Who Drove More Social Media Influence in 2016?
2016 was the year of the influencer. The year in which traditional media was (excuse the phrasing) trumped in so convincing a fashion as to send pollsters and ad makers into hiding, witness protection, or the nearest therapist couch. Whether it be Brexit or the election of Donald Trump, no one in what should now be referred as “legacy advertising” saw this coming. And everyone on social media did….
Erin Pettigrew's superb piece in Medium showcased how Facebook was telling everyone that Mr. Trump was going to win the election. The chart above for Pettigrew’s article compares the interest level in the two candidates.
Look at the all-important Pennsylvania where Mrs. Clinton spent 22M on advertising (TV, Radio, Print, etc). The people interested in Mr. Trump were almost 5X those interested in Ms. Clinton (140K to 670K respectively)! I don’t call that an enthusiasm gap. I call it a chasm.
InGo sees the Pennsylvania phenomenon and Clintonesque denial when it comes to events, too. I was listening to a panel of event professionals and one large event marketing manager said he had spent 7 figures in advertising to grow their event in 2016, but did not have word of mouth/influencer marketing strategy. His event grew 1% and his revenue shrank! The world has changed, but its’ hard to see what’s in front on your face sometimes. Compare this to one of our customers, ADIPEC, who had a well-developed influencer strategy and became the largest Oil and Gas show in the world last year. Not surprising, as the folks at Daily Mail Group(DMG) have always been quick to see a trend and maximize it for their customer and readers. Faye Black from DMG post on the importance of referrals is a must read for all event professionals.
Given that Mr. Trump has been declared the King Influencer, we thought we’d have some end of year fun and challenge the US President Elect to a battle on his own turf, and ours, the field of influence. We had a good year and felt ready to enter the ring with the Master of Apprentices.
Round 1 – Audience
InGo is young, so we can’t match the years of celebrity exposure and press surrounding his run for President. Mr. Trump has 16M fans to InGo’s 1.5M users.
Round 2 - Engagement
Mr. Trump is a master namer for sure and can light up social media, but we edged him out when it comes to engagement as measured by total advocates/in over voters/attendees: 24.5%
Round 3 – Spreading the word
Much as we would like to win this bout, our 700 events and 1.5M users in 2016 can’t stand up to the passion of the 120M voters in a sea change election. Mr. Trump was retweeted over 20M to our just under 1M. InGo’s users were more passionate about their events than his voters (by the numbers), but we are not in the same weight class yet. However, given our growth rate and passion of our advocates, we’ll be more than ready for our rematch Mr. Trump in 2020! It’s going to be HUGE, Mr. President Elect.
Thanks to a great year to all InGo’s customers, partners, advisors, investors, and friends around the world. Looking forward to another year of giving the attendees and exhibitors a voice in making events great again. ;-)
Steve O’Keefe is a serial entrepreneur and has been COO of InGo since 2014.