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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Hypothetical as speculate social media impact

Going to speculate wildly this morning because I see a use of social media I suspect can have the opposite impact intended, so want to talk it out. And I think it's where old ideas from television advertising run into the impact reality of the modern web, as will imagine a company with a product with one million followers on some social media, where to me that is an audience number.

But for this hypothetical scenario imagine that company posts several things to try and galvanize that follower group to buy something, and one percent or ten thousand interact, and one thousand purchase, which company sees as a good result.

However, I'm like--what about that other ninety-nine percent?

And the company finds it had a one time bump, but a yearly sales decline and found also that its favorability rating had dropped by fifty percent.

Just to put numbers on it, which I'll yank out of the air, say it had a sales decline of one hundred thousand units year over year across all product lines.

Now in this imaginary scenario where I made up lots of abstract figures, we see a company getting one time sales of one thousand units on posts to one million followers, which leads to a sales loss of one hundred thousand units.

Executives have a meeting where they are completely puzzled. They don't understand the power of social media! Maybe they think, they just need to invest in the one area where things seemed to work! So they pressure their social media person to do more of those posts!

Next burst of posts? They get one thousand positive interactions. Now there is a howl of negative feedback. And as company plummets, it dawns on the executives, social media killed their entire company. Company files for bankruptcy as its sales collapse.

And the world barely notices.

Ah, I like that as a fun social media horror story which is just my wild imagination. Is that scenario possible? 


James Harris
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