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#TBT: A Brand And Person Offer The Same Post With Very Different Results

By Jason Falls

Quaker's Post

#TBT: This

As of yesterday, that post garnered 165 likes, 18 comments (not including 11 of their own) and two shares.

I was one of those shares. That same day, I posted this

As of yesterday, that post earned one like, 38 comments (not including one from me) and zero shares.

Before the hippies go nuts (nay, granola) saying Quaker’s metrics were better, consider this:

  1. Both Quaker and I asked a question
  2. Personal content is less likely to be Liked or Shared if it’s an engagement piece (a question). The call-to-action is to answer the question, which xx people did.
  3. Quaker’s Facebook audience is 1,187,000+ people. Mine is 1,800 (friends) plus 2,700 followers — oughly 0.004 percent of theirs.

Looking at the metric the post was trying to elicit — comments — the personal posts wins. And would likely win every time, especially when you take into account the size of the audience.

Why is this so?

First, look at the posts. If you saw something in your feed posted by Quaker, you might look at it, like it and move on. If you saw the same thing posted by a human being and friend of yours (because they Shared Quaker’s original post), you’re going to pay more attention to it. Your trusted friend/connection has recommended you pay attention to this content.

How else could one (admittedly well-followed) human being out-perform a million-plus person audience brand?

And don’t get me wrong — I love what Quaker does. This isn’t about them doing anything wrong. It’s about the limitations of even a great, engaging brand compared to interactions with people, not companies or buildings.

It’s about trust. We trust humans more than we trust logos. Even if they have a cute name. (Quaker’s is Larry The Quaker Guy. Git ‘er done. Heh.)

This is why I feel strongly that the Facebook share, and more widely stated, loyalty and reward program that encourage brand advocacy and ambassadorship are where marketers need to focus their attention in the coming months or even years.

If the social media platforms are going to make us pay to play … and Facebook won’t be the last to do so … then organic reach is only going to be accomplished at meaningful levels by our most passionate fans.

Agree? Disagree? Wish to complain about me calling you a hippie? The comments are yours.

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