Harnessing the Power of Social Media
When it comes to the power and reach of social media, there are still, and always will be sceptics. Marketing managers know that by placing an ad in a well-read paper will reach their local market, or that a coupon giveaway at an event will generate a certain return. How does social media stand up as a legitimate marketing tool? The best defence for social media is the numbers behind it. So in turn we offer this most recent case study.
Over the course of March 2011, our clients at Oshawa Centre held their second annual Durham Has Talent event. The centre opened its doors to the talented citizens of Durham region to showcase their skills, and 294 groups auditioned during the 5 day intake period. One-minute audition videos were branded with a short intro, posted instantly to an online gallery where they could be shared by Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.
Once the auditions were complete, a week-long voting contest began. Voting determined the top 4 performances from each of the song, dance and instrumental categories. A team of judges selected 10 additional groups to perform at a live, judged finale.
While Durham Has Talent is a fun and exciting event that we love being part of, it’s the social media results that make jaws drop. During the one-week voting period alone: over 33,000 visitors were drawn to the contest site, viewed over 1.4 million pages and generated almost 400,000 votes.
Each of those 294 entries averaged 44.2 ‘Likes’ on Facebook. Facebook’s stats page tells us that the average Facebook user has roughly 130 friends, which is a modest estimate considering the younger demographic that this contest is targeting. What do all these numbers mean? We can conservatively estimate 1.7 Million Facebook impressions were made just via people clicking the “Like” button to a maximum of one time per entry. These impressions don’t even include the shares and likes within people’s Facebook profiles, tweets, blog posts and YouTube videos, all asking for the support of friends and family.
Now the naysayer would argue, “How many of these people even live close enough to know what the Oshawa Centre is?” The short answer is: more than enough to make it worthwhile. If an estimated 80% of a Facebook user’s friends live within 100 km, this would still mean almost 1.4 million impressions within reasonable proximity. That’s a lot of eyeballs.
When implemented effectively, social media has the potential to snowball and exponentially expand a brand’s exposure and reach. Circus has proven that there is a successful formula to harness the influence of online communities. With a combination of an engaging concept, careful execution and partner support a brand can really harness the power of online brand development.