Settling Wagers the Social Media Way

So what happens when a bunch of social-media-savvy basketball fans decide to place a friendly wager on the NBA Finals?

For the Lakers, victory has never been harder -- or sweeter (courtesy of the LA Times)

First, Twitter was used to solicit participants and to talk ‘smack':

Talking Smack on Twitter

Then, the wager was documented in a post on Aaron Strout’s Big Papelbon blog:

Wager Proposal on the Big Papelbon Blog

And finally, the loser pays off in a social media manner which is probably more painful than paying out of cold, hard cash.

With that, here are the new avatars from the Celtics fans who ended up on the losing side of the wager (and documented in my blog too of course).  Please feel free to let Aaron, Adam, Kyle, and Jim that you love their new temporarary Twitter avatars.  And Jamie, when are we going to see your new avatar?

@aaronstrout on Twitter

@adamcohen on Twitter

@kyleflaherty on Twitter

@jimstorer on Twitter

This settles the score for me, since I was on the losing side of 2 wagers in 2007/2008 when the Red Sox defeated the Angels in the 2007 American League Divisional Playoffs and the Celtics defeated the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals.  So, I am definitely savoring this sweet victory.  And thanks to my fellow Laker Fans in this wager – Liz, Jason and Bennett – where should we celebrate our victory?

June 21, 2010 Update – Jamie ‘finally’ updated his avatar over the weekend and is begging to be added to the Humiliation Wall of Shame.  And just in time for the Lakers Victory Parade in downtown LA this morning too!

@JPunishill on Twitter

Social Media ROI Is Like An Oreo Cookie

While watching Olivier Blanchard‘s great presentation about Social Media ROI that I ‘discovered’ on Mashable this week, I had a revelation.

Social Media ROI is like an Oreo Cookie!

It would be hard to find anyone who hasn’t taken apart an Oreo cookie to eat the frosting.  Some people claim that the middle of an Oreo is the best while others claim that there are no calories in the frosting which means that it doesn’t really matter.  In any case, one of the slides in Oliver’s presentation resonated with me and it made me think of Oreo cookies.

There are a lot of activities that people quantify and measure when looking at the ROI of an investment – but the only 2 ones that matter are the Investment Impact and the Financial Impact.  The investment relates to the limited resources of  people, technology and time for the activity, and the financial impact relates to increased revenues or decreased costs.

Social Media ROI is Like An Oreo Cookie

Social Media ROI is Like An Oreo Cookie (loosely borrowed idea from Oliver Blanchard and Nabisco)

In other words, the Investment and Financial Impacts are the cookie outsides and the non-financial action is the stuff in the middle.  And just like an Oreo cookie, the stuff in the middle doesn’t really matter.  At least it doesn’t matter from in a return or investment sense.  Web visitors, impressions, customer complaints, positive reviews, blog posts, click-throughs, emails, Twitter followers, blog comments, etc. do not translate directly into quantifiable revenues until those actions convert into incremental sales or confirmed cost reductions.  The non-financial impacts are predictors of success, but they are not success in and of themselves.

When it comes down to it, the only things that matter is how much did you spend and how much did you make.

Most importantly, Olivier says to:

  • Establish a baseline – so you can measure the changes from
  • Create activity timelines – so you can correlate specific actions to
  • Analyze sales revenue along several dimensions – in terms of Frequency, Reach and Yield or F.R.Y. (transactions per month, net new customers, $ amount per transaction)

With that introduction, I give you Olivier Blanchard’s Basics of Social Media ROI presentation from Slideshare which he originally presented at the Social Fresh Conference in August 2009.  He uses images from the 1970’s British television show, UFO Series, which makes for an interesting and amusing presentation:

You can also follow Olivier on Twitter at @theBrandBuilder.

Speaking of ROI, Maddie Grant summarized 6 other blog posts on Social Media ROI in Social Media Today this week.  Here are repeats of her links:

  1. NTEN – The Three Dimensions of Social Media ROI
  2. The BrandBuilder Blog by Olivier Blanchard – Defining Social Media ROI once and for all, and understanding the action-reactive-return narrative
  3. Adam Cohen (A Thousand Cuts) – The Basics of Social Media ROI
  4. Social Computing Journal – Measuring Social Media ROI: Does size matter?
  5. BrandSavant – What’s Wrong With Social Media Marketing Strategy
  6. Jacob Morgan – The Importance of a Social Media ROI Diagnostic