With so much attention heaped on Facebook’s $16 billion IPO on Friday — which gives it a day-one market value of $104 billion — it’s worth noting what Facebook does on a macro level that makes it so incredibly valuable. Buzzfeed co-founder Jonah Peretti did a good job of breaking down Facebook’s role in innovating the social Web. If the first era of the Web was defined by page-views (he calls it the “portal era”) and dominated by AOL, Yahoo! and Netscape, and the second dominated by search traffic (Google’s reign), then the current version of the Web is measured in shares (where Facebook is undoubtedly king).
A share, of course, is a more powerful metric than a search query or a page-view. It’s carries a user’s stamp of approval, or recommendation. That’s something that’s worth considering for brand managers and social marketers: What could possibly be a better endorsement that a piece of content is reverberating with people than shares? By focusing on search traffic, or even page impressions, it’s possible marketers are missing the best sign of user engagement.
That said, we share a few links to other insights about content marketing on the social Web:
Prior to “The IPO,” General Motors made a few headlines by pulling the plug on its $10 million social-media ad campaign, raising questions about the true value of Facebook’s ad program. However, buried in that story was the fact that GM is still spending $30 million a year on “content” for Facebook. Another sign that content marketing is starting to bully its way into agencies’ spending plans. — The Wall Street Journal
How do you know if that Pinterest account is paying dividends? How’s your blog affecting brand awareness? The modern digital media landscape presents marketers with an interesting dilemma: there are reams and reams of data to parse about customers’ behavior and activity, but few if any reliable ROI metrics to measure against. Instead of trying to chop up all that data and make sense of it, start with a hypothesis and then find data to either prove or disprove it. — McKinsey Quarterly
General Mills’ cookbook blog Tablespoon.com shares its secret recipe for success, and ultimately, it boils down to three things: Great ideas (first!), strong social network presence, and light (but not invisible) branding. An interesting case study. — Forbes
More on sharing: You’re probably already using bit.ly or goo.gl to shorten links when you share on Twitter or Facebook — the advanced analytics they provide can be very useful. But there is a downside: Since Twitter already shortens its links (via t.co), you’re often creating a two- or three-step redirect to your final URL. And since many companies operate behind a firewall that doesn’t allow access to URLs from foreign countries (t.co is hosted in Colombia; goo.gl in Greenland; bit.ly in Liberia), it’s entirely possible you may be blocking some people from ever seeing your content. Just sayin’. — Tom Spiglanin’s Socializing Workplace Learning blog
Image used under Creative Commons by Flickr user Denis Dervisevic.