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Quest for the Social Media Production Efficiency (SMPE) Ratio

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I admit, I spend way too much time on sites such as Facebook, Active Rain, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, and RE.net blogs. I also have profiles on YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, Zillow, Zolve to name a few. From time to time I get asked, why? Specifically they ask me why I spend all this time and effort on the Internet.

Recently I’ve begun to ask that question myself.

I know I have received business from these efforts, so I’m not going to say it’s not worthwhile, but my question is have I reached the point of diminishing returns. My sites all rank very well. My AimeeLoans.com site is #1 in Google for “home mortgages in phoenix” and my Active Rain profile is #3 for “lender in phoenix”. I have a steady stream of visitors to my blog and quite a bit of subscribers.

More importantly, I get three to five mortgage related inquiries a week from my blog and so far I’ve been able to convert about a quarter of them into applications. I’ve converted a select few of these applications into actual loans. Not bad. But after all this time and effort I’d like to see this thing humming like a well oiled machine!

Since this has not happened, I’m asking myself if I have entered the zone of diminishing returns. Meaning, that no matter how much more time and effort I spend, I can not expect to correspondingly increase my output. To better understand where I’m coming from let’s review the Law of Diminishing Returns.

Here is how Wikipedia summarizes this law:

… the principle of diminishing marginal returns to a variable input …states that as you add more and more of a variable input, you will reach a point beyond which the resulting increase in output starts to diminish.

To apply this to Web 2.0 marketing, the input variable is time and effort in blogging, reading blogs, networking etc. You would think that for every extra input (marginal input), there should be an increase in output (marginal output). I’m not saying there should be a one to one relationship. All I’m saying is that shouldn’t there be some kind of relationship, so that I can expect a corresponding increase in business output for every unit of input? Or, is Web 2.0 the quantum mechanics of business where classical laws do not apply?

Since I’ve been thinking about this I’ve given a name for what I’m looking for. I’m calling it the Social Media Production Efficiency Ratio (SMPE Ratio). And I want to know if we can ever quantify the SMPE Ratio? If so, I’d like to know if in my current environment I’ve exceeded the SMPE Ratio.

What are your thoughts?

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    November 15, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    I don’t know that there has ever been a measure of networking and the effects, most just say it works. I imagine this nifty way of networking online simply makes networking simple to the degree that you can execute 4-5 social gatherings from your desk at the office- you are more productive.

    I’ve been preaching for a while that diving off the deepend into the web2.0 water may leave you drown in shiny colors and flashy beta fish. I’m all for riding the edge of the beach with one foot in the ocean- there simply is no substitute for face to face contact, but social media is a very close second so what do you have to lose, so long as you didn’t bet your entire business on it. I agree there is no solid measure, and if you’re really asking if there is one, I would have to say no.

  2. Shailes Ghimire

    November 15, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    For me, as a BNI member, that is my frame of reference. With BNI I’ve been able to quantify how much business I have received from the input variable. In addition to the annual membership, BNI costs me a 2 hour meeting once a week and 2 (one hour each) meetings a month with different members. In three years I’ve found that with this combination, I can generate between 1-3 loans a month. These are my numbers. It varies for everyone and how your group works.

    However, with social media, it’s been harder to quantify. Having said that I have been able to network with a lot of agents and I know that is valuable.

    I’d be curious to see what others think.

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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