Since I am a bit of a data junky, this story peaked my interest. As co-founder of Heardable a brand strategist for Heardable, I've been advising clients for years on how to utilize marketing data to better understand how well one's brand is performing online against competitors. Social velocity, in particular, is a sector of digital marketing clients often asked for help on since social networks are a hotbed for consumer opinions, trends, and behaviors that if not carefully monitored, can really rise up quickly and surprise a marketer.
Business performance specialist, John Smolucha, published a blog post titled, Business Velocity: a Newtonian Perspective, in which he shows readers how to calculate a company's performance in quantitative terms, according to an equation that computes business velocity.
John writes: "Businesses exist to make a profit. Profit is defined as revenue minus expense. If we equate the concept of top-line business revenue (r) to distance (d) in mechanics, we can propose a reasonably valid way to define business velocity in quantitative terms. What we’re suggesting is to define business velocity (Vb) as the ratio of change in top-line revenue (r) per change in unit time (t).
Vb = ∆r / ∆t
Vb (avg) = r2 – r1 / t2 – t1
Notice that our proposed definition also provides us with a system of units. If our unit of revenue is 1 dollar, and our unit of time is 1 hour, the unit of business velocity is 1 dollar per hour (1 dph). Stated simply, a revenue increase of $60 in a period of 1 hour equals a business velocity of $60 per hour."
Using John's equation, here's how you could calculate a brand's Facebook velocity.
If our unit of likes is 1 like, and our unit of time is 1 day, the unit of Facebook velocity is 1 like per day (1 lpd). Stated simply, an increase of 100 likes in a period of 1 day equals a Facebook velocity of 100 likes per day.
Vf (avg) = l2 – l1 / t2 – t1
Understanding the velocity of your competitors in various digital sectors could provide a marketer the strategic upper hand to make better informed decisions faster than those without access to this type of data.
For example, let's say that Competitor X has 98,500 Facebook likes as of today compared to your brand's 102,800 likes. You document these as initial baseline metrics. Ninety days later, you now see that Competitor X has 188,250 likes to your 113,400 likes.
VfCompetitorX = (188,250 likes – 98,500 likes) / (90 * 3) ≈ 332 lpd.
VfYourBrand = (113,400 likes – 102,800 likes) / (90 * 3) ≈ 39 lpd.
In this instance, the Facebook like velocity of CompetitorX is 751x greater than your brand's over a 3 month period of time, which is a huge difference!
If Facebook was an important marketing channel for your business, you'd be in a position to share this knowledge with your management team, secure additional marketing $'s for your social campaigns, realign the duties of your staff, and even retool your Facebook campaigns so help you better achieve your goals.