Social Marketing Automation is Almost Here
I was excited this past week that Optimal won an innovation award from Facebook for what we’re calling the News Feed Promoter. It’s basically one of the first salvoes in social marketing automation, and being able to find viral content very quickly and promote it. We give the advertiser the ability to set up rules from Facebook Insights that decide what content gets promoted, including ways to not promote bad viral content (that has a high negative feedback, for example) so that you can pour fuel onto organically-resonating content and enhance it immediately. Your ad campaign is created automatically by Optimal’s system, and the ad itself is the content that is working – there is no separate ad creation process necessary.
One of the related facts we have discovered is that most content on Facebook has a very short half-life. We looked at posts across thousands of brands recently and found that about 74% of the engagement happens within the first 180 minutes of content being posted on Facebook. And in fact more than half (50%) of the engagement happens within the first hour! The more engagement the content gets, and the more non-organic promotion it gets, obviously the longer it tends to live.
Here’s a chart of the data (click on it to enlarge):
I still see a lot of disconnect between groups creating content and trying to build brand stories, and the groups that are responsible for spending media dollars. There’s also a lot of “campaign-driven” spending that is in isolation from the kind of “always-on” marketing spend that happens in search with Google Adwords for example. People are always searching, and so you should always be promoting your products and brand in search. By the same token, people are always talking (or ignoring) your brand, so you need to be always looking for signals that can clue you in to what to amplify in the social media realm. You can’t afford to wait, these opportunities present themselves very quickly, and you need automation to take advantage of the “virality window“
There are some big advances we’re working on at Optimal about how you measure virality, engagement, and the quality of engagement. These are exciting times for social media, but remember it’s still very very early. We’re still a long way from full social marketing automation, but we’re making good progress and we will share some of our milestones as we go along.