I am all about experiments. Most of my experiments fall flat on my face resetting my ego and sometimes fixing my self-esteem too. Sometimes the experiment works. This was one of those times that it worked. I am sharing it in the hopes that some of you will take advantage of the learnings from here.
The Trigger was the Instagram Sale
I am sure this is no longer news. A “little” app company called Instagram was acquired by Facebook for a whopping $1B. For all practical purposes, we can assume that this was an exception and move on. However, I was curious enough to do my own little experiment to find out why more than a billion dollars were given to Instagram.
One approach to do the research was to find out what everyone was saying about this deal and make my own interpretations and draw my own conclusions.
I chose the other approach. I thought Instagram is all about photos and that is their core offering – making it easy, cool and sexy to share photos. Facebook users love photos. But how much do they love photos? Do they just love photos or information presented visually?
The Simple Experiment
My experiment was simple. For the last three weeks, I posted about 100 photos on my Facebook fan page. Now, mind you – I have around 1390 fans so it’s not a big number yet. My reach per week on the fan page was around 1600. It was 1619 to be precise. I didn’t choose photos but instead started sharing something called “slides of wisdom” – nuggets of wisdom in the form of a slide/poster.
I posted one “slide of wisdom” on my fan page and shared the same on my timeline. From what I have observed there are about 25% of my friends online anytime – day or night. So the total exposure was a few hundred people depending on where Facebook decides to show the photo I shared.
I also shared some of the photos on a few groups I belong to on Facebook.
For about six photos (out of about hundred) I used the promote feature on Facebook fan page to extend the distribution.
Last week, the reach through my Facebook fan page was 36,000+ That’s a big change from a reach of 1,1619 to 36,000+ in a matter of four weeks.
The real benefit was beyond the numbers – what it helped me achieve as part of this experiment was packaging the slides of wisdom. It was a long pending project that would have continued to be pending if I had not engaged in this experiment.
So, it was a double-win for me.
Visual sharing works brilliantly!
Mystery solved in my own way.
While I have not analyzed all the reasons that lead to the huge valuation placed on Instagram, it is clear to me that the best way to add and get value on Facebook is by sharing information visually.
As the old saying goes, when in Rome, do as Romans do. In other words, when you are on Facebook, share visually.