Facebook Pages cannot be rated on size alone; engagements must be considered. But what approach leads to more interactions and more fans: a Single Global Page or A Confederation of Many Pages?

Looking at the 10 largest brand Pages on Facebook, we find an average of 7.8M fans per Page each enjoying 3,367 interactions (likes + comments) per post. Sounds high? It’s actually quite low considering the millions of people they’ve drawn into their Page. As a rule of thumb you should expect 1 interaction per 1000 fans (rating of 1/1000 x 1000 = 1.0). The average interaction rating for these Single Global Pages is 0.4 compared to 1.1 to 1.6 for brands adopting the Confederation approach.

Top Global Brand Pages
Coke – 14.8M fans, 0.4 interaction rating (5,783 avg interactions per post /14.8M fans)x1000
Oreo – 11.9M fans, 0.6 interaction rating
Skittles – 11.3M fans, 0.6 interaction rating
Red Bull – 10.0M fans, 0.2 interaction rating
Pringles – 5.6M fans, 0.3 interaction rating
Nutella – 5.1M fans, 0.1 interaction rating
Starburst – 5.3M fans, 0.4 interaction rating
Dr Pepper – 5.0M fans, 0.8 interaction rating
Ferrero Rocher – 4.3M fans, 0.0 interaction rating (there are no Ferrero posts!)
Reese’s – 4.3M fans, 0.8 interaction rating

How does this compare to the Confederation of Many approach?

  • Starbucks – 18.8M fans total. In addition to the 15.9M fans in their US Page they have 24 Country Pages totaling another 2.9M fans. Overall the interaction rating is 1.1 – higher than any Top 10 Brand – and countries range from as high as 15.2 for Mexico (extremely high) to a low of 0.5 for the UK.
  • BlackBerry – 5.0M fans total. In addition to the 2.6M fans in their Canada/US Page they have 21 Country Pages totaling another 2.4M fans. Overall interaction rating is 1.5 – high – with Pages like BlackBerry Thailand, Argentina and Indonesia running away with interactions. They all rate over 4.0.
  • Captain Morgan’s – 660k fans total. 2/3rds of that are in the US Page, the rest split among 14 other countries. Interaction rating is 1.6 overall with some highly engaged communities like Captain Morgans South Africa rating 7.6 for their 20k fans.

Summary: The Confederation of Many appears to attract more fans and more engagements. Possible reasons include relevancy (instead of a general global message), language (successful Pages publish in the local country language instead of English) and culture (posts in Mexico are much riskier than Germany.)

*all figures pulled from Facebook externally


Ad:Tech NY Liveblogging

November 4, 2009

Click the link below to go to my liveblogging page for ad:tech NYC 2009. Complete posts will follow after the conference.

Ad Tech NY

The First Rule of Advertising Week:  Do not talk about Advertising Week

Last week in New York City, thousands of people in the advertising community were treated to 116 industry events and socials over 5 days thanks to the great staff and sponsors at Advertising Week.  The caliber of speakers and quality of discussions were higher than most conferences charging over $1000, yet admittance to the vast majority of last week’s events were free after a one-time charge of just $49.  It was a benchmark conference in almost all areas from topics, format and logistics to speakers, moderators, and attendees.  All areas, that is, except one: interactive advertising.

In almost every seminar the power of interactive advertising was discussed.  Budgets are quickly flowing out of traditional forms of advertising like television, print and out-of-home and into online initiatives.  Top CMO’s and agency execs shared how technology has transformed advertising, how today’s marketers can leverage social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and how we can all benefit from this shift away from a 1-way advertising push toward a 2-way dialogue with our audiences.

Oddly, each of these seminars started with both a verbal and signed warning that the taking of photographs and use of recording equipment were “strictly prohibited”.  The discussions happened inside rooms with no accessible WIFI signal to allow for liveblogging and there were few outlets and no charging stations for laptops and smartphones.

The result?  A strange silence on the web for what should have been one of the most discussed events of the year.  Advertising Week’s rules severely limited the audience’s ability to share content online, and the staff’s lack of participation on the 5 social platforms they prominently linked to from their homepage didn’t help.

  • On Twitter we saw just 9 tweets from staff during the entire week.  No Twitpics or Flip Videos were posted.  Without a clearly advertised hashtag enabling one searchable discussion, attendees were randomly bouncing between #adwk, #adweek, and #advertisingweek.  There were video screens throughout the building but none of them showed a live tweetstream of the attendees’ enthusiastic posts.
  • On their official Facebook Page Ad Week offered just one update.  Fans were almost as quiet with just 8 wall posts and no responses, comments or likes.  Total photos and videos posted last week:  0.
  • On YouTube:  nothing except a 3-week old video advertising one of the events.
  • On LinkedIn:  nothing.
  • On their official blog:  3 posts, no share tools, no comments.

Who’s doing it right?  Look to industry leaders like Canada’s Mesh Web Conference, the SXSW Festival and, not surprisingly, the Web 2.0 Summit.  Look to Martha Stewart’s upcoming experimental “TECH” show where every studio audience member is asked to bring a laptop, iPhone or Blackberry.  And look to every brand or agency exec who spoke on stage at last week’s exceptional conference, espousing the benefits of sharing and encouraging online dialogue.

Nothing can take away from the quality and success of Advertising Week for those who were able to attend.  My personal highlights were Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s informative case studies, R/GA CEO Bob Greenberg’s insight into the way forward, and Contagious Magazine Deputy Editor Jess Greenwood’s wild ride through successful online campaigns.  I was one of hundreds who enjoyed the hard work put forth by the Ad Week staff and contributions from the exceptional speakers.  Here’s hoping next year, thanks to the effective usage of interactive media, exponentially more people will be able to experience it as well.

