to traditional marketing means. The opportunity to stumble upon content because it is being discussed not just in one Forum but on a variety of platforms from twitter, wordpress, qik, phreadz, websites, lifecast, and flickr. The multiple channels and distribution of content allows for various levels of interaction and access. Again Reuters been approaching this as advertisers they would have paid for content at each of those sites and those adverts may have had to have been for a mimum of 1 week but lets keep the fantasy figures running and say they would have had to spend a further £1000 to get access to those sites for adveritsing.
The tools used by @Sizemore and @Documentally have an almost zero barrier to entry and have a reach that has already been establised as being further than many previous forms of media. On top of this the accessibility for the viewer and the presenter to contribute and comment and possibly direct the content increased the initial value in participating and the subsequent value in watching and commenting.
In taking an approach to embrace an idea, create the content, deliver the agreed plan and to recoup the awareness it demonstrates that avoiding over planning and avoiding over discussing a Social Media project results in an approach that may well be where the real return on investments exist.
Thanks for reading.