The Refrigerator Effect (Part 1)
Hello! And welcome to Part 1 of a three-part blog series that introduces an emerging social/mobile trend I refer to as “The Refrigerator Effect.” In part one, we’ll discuss the origins of this new behavior pattern and identify the obstacles and pain points this evolving trend has the potential to solve.
Part 2 focuses on a new model for user engagement built around the primary characteristics of the Refrigerator Effect and how you can use these insights to create and structure more effective digital brand campaigns. And lastly, in Part 3 we’ll bring it all together and fully reveal why this trend has the ability to completely revolutionize the way you use social media to activate your fans, followers and audiences.
Here at Mowgli, we’ve learned a lot through our Facebook game Songster and our accompanying analysis of mobile/social behaviors. Amidst everyone’s quest to more effectively activate their fans through social media, we have uncovered a powerful yet little discussed trend: “The Refrigerator Effect.”
To understand the origins of this Effect, let’s start with a very brief history of the world. Well, at least as it relates to the technology and communication revolution. Not only do we hold the computing power that sent man to the moon in the palm of our hand today, but there is more information floating around in one day than all of history up to 2013. According to Mashable, 1.8 zettabytes were created and replicated last year. If you’re like me and have no idea what a zettabyte is, it’s 1 billion terabytes. Also known as infinity + 1.
We’ve come a long way since Al Gore decided he created the Internet. From the first wave of websites, to Web 2.0, to social media, things are only progressing faster and faster. And as the Internet has matured, so have its users.This dramatic explosion of technology and communication has created a global platform where everyone can talk with anyone about anything at any time. And what started as anonymous randomness has become identified self-expression.
Not shockingly, brands have seen the power of this massive, global force that has forever altered the very fabric of our lives. So they jumped in to create a $62 billion market of digital advertising. With a revolution like this and $62 billion at play, I pretty much expected brands would have us soaring through the air in flying cars, placing products in our dreams via awesome dream recording machines, and turning all of us into the rock stars and celebrities we always knew we were meant to be. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, brands jumped into the digital world the only way they know how – with what they’d been doing for decades before. Print ads became banner ads. Commercials found their way into internet radio and video sharing. And physical mailing lists become email lists, which become Facebook likes and Twitter followers. And after the great arms race to stockpile as many likes and followers as they could, brands have found themselves wondering the same thing they wondered 40 years ago with a pile of residential addresses… what the hell do we do with all these people?
And let’s be honest, less than 5% of anyone’s fan base will ever even “see” a post, let alone act on it, which only 0.03% of fans do (i.e. liking, commenting, retweeting, etc.). So despite this great revolution, not much changed. In the digital campaign world, mind-boggling technology + instant global connectivity + amplified self-expression + gazillions of dollars = “take a picture of a cat and tweet it.”
I’m hoping this saddens you as much as it does me. We’ve become so obsessed with amassing likes and comments, that we have gone so far as to sacrifice our own integrity in what we post.
Marshall is an experienced entrepreneur with a background in music, technology, and law. He earned a JD from the University...