I was fortunate to recently attend the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York. It was easily as entertaining as it was insightful, highlighted by the highly-charged interviewing style of TechCrunch’s founder, Mike Arrington. His especially memorable conversation with Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz gave the Google-loyal audience a thrill when Arrington prodded her to conclude the interview with a spirited expletive directed at him. Tracks by indie-pop artists like Miike Snow maintained a young, hip vibe during session intermissions. Plentiful fresh fruit, ice cream, and Red Bull kept attendees happy and awake.
Underneath the distractions lay an impressive list of speakers and panelists. Some endured the Bartz treatment, but most were permitted to opine unobstructed and it was quite a treat. Between techies like Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, Napster founder Sean Parker, Google evangelist Don Dodge, and investors like Ron Conway, Ben Horowitz, and Fred Wilson were inserted Troy Carter and Scooter Braun. These two discovered and manage Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, respectfully. I certainly was confused by their presence at Disrupt and was a bit annoyed that even a techfest like Disrupt wasn’t far enough away from the influence of the two pop stars.
Carter and Braun, however, captivated the audience by reinforcing an obvious but very important message. As both unnecessarily introduced the artist they each represent, it became clear how crucial a role social media has played in the advancement of their clients’ careers. Both artists cause a staggering amount of the daily traffic on both Twitter and YouTube. Braun explained how his client’s discovery and success has solely YouTube (and his mom) to thank. Both artists continue to rely heavily upon these two outlets for their career advancement.
Though they are not alone in owing their success to social media outlets the unusual magnitude of their success highlights the ability of social media to catapult a business. Neither Lady Gaga nor Bieber, in seed stage, needed to track their social media metrics to capitalize on their brands. Their brands were powerful enough to evoke all the necessary attention to go big. Your company however may not be the next Google, Gaga, or Bieber.
If that’s the case, like most of us, you’ll have to carefully and efficiently allocate and focus your resources to ensure maximum positive web exposure. Most of us are not social media statisticians nor do we have much spare time. Fortunately, data visualization tools now exist to very simply show us the metrics we want to see as well as those that we never knew we wanted to see. For the first time we can easily see how external conditions affect internal conditions and vice-versa. With investment dollars in short supply, it pays to use tools that make expanding your company more efficient and more affordable.