Salacious titles aside, I’ve been wondering lately what people’s predilections are for digesting digital content. Apart from the easy assumptions that people prefer content like video, photos and infographics – how does size (or content length, more specifically) affect people’s perceptions?
If I come across a link to a blog post in my Twitter stream, am I more predisposed to shorter, easily digestible content because I accessed it from Twitter (a short and succinct communications medium)? Am I more inclined to photo and video content on Facebook vs. longer form notes?
Well according to an informal study done by AT&T on their Facebook page, it seems like character count has a direct correlation to fan engagement.
Their study showed that posts exceeding 218 characters were largely ignored, with significant engagement beginning at around 152 characters. A little more obvious was the fact that less engagement with a post meant fewer impressions through the Newsfeed, and generally less spread.
Basically – people don’t like to read and they’re far less inclined to Like or Share longer content on Facebook.
Are people knowingly making these distinctions on Facebook? Are these traits common across all social channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)?
Either way it shows that being part of the discussion is only one step in a larger strategy, and as marketers we need to understand that what we’re posting is just as important.
It seems like World Wrestling Entertainment has found a new way to connect with their fans outside of their traditional television programs and PPV shows – they’re laying a smack down with social media, and it’s creating quite a buzz.
While the WWE’s popularity and profits have waned in recent years thanks in part to a fickle fan base and stiff competition from the UFC, they’ve come up with an interesting way to strengthen their brand and add a sense of realism to the scripted spectacle of professional wrestling. A little context is needed:
Former WWE champion C.M. Punk created a stir at a recent WWE event when he gave a scathing on-air review of the company and the way it operated. He won the title on the final night he was under contract with the WWE, forfeited it, and promptly left the company. Or did he?
Fast forward two weeks: The ousted champ showed up unannounced at a WWE panel at San Diego’s Comic Con. Armed with a video camera (and an excellent guerrilla marketing strategy), he stormed into the panel and challenged another high profile wrestler to a bout. But his videographer wasn’t the only one documenting the showdown. Upon his entrance, seemingly half the room whipped out their smartphones and started rolling. Within minutes, several different videos were posted on Youtube and Twitter, drawing the eyes of not only the wrestling world, but many old fans who had said “uncle” and quit the WWE a long time ago.
This particular digital strategy was a stroke of genius for the WWE, as it accomplished a few key things:
1) It added a much needed element of realism to their product, something that’s been called into question over and over again. They have deliberately taken to not mentioning the former champ’s name in their on-air programming moving forward, lending credibility to the fact that this isn’t all staged (which in fact it is). But is it interesting, blurring the lines and drawing eyes? Absolutely.
2) Using Youtube and Twitter adds another layer for the fan base to engage with the WWE brand. As a result of this stunt, many of these fans were able to post their videos of the showdown on Twitter and Youtube – the fans were allowed to break the news and add their voices to the narrative. What brand wouldn’t want such an engaged consumer?
3) It’s created a great ROI. No major network television channels involved. No expensive lights, cameras, and crews needed. A camera, a compelling character, and an internet connection did the trick.
4) It created a buzz, plain and simple. Where will he strike next? What will he do? You had better check Twitter as he’s probably already hinting at it now.
This is a great bit of engagement on behalf of the WWE, which highlights the fact that brands need to think outside the box and utilize all communication tools that are at their disposal. It could even end up saving them from going down for the proverbial ten count…
A Microsoft Canada survey conducted by Harris/Decima recently revealed that a large majority of Canadians believe business leaders need to take more intelligent risks, and Microsoft Canada President Eric Gales has made it his mission to engage Canada’s future and current business leaders and address this important trend.
The January 2011 survey polled senior and junior/mid-level Canadian and U.S. office workers to better understand their views about technology and innovation in the workplace. The results were clear: 84 per cent of Canadians believe business leaders need to take more risks to create innovation, while only 53 per cent of Canadians feel the company they work for is already driving innovation.
This is a topic Mr. Gales is very passionate about.
“Canadian business leaders must embrace an appetite for intelligent risk instead of shying away from it to stay within the comfort of status quo,” he says. “Now is the time to create organizational cultures where risk is not a dirty four-letter word, but is encouraged as a valuable ingredient in fueling learning, creativity and inspiring innovation.”
Starting with an event at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business, about two dozen students joined Eric Gales and DeGroote’s Dr. Benson Honig to discuss risk-taking in business.
The McMaster MBA students certainly had something to say about the state of Canada’s innovation and how risk plays a role. Check it out:
On March 31st, Microsoft Canada then hosted a media event where Mr. Gales, Peter Aceto, President and CEO of ING Direct Canada, and Dr. Honig, participated in a panel on the very same topic.
The lively exchange, which received coverage in the Financial Post, IT World Canada and IT Business, inspired all of us to take intelligent risks in both our personal and professional lives, but also encouraged Canada’s business leaders to lead the path by creating organizational cultures that encourage teams to take a chance on a great idea.