As the social economy swells and continues to flourish, many of us are abandoning the forums and systems where businesses held the illusion of control in favor of communities where we dictate the level of value we give and take.
As we know, the rise of social media resembled a global celebration of freedom and empowerment. It is rooted in relationships, the dynamic interaction and collaboration between real people. We learned and continue to learn how to communicate in public forums, evolving our personal views on privacy and uncertainty as we transform from digital introverts to social extroverts.
As social media users, we’re now joining and creating our own communities online where we create, shape, and steer attention democracies. And we’re no longer limiting relationships to friends, family and associates. As our comfort and interaction increase in social networks, the relationships we forge within each reflect our interests and aspirations.
With the growth of social media technologies on the Web, more and more companies are starting to think about their presence in the social media environment. While the technology to connect buyers and sellers on the social Web is universal, the architecture for true engagement is antiquated. Customers are flocking to the social web to not only connect with friends, family, and peers, but also to the brands that attract their attention.
However, still, there is a tremendous disconnect between the volume of potential customers and the brands/companies who truly understand how to find and how to establish mutually beneficial connections with them.
Too many times I see companies who try to “jump into” social media by being everywhere at once. What they don’t seem to realize is that although it’s nice to have positive sentiment, but what YOU say about your company is not nearly as important as what OTHERS say about you.
In his recent article, Jeremiah put together a rings of influences framework toward indicators that can help a company advanced in the social space.
In regarding to the benefits by using all the rings in a coordinated fashion. Jeremiah has broken down the roles into subsets in the above matrix, and he has listed down some key baseline considerations as your deploy:
* Recognize that greater opportunity is abound at outer rings – but comes with increased risk. Brands are most comfortable operation in the inside rings, like ‘Corporate’. Yet the greatest opportunity to leverage trust and reach happens at the outer rings of influence with ‘Customers’ and ‘Prospects’. Of course, with a greater benefit comes greater risk as there’s less control over conversations on the outer rings.
* Map the rings to your existing customer experience timeline. These rings aren’t unlike traditional marketing funnels, except that there’s a focus on role and trust, over cycle. In most cases, prospects are in the outer mouth of a funnel, but customers, employees, and corporate can also participate in every step of the marketing funnel. Analyze which roles are needed in what aspects of the customer timeline –and map your strategy accordingly.
* Analyze your existing social marketing programs. From Facebook, community, Twitter, to Gowalla, brands must take inventory of each of their existing social programs. Pull out a spreadsheet and map which each of your social media programs are doing, look at both: 1) Which ring is the primary publisher, 2) Which ring are they trying to reach.
* Be pragmatic, and develop a roadmap: start with smallest ring and move out. Don’t jump on the largest ring of prospects without first getting grounded. Start at the inner circle and work your way out, by building a foundation at the core and building on success and safety in experience. Companies that try to address prospects but lack the internal resources and ethos to deliver may find themselves offering false promises. Continuing read the entire article here …
These rings should never be seem as a single approach, in fact, they are inter related and one ring should be used to influence another ring. But each ring does requires a different approach before you put them together.
Just start small, build your reputation and then let your brand advocates spread the word to your prospects.
And remember: “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” – Sun Tzu