Today's blog post comes to you from our Business Development Manager, Craig Carter, who had a little fun speculating about Lance Armstrong and Facebook. I thought it was pretty amusing, so here goes...
(Preface—Except for the Facts and Figures charted below, all statements are pure speculation and have not been confirmed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.)
What do Lance Armstrong and Facebook have in common?
The short answer is they have both given their teammates Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Now before you go running off to the mountain top, screaming that Mark Zuckerberg is peddling concentration steroids to his coders, let me explain. Large brand pages and Facebook are all on the same team. In one way or the other, they are working together to improve marketing performance, brand image, and make a profit. So WHEN, HOW, and WHY did Facebook, not only begin to give brands PEDs, but dare I say, try to get them addicted?
It all started around June 6 (conveniently after the FB stock price declined 30 percent in 20 days) when all engagement metrics on large brands and company pages started to track upwards faster than the Cliffhangers Game on “The Price is Right.”
I am sure this is partly because of some great new content, more posts, insights from Facebook Ninjas/Gurus/Rock Stars, and increased ad spending on Facebook, but more so, Facebook hooked up the engagement IV to all its pages and started pumping them full of likes, comments, and shares. Just imagine Lance secretly giving his racing team wondrous enhancers, and then the team started winning!
Ahh the glory days! Little did brands know Facebook was giving them a PED better than Michael Jordan’s Special Stuff in Space Jam.
As Social Rock Stars became the one direction of the office, Facebook took the hit as their stock “plummeted.” I even heard rumors that “Zuck” was selling his couches on Craigslist to pay for dinner. But just as Lance was the genius behind the doping of his many Tour de France wins, Facebook had a plan—give away marketing, get brands hooked on engagement, and then slowly stop trickling the drug through the IV.
happened next … just ask any local drug dealer.
Give away the drug, get ’em addicted, then start charging for it. Low and behold, right around the time when massive free engagement stopped, Facebook’s stock value started going up! I feel this really started happening around mid-November—actually after the Facebook pundits started yelling from the rooftops about EdgeRank changes.
As we are now over a month into 2013, it will be interesting to see what happens with these two pieces of data. All I can say is ask Lance Armstrong or Barry Bonds if PEDs are just like Pringles, “Once you pop, you can’t stop.” Meaning these brands are going to be pulling out their pocketbooks to get back to their former glory.
Data Note: All data presented came from Polygraph Media’s Facebook Data Analytics Engine. The 62,682 posts analyzed were from 125 large brand and company pages from Jan 1, 2012, to Jan 28, 2013. In order to remove outliers and smooth the data, I removed 599 posts for being 3-standard deviations greater than average and opted to use a 7-day rolling average of the total likes received on all the pages. Give me a shout if you want to see some of this data and analysis first hand!