social marketing

Why study influencers' social streams?

When one goes slowly and with imagination through a list of influencers, reading about their passions, studying their proclivities, observing the vicissitudes of mood and opinion in their social stream…a story emerges and forms about that individual, about their market sector and about the customer in that sector. And it is such stories that form the basis of potent marketing campaigns, the focus of which is to grow awareness of YOUR product/service.

YOUR 1,001 NIGHTS: You have created your own best medicine through the stories within stories upon your Wall

People are moved by stories and drama and hints and clues and discovery. ~Seth Godin

YOUR SOURCE IS A GUIDE: There is a thread of vitality in everyone’s life worth tapping into. It is a stream that has run downhill to you from a great river teeming with YOUR KIND. Do what you can to follow that stream to the river and then devote your life to discovering the river’s source. It is this SOURCE that the human soul seeks MORE than anything else for it holds answers to ALL of our most personal questions (most of which DO NOT even have words).

I would argue that one’s passion IS a powerful resource in facing the world’s winds and waves. ACTION STEP: Discover the tribe around YOUR SOURCE through simple keywords used in the Facebook search window. You will find friends, discussions and groups oriented around YOUR passion immediately upon pushing SUBMIT. Here’s more on how to do this.

BIG BRANDS WILL PAY YOU FOR YOUR STORY: We live in a renaissance period of self-discovery through story. Robert McKee, the author of Story (one of THE best books for screenwriters on the planet!), writes, “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.” I would submit to the reader that over the course of the last year YOU have written a fantastic STORY through your Facebook status field, Twitter field and YouTube Channel (if you don’t have one, get one!) And I would suggest to you that there is TREMENDOUS value in this story for you and your tribes!

The next big revolution is YOU making money on advertising for BIG BRANDS who spot your channel and want to advertise to your 100’s of millions of subscribers!!!) ACTION STEP: The arrival of big money to invisible, yet super-creative, storytellers revolutionizes the publishing and media industry big time! Watch how YouTube and GoogleTV effectively pull this off over the next 12-48 months. Set up your YouTube channel today and research GoogleTV.

SEE YOUR BIGGEST CRITICS AS YOUR GREATEST ALLIES: Behind the scenes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, there are bean-counters who are interested in the big numbers BUT do they understand or want to understand the dynamics of story and how to weave a tale that wraps even the most pessimistic person into a tale of romance.

Discovering the power of story and the formulas that work on the heart and emotion has been an activity for years in the entertainment industry and in the marketing world. On a human level, stories save lives every day and the advent of social networks/ platforms for telling collective stories allows humanity to transform curmudgeons, pessimists and naysayers into enthusiastic communicators of their passion. I would add that the greatest Critics are my favorite allies for their ability to see through a story to its heart. It has been said that the Optimist created the airplane and Pessimist created the parachute. ACTION STEP: Write down who your greatest critics are and what they say about your creative actions in the world. Then write down how these critiques help you refine your offering.

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS METAPHOR: Perhaps one of the greatest examples in literature of a story wherein the storyteller transformed her audience is that of Scheherazade in The Arabian Nights.

The main frame story concerns a Persian king and his new bride. He is shocked to discover that his brother’s wife is unfaithful; discovering his own wife’s infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her executed: but in his bitterness and grief decides that all women are the same. The king, Shahryar, begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier’s daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again.

So it goes on for 1,001 nights.

The tales vary widely: they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and various forms of erotica. Numerous stories depict djinn, magicians, and legendary places, which are often intermingled with real people and geography, not always rationally; common protagonists include the historical caliph Harun al-Rashid, his vizier, Ja’far al-Barmaki, and his alleged court poet Abu Nuwas, despite the fact that these figures lived some 200 years after the fall of the Sassanid Empire in which the frame tale of Scheherazade is set. Sometimes a character in Scheherazade’s tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, and that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture. (SOURCE)

YOUR 1,001 NIGHTS: The complexity of the Arabian Nights is a fantastic image of the complexity in social networks. Our stories have stories within stories and nowhere is this more evident as one travels the thread of comments on a Facebook image, a blogpost or a YouTube video. Every comment has the potential through a link to carry one into an entirely new story and so on.

Communities like StumbleUpon are another fantastic example of the “babushka effect” of the Internet. At StumbleUpon, one may enter a variety of keywords and then get link suggestions that lead to further suggestions and so on. Creating a tale from your discoveries on the internet, from mashing up the various universes you visit and personalities you meet on this journey creates value for you and your tribe. I would submit that your Facebook wall itself IS just one place to read your story of the past 1,001 nights. I would also suggest that it contains valuable medicine for transforming whatever you feels threatens you.ACTION:Write down what one year of Facebook statuses or Tweets tell you about yourself. What is the MOST consistent message you are telling yourself OVER AND OVER AGAIN through these fields?

FUNDING YOUR STORY: There are so many options now for finding funding from YOUR donors, Venture Capital that loves YOUR content and from YOUR tribe. Start with the fantastic tool Kickstarter! Check out the ultimate Crowdsourcing wiki here.

The love affair between Critic and Creative, Left-Brain and Right-Brain

by Nathaniel Hansen, Athens, Greece

A central first thought about those entering social initially: lighten up! Have fun! If social networking is like a cocktail party, then treat it as such: this is when humans get to have fun! Find what you love and be THERE.

To continue: jaded individuals and critics are THE greatest allies to creative, social beings, pushing the Creatives to higher heights of brilliance. In the best case scenario, these two are like lovers: The Critic and The Creative, driving, enticing, seducing, pushing one another to their best.

To be more clear: Love exists and always will. Find what/who you love and socialize about that, market that, sell that. If you don’t love it, aren’t into it, and only are pushing it for money, this will become abundantly clear. The passionate brands sell fun (after identifying pain points, of course)! Some fun ad campaigns out now:

http://bit.ly/time_to_cheer_up

Thoughts on Transparency

March 21, 2010

After the Social Media Business Summit in London, I’ve been pondering the meaning of transparency and what this paradigm means to business and the social realm.

I’m convinced that humanity is entering a fantastic age, where undiscovered aspects of ourselves and the world appear the moment we imagine. And I firmly believe that our social networks offer us the means for this evolution to take place.

We have entered an age where fantastic job titles are possible, careers for Social Relationship Architects, Social Strategists, and Social Physicists, among others. These careers are for people who have training in existing disciplines AND who are able to think metaphorically, drawing lines across right and left hemispheres of thought, weaving new worlds of relationship.

We live in a time when our networks contain people who are super-relevant and specific to our dreams, aspirations and challenges. Goethe’s quote could not be more true at this time: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” It takes a boldness composed of genius, power and magic to enter one’s social networks and begin creating and synthesizing relationships. It takes a willingness to ask questions, be awe-inspired and open to what your particular network has for you, for where you are right now. No other person has the same network that you have. No other person sees the world like you do. And no other person has the opportunities to contribute to this customized network than you…you are, after all, the one who built it and owns it.

Transparency is not something to be feared. It is the greatest opportunity to be exactly who you are meant to be, no shame, no fear, only a wild animal out in the open, a tendril springing across the earth for all to see as you bloom and root into the soil of your community and offer your fruit.

My observation is that an alignment is taking place globally that is akin to a holographic puzzle. Before, with Google, we looked and found. Now, with social networks like Facebook, we see in multi-colored, multi-dimensional space, what the community surrounding a keyword looks like…we see the faces, read the updates, hear the music and taste the journey that this key-phrase is taking. The paradigm of transparency is revealing the living nature of our languages and images.

Nathaniel Hansen
CEO
The Socializers
http://thesocializers.com