2013 NCWIT Summit – Flashtalk, “Social Media for Change Leaders” by Herb Morreale

[bright music]

JEFFREY FORBES: Our last speaker is Herb Morreale who is the CEO of 6kites, an Entrepreneurial Alliant member company. Give him a round of applause for that, [applause] who’s going to be speaking about the 1:9:90 rule of social media.

HERB MORREALE: Alright Seth, I don’t have Rocky music, but I’ve got Jonny Quest. [laughter] So I’ve been on a quest since 2008 to figure out whether a simple concept could affect how you do strategy in online communities, both internal and on Facebook. It’s called the 1-9-90. Very simply, within a population you can predict that one percent will add content, nine percent will comment, and 90% will be lurkers. So if you think about Facebook, and any other online community, it’s basically people sharing, and connecting with each other. And there are patterns in how this happens. If you can influence it then you can make this community do things. So I went on to a quest at TeleTech. TeleTech is a global call center company. At the time there was 70,000 employees looking for a big problem to solve on my quest. And that problem turned out to be a thing called after call work, and it’s the time from when the agent hangs up the phone, takes their notes and gets onto the next call. Very expensive time. So we tried to shorten that. And we created a community. And I influenced those ones, and I got the nines to comment, and all the lurkers watched this all happen, and then we turned it into videos. And we saw a 50% reduction in after call work. That was $500,000 worth of return on investment in a matter of weeks, literally. So I’m feelin’ pretty good. So we went on to do some other things. It all was great. But now I had to go conquer the big gorilla. Facebook. So we looked at Facebook. And we went into the API, and we built an application that crawled Facebook pages, looking for patterns. Could we see the 1:9:90 rule playing out where a few people influencing a very large group. And I saw some interesting stuff. So I hooked up with my friend, who is the e-commerce at Crocs, or VP of e-commerce at Crocs. And I said, let’s go study this stuff. So he said, well let’s look at Crocs, and Uggs, and Nike. And we actually did Adidas too, but I didn’t put their shoe up here. And we began to see patterns in who was influencing who. And in fact, some of the numbers that we have, interestingly at the time, was there was about 6,000,000 at Nike. You can see how they were dominating the population. And because they’re a large population, they create a lot of activity. Well that’s not very interesting, ’cause it doesn’t help me with 1:9:90, all it tells me is they’re acting. So we have to look at engagement. Engagement is a percentage of that population that takes an action, so I’m looking at how many. Are there one in nine? Did we get 10%, no. We actually got .63% of the entire population we measured taking some kind of action, influencing, hmm, 99% of the people. So now we have one percent of the people influencing 99% of the people, when we talk about it on a larger scale. Which is why only one percent of the people matter at all when you’re trying to influence the group. But then you had to think, well that’s a very, very small percentage of the population. How can we influence them even more. Let’s use photos. So it’s common knowledge that photos drive more engagement on Facebook and internally even. However 8.5 times more is a really big number. So the next place on the journey was at Forest Oil. So this is a client that we work with, and they’re an oil and gas company. And they have some business in the Eagle Ford area, which is the second largest oil shale play in the United States right now. We wanted to influence people. Very specifically, in specific zip codes there. Those are, he’s a lurker, and a land owner. And so we found out that the photos that had the highest level of engagement were photos with sunsets. We took months to figure that out. We posted them, and then we directed them right at land owners. Now Facebook does these kind of funky things. They actually make you pay to reach those lurkers after a while. You only can cap out at about 30% if you’re lucky. So then we pay them and we get to reach more lurkers through those photos, and those are the land owners. So now, most of you aren’t in marketing, and don’t really probably care about Facebook too much for these kind of things. But you do have internal collaboration, and communities where people are sharing information. And so you can take all these same things and apply it internally. So, hmm, you always have to have a dog. Dogs make you cooler if you’re Jonny Quest. So you put all this together. And you realize that one percent of the people are impacting all of the others. And it’s all the others that do most of the work. So now real quick we’re gonna have some fun. And at the end of this Flash Talk, how many people have a birthday in May? Okay, a little less than 10% of you. Now only 10% of the rest of you clap. We’re gonna like you. We like you. 10%, come on, try it, see. [clapping] Alright, you just commented. But all of you were lurking. Most of you were lurking. See, it’s a very simple thing. I ask a question, a couple people do this. [claps hands] And everybody else figures out what’s going on. And you learned who’s birthday it was, if they raised their hand high enough. So anyways, it’s just a fun little example. The lurkers are the people who matter in the 1:9:90. And if you can influence a community, the ones and the nines, or rather the point one and the point nine. The lurkers will be absorbing that information. You can do that for NCWIT issues, you can do it within your business. Thank you for listening. You can actually reach me at Jonny Quest, at 6kites, [laughter]` thank you. [applause]

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