To measure interactivity in Twitter, I counted @’s in tweetstreams. The @ symbol means that message is a retweet, a public reply, or a reference to somebody else on Twitter for all to see. Any message (tweet) with an @ symbol in it is interactive; anything without it is flat and 1-way. By scanning 1,500 tweets on the public timeline across a weeknight, weekend and weekday we can understand how the general public is using Twitter.

The results? For every 5 tweets, only 2 contained an @ symbol. That’s means we’re interacting with others in just 40% of our messages. The other 60% of the tweets are 1-way blasts sent into the Twittersphere.

Metrics on hashtags and links will be discussed in future posts.

the entire script from Goodfellas expressed as a tag cloud

there really is no point to this.


On the heels of his impressive web marketing campaign and following a 4-week quiet period in web communications, Barack Obama has released his presidential transition website:  Change.gov – The Office of the President-Elect.

It’s buggy but that hasn’t stopped over 3,000 people from responding to the Transition Team’s first question:  “How is the current economic crisis affecting you?”  As expected, the site goes beyond a simple “tell us what you think” blog.  Obama is also inviting every American – and Canadian, oddly – to take our Seat At The Table where we’ll have access to Transition Team documents and community discussions.

Missed Obama’s televised weekend address where he discussed key parts of his economic recovery plan and stimulus package?  You’ll find it on this site, complete with the full transcript.  Ready to organize a community discussion on Health Care reform?  The Obama machine has begun recruiting.  Want the government org chart?  This site will link you there.

After gathering 13 million email addresses, 4.4 million Facebook and MySpace friends, and 1M mobile subscribers, the Obama team has an unprecedented invitation for ongoing 1-to-1 dialogue with the public.  Many of us have been asking what that would look like.  We’re about to find out.

Notes from an insightful presentation by Rahaf Harfoush, New Media Strategist and staffer on the Barack Obama campaign.  November 27, 2008 in Toronto, Canada.

How do we transform a crowd into an audience, and that audience into a partner? Using what Harfoush called the FLIRT model of crowdsourcing (Focus, Language, Incentives, Rules, Tools), the Obama team embraced 3 main differences from a standard campaign:

  1. Employ a 50-state strategy:  following Howard Dean’s original goal to approach everybody in every state, the Obama team established field operations everywhere.  McCain, in comparison, focused only on the states he felt he needed.
  2. Target the disaffected center:  why focus left or right?  The Obama camp believed that many Republicans, unhappy with the last 8 years, represented possible votes.
  3. Focus on small donations:  millions of small donors can exceed a handful of large ones.

Results vary according to report, but Harfoush estimated they raised $639M to John McCain’s $360M.  The Globe and Mail reported Obama actually raised $750M – more than double his rival.  Of the $150M raised in September, 67% of it came from online donations.

How was this achieved?  Through benchmark successes in:

  • Social Networking:   Obama had 3.2M Facebook friends to McCain’s 620,000.  He had 1.1M MySpace friends to McCain’s 221,800.  Obama videos on YouTube amassed 20M views to McCain’s 2,200.
  • E-Mail:  they sent over 1 billion emails to over 13M email addresses throughout the campaign, hyper-segmented by state, issues, and donation history.  Current donors never received emails themed toward new donors, and those concerned primarily with health care were sure to receive emails focused on health care.
  • Mobile Text Messaging:  Over 1M subscribers had first notice, through a mobile text message, of Obama’s selection of Senator Joe Biden as his VP nominee.  Throughout the campaign they received 20 messages each per month.
  • iPhone Application:  by autosorting address books into local lists, the app turned iPhones into mobile campaign offices.  After every call a window would pop up asking how that person felt about certain events; it could then be forwarded to the campaign organizer in that area.   It also gave talking points on each event to keep all volunteers accurately on-message.
  • MyBarackObama.com:  the king of all targeted social networks, this custom beauty housed over 2M profiles and 400,000 blog posts.  35,000 volunteer groups organized over 200,000 offline events.  Each member was measured on an activity index including events hosted, events attended, calls made, doors knocked, amount raised, and groups joined.  The higher the activity index, the more access that member was given to training tools and key campaign staff.  Personal fundraising pages told others where each member stood and why they should be supported.

Harfoush wrapped the talk up with a few key lessons learned:

  1. Give new media a seat at the table.  This required a substantial capital investment up front and ongoing time investments throughout the campaign.
  2. Tools are useless without a blueprint.  Half of all new media campaigns fail yet 75% of Fortune 1000 companies will embark on them.  I would argue both of these numbers are much higher.
  3. Hold to a clear message and vision.  McCain was criticized for changing his message.  Obama stuck to his 3 key words and elevated his vision to a lifestyle:  Hope.  Change.  Action.
  4. Know the lay of the land.  Map out your digital landscape.  Know the top bloggers, the top social networks, and the central communication hubs.  Be clear on why you’re entering the space, how it will improve your brand, what value you’re adding, and if it’s a good fit.
  5. Build relationships.  Listen, be authentic, and ask questions.  Don’t rush into unfamiliar territory without first observing and learning the etiquette.
  6. Have a clear call to action:  What do you want people to do?  Every action in the Obama campaign was geared toward getting people to vote.  The sole purpose of online activity was to create offline activity.  In the weekend before the election over 1M doors were knocked on in Pennsylvania alone.
  7. Give up control.  Empower brand ambassadors.  Embrace co-creation.  Let the brand evolve.

By building communities and relationships, Harfoush and the rest of the campaign team enabled Obama to win an overwhelming majority in what was initially regarded as a tight race.  What’s next?  Government 2.0 has just begun.