Complexity in simplicity, it is amazing how efficiently everything works around us. I find great satisfaction in the natural order of things. Like water finding its natural level, social networks have become the great leveller of hype and propaganda driven by PR and Marketing firms. This large statement is deserving of explanation. Simply put, for as long as can be remembered advertisers have, with great determination, attempted to sway public opinion. This was done with significant success largely due to a monopoly on the channels of communication. That is, all major methods of communicating on a mass scale where controlled by those that could afford it. E.g. newspapers, television, radio and film. Internet revolution! Social Networks come alive! Consumers direct the brand! The rules have changed forever. In the following diagram I will outline in simple terms the new path for business ideas to grow in Social Network spaces.
1. The seed – businesses today have a great opportunity to provide input into the social network spaces. With resources and reach that are beyond most individuals there is a social obligation to foster ideas and provide content for discussion.
2. Fertile soil – when placing content it is important to locate it in areas where it has a chance to take hold. With the ease of finding information and well developed social networks around topics there is little sense in putting all things everywhere. That is, be selective where you seed your information. Placing information in inappropriate places makes it at best irrelevant and possibly seen as spam.
3. Nurture – good content delivered honestly and consistently will allow the conversation to take hold and build an audience that is interested and engaged.
4. Growth – an engaged audience that has good quality content will nurture it. Through word of mouth and adding their own content they can turn a small seed of an idea into an apple orchard of knowledge.
5. Harvest the rewards – Good work delivers good rewards. A properly managed campaign provides benefits to everyone. Consumers are rewarded with an opportunity to add value through their participation and. Businesses benefit by gaining valuable consumer feedback, loyalty and, hopefully, increased revenue.
In the coming weeks this space will provide a deeper understanding on this shift from business driven to consumer driven and how this impacts the way the two interact and respond to each other.