Fan Wars: David Guy And The Phantom Menace
David Guy, CEO of Louddoor, and breakfast sponsor starting off Day Two of the Social Media Insider Summit on Captiva Island, is making a pitch, but he’s also raising an important issue, which
is that there’s way too much “focus on phantom metrics.” You know, “fans,” “likes,” and the like. Specifically, he’s talking about the obsession among
brands, agencies and social media consultants who are consumed with scaling those numbers without quite understanding what they mean in terms of the value for a brand.
In fact, Guy said the “genius of Facebook” was to dub consumers “fans,” because it is a relatively vague descriptor that generally means something positive, but which probably lacks any specific meaning. He noted that he’s still a fan of his original baseball team, but that’s a very different kind of fandom than the kind he might have when he likes a brand page on Facebook.
That, he said, was the reason for launching Louddoor, which he calls a “research and targeting platform” for drilling into those Facebook fans and understanding what they also represent for a brand. The logic is sound. Basically, Louddor recruits an ongoing panel of Facebook users who provide self-reported data about themselves, and how they perceive the brands they like, and are influenced by the brand pages they use.
To date, Louddoor has recruited hundreds of thousands of Facebook users of more than 15,000 brand pages into its panel, and he says they are sampling them every month about their brand and brand page perceptions.
If I had one issue with Louddoor’s model, it’s that it treats social media -- and Facebook in particular -- in a vacuum. From what I could gather, none of the research asks consumers how much their Facebook brand fanning represents of their total brand communications (you know, media, advertising, marketing, and non-social word-of-mouth).