Social Media Measurement – And The Point Is?

As I was dancing on the outer edges of the internet (to the sounds of popular American beat combo, My Chemical Romance, since you ask) I nearly did myself a mischief as this loomed out of the webspace and into my face. It’s a piece from a splendid site called O’Leary Analytics, which is run by one Stephen O’Leary, out in Ireland, and it is an analysis of social media activity around Oxegene, a yearly festival of young people’s music (probably all bippidy and boppidy and incomprehensible – no tunes these days, d’you see) that took place at Punchestown Racecourse in Co Kildare earlier this month.

Now you are lazy and reticent blog snorkellers so and ye are, but ye will not be understanding the thrust of my post, if you do not and read the analysis on the original internet. So, wands out – swish and click – engorgio!

So, anyway, I’m not going through this with a fine-tooth comb – you can do that for yourselves – but there are a few things that I’d say. Firstly, as a piece of work, it’s efficient and workmanlike and goes to show that it’s not all about the quality of the conversation, it’s also about hard numbers, mentions, tweets and re-tweets.

Unfortunately – while this is all well and good – it is brought up badly short on three fronts. Firstly – erm, so what? 391 comments on a Facebook post! Great! But what did people actually DO with the information they got? Anything? Or were they just prime examples of what I believe is called the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory?

I’m guessing we’ll never know.

Second – well, putting it bluntly, as a serious sponsor, do we think that Vodafone will be happy with 338 (total) mentions? No. But they actually won’t give a flying leprechaun’s shillelagh, because they won’t have been focused on social – they’ll have been focused on making their sponsorship work for them in real time. Social will have been nothing more than something to monitor for potential issues (see Greater Internet F*ckwad Theory, above). 

Third and here’s the thing. Oxegene Facebook page – 200,000 fans. 114 posts by page administrators. Each one with an average 31 comments and 117 likes. Roughly 3,500 comments, roughly 11,000 ‘likes’ (how lazy, can’t be bothered to write anything so press the ‘like’ button in a half-arsed apathetic sort of a way). So where were the other 185,000 fans while all this was going on? Eh?

What I’d really like to know is, of the people who bought tickets for Oxegene, how many of them were prompted to do so by social media. Or, as I suspect, were the ticket buyers drawn to it by the fact that it was live and outside and face-to-face, while the Facebook fanboys and girls were kept away by the fact that it was – erm – live and outside and face-to-face.

Social – it doesn’t deliver anything, really. Does it?

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