Today's blog post comes to you from our Business Development Manager, Craig Carter, who had a little fun speculating about Lance Armstrong and Facebook. I thought it was pretty amusing, so here goes…

for the Facts and Figures charted below, all statements are pure speculation
and have not been confirmed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.)

What do Lance Armstrong and Facebook have in common?

The short
answer is they have both given their teammates Performance Enhancing Drugs
(PEDs).   Now before you go running off
to the mountain top, screaming that Mark Zuckerberg is peddling concentration
steroids to his coders, let me explain. 
Large brand pages and Facebook are all on the same team.  In one way or the other, they are working
together to improve marketing performance, brand image, and make a profit.   So WHEN, HOW, and WHY did Facebook, not only
begin to give brands PEDs, but dare I say, try to get them addicted?

It all
started around June 6 (conveniently after the FB stock price declined 30
percent in 20 days) when all engagement metrics on large brands and company
pages started to track upwards faster than the Cliffhangers Game on “The Price is Right.” 


I am sure
this is partly because of some great new content, more posts, insights from
Facebook Ninjas/Gurus/Rock Stars, and increased ad spending on Facebook, but
more so, Facebook hooked up the engagement IV to all its pages and started
pumping them full of likes, comments, and shares. Just imagine Lance secretly
giving his racing team wondrous enhancers, and then the team started winning!

Ahh the
glory days!  Little did brands know
Facebook was giving them a PED better than Michael Jordan’s Special Stuff in Space Jam

As Social Rock Stars became the one direction of the office, Facebook
took the hit as their stock “plummeted.” 
I even heard rumors that “Zuck” was selling his couches on Craigslist to
pay for dinner.  But just as Lance was
the genius behind the doping of his many Tour de France wins, Facebook had a
plan—give away marketing, get brands hooked on engagement, and then slowly stop
trickling the drug through the IV. 


happened next … just ask any local drug dealer
Give away the drug, get ’em addicted, then start charging for it.  Low and behold, right around the time when
massive free engagement stopped, Facebook’s stock value started going up!  I feel this really started happening around mid-November—actually
after the Facebook pundits started yelling from the rooftops about EdgeRank changes.  

As we are
now over a month into 2013, it will be interesting to see what happens with
these two pieces of data.  All I can say
is ask Lance Armstrong or Barry Bonds if PEDs are just like Pringles, “Once you
pop, you can’t stop.”  Meaning these
brands are going to be pulling out their pocketbooks to get back to their
former glory. 

Data Note: All
data presented came from Polygraph Media’s Facebook Data Analytics Engine. The
62,682 posts analyzed were from 125 large brand and company pages from Jan 1,
2012, to Jan 28, 2013.  In order to
remove outliers and smooth the data, I removed 599 posts for being 3-standard
deviations greater than average and opted to use a 7-day rolling average of the
total likes received on all the pages. Give me a shout if you want to see some
of this data and analysis first hand!