the grass is greener on the internet

Size doesn’t matter, but numbers do
November 13, 2008, 12:37 pm
Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , ,

We’re finally getting some research into social media, hooray! Some more scientific than others.

First up, these tips on how to get followers on Twitter really made me realise how fixated we get on followers. Not the size of our impact, but how many followers we have.

How many times have you received Facebook friend requests from people you know but don’t talk to? Or from people you don’t know at all? It’s as if there’s a competition for the number of friends you have (one cousin has over 3000, and counting).

So how do you get Twitter followers? Always Be Linking. To random stuff people will click on. Repeat yourself. Follow people even if you don’t know them and aren’t interested in them. As many as possible. Attach yourself to popular people. Repeat yourself.

Sound like a familiar strategy?

Sounds a little bit like spam to me…

Speaking of spam, and size – check out this research paper from UCSD about the response rate for spam.

They’ve done a study on how many spam emails actually get read and how many actually lead to sales/computer infections. How? They actually extracted data from three existing spam bots running with a Storm worm.

The results are interesting. For your everyday ‘pharmaceutical’ (read: ‘give her a BIG surprise’) spam:

  • about 350 million emails were sent over 19 days
  • 76% were not delivered/blocked
  • 10,000 people visited the site promoted
  • only 28 actually made a purchase

That’s a conversion rate of 0.0000081%. (Yet it still apparently remains profitable enough…)

So, spam is not the way to go. Great example of HIGH AWARENESS, low influence.


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