From The Social Media Bible by Lon Safko and David K. Brake
- Social media is all about enabling conversations.
- You cannot control conversations, but you can influence them.
- Influence is the bedrock upon which all economically viable relationships are built.
Social Media refers to activities, practices, and behaviors among communities of people who gather online to share information, knowledge, and opinions using conversational media. Conversational media are Web-based applications that make it possible to create and easily transmit content in the form of words, pictures, videos, and audios.
Social media is a disruptive factor for many organizations.
A trusted network is a group of like-minded people who have come together in a common place to share thoughts, ideas, and information about themselves… These social networks develop the trust that ultimately creates influence among your consumers.
(Dr. Robin I. M. Dunbar) proposed that the cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one person can maintain stable social relationships was 150. These are relationships where individuals know whom each person is, and how each person related to every other person. The size of a typical social network is constrained to about 150 members due to possible limits in the capacity of the human communication channel.
However, through the use of social media tools and social networking, this number has grown to maybe many hundreds. And by linking your network to each of your contracts’ networks, your effective number of usable contacts can be in the millions.
The Five Ways that Content Engages People
Once you have created the content, there are only five behaviors that people will exhibit toward that content, and they may exhibit more than one of these at different times.
- They will willingly become coproducers or content contributors. This is what UGC is all about. There really isn’t a better way to engage people than to give them a stakeholder notion.
- They will comment on content that you or someone else in the community has created. Their comments may serve to endorse or promote your content, or they may function as detractors.
- They will refer your content to friends or colleagues. This behavior has viral value, but once again it may be done in a positive or negative tone.
- They will simply read your content. Not a bad thing by any means.
- They will ignore your content.
Your goal should be to motivate your audience to engage in behaviors one, two, and three as positively as possible.
The most important rule in all marketing is the question of “WIIFM”: “What’s In It For Me?” If you don’t clearly and quickly convey the WIIFM in every marketing message, e-mail, and communications you have with your customers, then your work will be ineffective.
Within the first second of reading, your message has to convey a strong enough WIIFM message to keep your customer engaged – and has to do so in 5 seconds or less.