All Things Social

Mike Pascucci

Word of Mouth vs. 1-Many

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I attended the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference last week and had a great time meeting Social experts and attending sessions to learn more about the latest and greatest concepts and ideas around Social media. While I was on the trade show floor manning our booth for most of the initial 3 days, I was able to attend a couple of sessions. On Saturday morning I attended a session that was hosted by Erik Qualman, who wrote the book Socialnomics and also created a great video that really puts Social Media into perspective.

His "Book Reading" session focused on his book and the video above, but he did mention something that really struck home with me.

In the past, people were focused on Word-of-Mouth - people were talking about you, telling their friends about your brand. Before you know it, a lot of people are talking about you, your product, your service, whatever it may be. But as a brand, you did not know what they were saying, or if the message was consistent. Erik compared this to the game of telephone. If you create a message and tell it to the 1st person, odds are that by the time that it reaches the 5th, 10th, 20th person, the message has changed, or distorted over time. Is that something you are prepared to let happen?

With the amount of people that are online now, people are talking about everything. Simple searches can result in endless conversations and links to very informative information, but as a brand, are you creating a consistent message about your brand? 1 out of every 4 search results for the top 20 brands results in Social content.

Are you ready to build up a presence within external Social Networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr...) in order to create a consistent message that others can share with one another, and build a "hub" where others can point to for information? Are you then cross-promoting your website within those external platforms and pointing your audience back to your website? Once your audience gets to your website, are you providing a pervasive web experience to them?

When you think about Social Media, or just getting involved in Social aspects of the internet, it is not just about creating a Facebook page or a Twitter account. It is about creating a holistic vision of how your audience can learn from you and how you can learn from them. It is about listening to what is being said and interacting with those that are saying it. It is also about taking the data and giving it to the right people at the right time so that better decisions can be made to improve the business.

My recommendation is to start slow and build upon your early success when it comes to Social interactions, because once you start, it is very difficult to stop.

2 Comments

Mike:

Thanks for stopping by my session on Socialnomics. I'm glad you found part of it helpful/interesting. I love the thought provoking questions you pose above as it hammers home the point that social media is much bigger than most realize when it comes to products and brands.

Would love to know the source of the 1 and 4 searches for the top 20 brands results in social content so that I can use! If you have it please pass it along.

Thanks again and keep up the great work!

Best, Erik Qualman
Author of Amazon #1 Best Seller Socialnomics

Eric,

Thanks for the comment! Glad that you stopped by.

By the way, I guess that with all of the numbers that you have dealt with in the past, this one did not stick out as much as others:
(#23)
http://socialnomics.net/2009/08/11/statistics-show-social-media-is-bigger-than-you-think/

I hope that I did not misquote :), if I did please let me know and I will resolve.

Mike P | @mikepascucci

Mike Pascucci provides insight on all things associated with social media and online community management. Based on his experiences, he'll share past, current and potential future best practices concerning implementations and strategies.

Mike Pascucci

Mike Pascucci's current position at Ektron - a flexible, scalable, WCM solution provider - provides him the opportunity to discuss and develop Social strategies for corporations that either have failed in the past, or are afraid of failing in their new initiatives. Whether it includes an Enterprise Social Strategy or one that is External, leveraging the likes of Twitter and/or Facebook, Mike can help you navigate the waters. He has been part of the "Social Software" revolution for over 10 years, including 5+ years at eBay where he held numerous Community roles - Manager, Product Manager, and International Consultant.

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