WEB 2.0 SOCIAL MEDIA – CONNECT & ENGAGE

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If you’re managing your own Business, projects, portfolio or groups you need to know how the web is changing business and your competition.  Learning how to recognize and take advantage of network effects, collaborative innovation and online-offline sharing.

The Web has become so much more than technology, online users are no longer limited by how many things they can find, see, or download of the web, but rather by how many things they can do, interact, combine, remix, upload, change, and customize for themselves.  The internet has changed to an online DIY of self-Expression and collective user value of actively participating, social engaging, collaborative uploaders, contributors and creators of the web.

People Build Connections

Social Networks have made it possible for people to communicate and work together. Highly specialized and unusual pursuits find each other and build groups.  Individuals connected into groups with common goals and interests.

Think about it:

  • Google knows your Keyword search queries
  • Amazon knows your wish list
  • Flickr knows what photos you like
  • Facebook knows:

You’re Face
Photos of your friends
Your Personal created Profile
Evolution of your digital persona
Interactive social milieu

 

These recent developments build on the possibilities that online social networks have opened new business opportunities.  One person can help vast numbers of people without even knowing who they have helped.

 

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search

With Facebook Graph Search, Facebook is opening a new world of social discovery by unlocking the value of our likes, check-ins, photos, and more.

“Facebook is giving local pages an equal voice on the social graph. This means that local pages are every bit as important and likely to surface as a brand page. In particular, it means that mobile is elevating local pages to the same stature as brand pages because this is how consumers engage at the local level.”

It’s also important to think about how people use a social network.   In my view, Facebook isn’t a decision engine.  People use it to share personal experiences, and to check in on each other’s lives.   So the trick for brands on Facebook will be to double down on  local presences, and encourage sharing amongst their friends and customers, but to do so in a way that is fun, compelling and inherently social.

How:

1.       Offer your Facebook friends some real utility or entertainment when they become your brand’s fans on Facebook.  Special offers and early-bird alerts about new products or special sales are popular.   Curate and share interesting content to stay top-of-mind with your audience.

2.       Strengthen local ties by partnering with local charities or civic groups, and (of course) using Facebook to solicit ideas, feedback, involvement and support.    Done well, this will increase visibility within your geographic footprint.

3.       Create compelling content opportunities for your brand’s fans, by setting up real-life opportunities.  Everyone’s armed with a cell phone.  Get creative with displays – people take and share photos of thing that have a ‘wow’ factor.  Create other opportunities for people to take pictures and share them on Facebook.  And while you’re at it, don’t forget to take and share pictures the brand’s page as well.

4.       If your brand has physical locations, cultivate your foursquare presence by offering check-in specials and a nice deal for your “mayor.”    Foursquare users often share their activity on Facebook.  Just be sure that on-site staff are trained and are aware of fulfilling check-in deals.

As is always the case when developing strategies for social networks, it’s important to put your audience first.  Spend some time looking at your fans behavior  noticing what sort of content they really seem to like and share.  You can also go into your Facebook Insights dashboard for your brand page, and look at “post level” data.  This data actually reveals which posts on your wall generated the most interaction.   Use that information to inform the type of content you post in the future, and keep building on what content is most successful (and appreciated by your Fans,) because those interactions are the ultimate drivers of a brand’s success on Facebook.

 

How little things can make a big difference

Knowing the types of social linkage and how linkage works in the realm of social networking and social media propagation.  There are three main types each one having a knock on benefit in linkage.

Social Media Linkage

Social Media Linkage

  • Connectors – are the social glue who know and want to introduce you to everyone “you should know” whether for career networking or match making.
  • Mavens – are the “Information Brokers” who can’t wait to tell you about best deals and give advice on where to stay and what to buy.
  • Salesperson – are “Evangelists” who get you to act and convince you to buy.

Online Social Networking is much like offline networking; social skills you know from business real world are still applicable and can be used through social media ethics.  It’s not a replacement for face to face conversation but it does change the geographic communication boundaries.

Online is now a smaller world, people get their first impressions from online rather than offline encounters. Your Social online posture, brand and impression can help or change the tipping of word of mouth epidemic in the online world. But also the availability of personal content uploaded online and the speed of connecting online to someone who you don’t know but want to be linked to or get a message to.

 

Six degrees of separation – Social Media

Built on Trust – “A friend of yours is a friend of mine” you know your friend directly and he wouldn’t introduce you to someone he didn’t trust or think highly of online or offline.

 

Degrees of Separation

Degrees of Separation

2 degrees            Friend of A Friend

20 X 20 = 400  – Possible new Likes range

 

3 degrees            Friend of a Friend of a Friend

20 X 20 X 20 =  – 8,000 Possible new  likes range

 

4 degrees           20 X 20 X 20 X 20 = 160,000  – Possible new Likes range

137,180 – is the more reasonable statistic of 4 degrees of possible likes range

 

“There Is No Such Thing As Strangers, Just Friends You Haven’t Met Yet”

 

The argument is, everyone is linked to each other whether it be via friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, one way or another, you are 6 people away from knowing someone. But new research has said that it may now be nearly half that at only 3.74 degrees (how you get .74 of a human being I’m not quite sure…).

If you didn’t the world was a small enough place already, Facebook and social media are making it even smaller. It’s so easy to sit on your bed, login to the internet and surf social  networking sites, following anyone you like on Twitter, accept friend requests and starting conversations.

Obviously, there are people who will add and follow anyone, whether they know them or not so these new findings are not fool proof. It’s the same as if you bump into someone in the street, yes you have connected but no you wouldn’t know them to be a link in their chain. Social media makes it easier to connect but not necessarily know, love or care about the people you connect with so this idea should be taken with a pinch of salt.

However, it’s beyond dispute that social networks can make it easier to make friends so maybe there is a chance you may well be connected to the person sat opposite you in the coffee shop…

Social Networking focuses on capturing what users have – acquaintances and creating a forum that can be shared and expanded allowing directories to add content and comments.  This allows support to create new kinds of contact between users, drawing in more people on the bases of the same relatively small amount of information.

Getting user’s to like your Facebook site and creating engaging content that will hopefully be shared on the users timeline to attract friends of friends to join up for your service or business.

Social Influence drives growth

Begin a little at a time, bridging rather than disrupting the old business order work flow. Incorporating new social media habits into available time, starting off slowly 15 minutes every 2nd day, 1 small blog post, several twitter linked posts, Facebook content updates.  Building it up bit by bit eventually building a wall of content which scatters a broad range for Google searches

Transform your business by examining specific practices for integrating Social Web Media. Listening to users and adapt or alter your business model. do research on when and where are your key target audience on line, what communities are they interested in, what trends in engaging articles and content that are capturing audiences. look at the the business goals and create a social media policy where both can be measured for Key Performance Indicators and allow for adjustment in key areas in content engagement for customer attraction and retention.

when users find it  easy to connect and open up to others, they become increasingly  comfortable uploading and sharing self-generated content.  frequent interaction builds community, trust and self-policing norms in turn creating a positive network effect of engaging Social Media. Now with Facebook Graph Search the key is focusing on  local presences, and encourage sharing amongst friends and customers, but to do so in a way that is fun, compelling and inherently social.

 


One Response to “WEB 2.0 SOCIAL MEDIA – CONNECT & ENGAGE”

  1. Eileen says:

    Great post Nelson !