Social objects (photos, tweets, posts) mediate the ties btwn people…& are the reason why people affiliate w/specific others.~Jyri Engeström
I have been working lately on building specific social networks, pre-populated with members from other social networks that share very specific qualities. The work has been arduous but very interesting. After going through the Thousand True Fans process I outlined a few months ago, I have been working on discovering shared social objects (photos, tweets, posts) WITHIN tight-knit social groups.
The emergence of object-specific social networks is truly staggering. The World Wide Mind is merely a lobby in which conscious beings stand and peer out into the seemingly endless depth of mash-ups possible. A site like http://www.shelfari.com/ or http://www.last.fm can be divided into countless strata, specific networks bound together through shared love of social objects (books, quotes from books, fragments of poetry, songs, music videos, concerts).
A social network like StumbleUpon is a window INTO social objects and is organized around popular social objects. The genres within StumbleUpon ARE social networks unto themselves. http://www.stumbleupon.com
I was recently approached by a branding wizard to create a list of influencers related to a specific country. Related to the needs, desires, fears and problems within that country. As part of this work, I am assembling not only a list of influential individuals and organizations (tweeters, bloggers, offline influencers) BUT ALSO a list of social objects (photos, videos, music, tweets, blogposts) that tie the countrymen together, or could tie the countrymen together.
It’s about Influential individuals and organizations. AND it’s about the social objects that have held (and could hold) the attention of the populace.
A DEFINITION: “A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.” ~Kevin Kelly, The Technium
“In the entertainment area, there are members of the hardcore fan base.
The equivalent of the guys who will camp outside of an Apple store to get the new iPhone.
On the innovation curve, these are the fanatics.
The more interesting group is the one immediately to the right of the fanatics.
The ones who move you across the chasm and into the mainstream world of the “early majority”
These are the ones who need to be identified.
Because these are the real influencers.
Fanatics are important in the entertainment world.
Is this equally so for other industries?
The fanatics are important …. but the “visionaries” are crucial.” ~Peter Economides, FelixBNI
“For example, let’s say you launch a Facebook campaign to get 1,000 “likes” for your brand page. You make your goal of 1,000, but what’s to say those people will attend your event or even visit the page at a later date? You have to offer them something of value in order to create a social consumer. That social consumer might then provide feedback on the event and even influence peers to attend. Figure out what your audience wants, and give it to them — over and over. You have to give them a reason to both connect and come back.”~Brian Solis, Altimeter Group
A PROCESS: A THOUSAND TRUE FANS as derived VIA KEY INFLUENCERS
1. TWITTER SET-UP AND BRANDING: Set up a non-branded Twitter account for market research purposes related to specific customers (ie. – Tourism, Hotel, Restaurants, Art, Fashion). Value: This will be our “window” into the Interest Graph.
2. KEY INFLUENCER IDENTIFICATION & FOLLOW: Identify 1000 Key Influencers using Listorious (http://www.listorious.com) AND Research.ly (http://research.ly). Follow these 1000 influencers in the non-branded Twitter account. Value: Know the Social Influencers related to your vertical market, customers and competitors. Connect to them for realization of sales goals, event opportunities and growing awareness in regions/communities you may not have penetrated. Grow the network around the customer for the purposes of connection, sales and marketing.
3. CSV FROM TWITTER (with 3rd Party Tool): Download a CSV from Twitter (with a 3rd Party Twitter Export tool like Export.ly – http://export.ly).
4. CSV TO FLIPTOP (or other tool): Upload CSV of Twitter account to Fliptop or another tool to discover influencers’ locations ACROSS The World Wide Mind (http://www.theworldwidemind.com). Value: (a) I get to see where my influencers are in other social properties AND (b) I get to hear and see what they are messaging about.
5. FOLLOW THE INFLUENCERS IN FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN AND OTHER SOCIAL PROPERTIES: We will translate our findings into actual friends in the social networks and begin the process of connecting with these friends. Value: Influential friends in the Social Graph that we have discovered via the Interest Graph.
6. TWEET CREATION/COPYWRITING: Turn entire corporate site, blogposts and other collateral into tweets. The goal here is to get around 150 tweets for scheduled posting. Also, derive and mash-up content BASED UPON current and trending conversations WITHIN The World Wide Mind. Value: Influencers who follow you will become aware of what you offer and interact with you on this. Note: for a non-branded research account, we can copy-write industry and niche-related tweets.
7. TWEET SCHEDULING: Schedule these tweets in Social Oomph – (http://www.socialoomph.com). Value: This will be pre-scheduled so you do not have to keep tweeting (the tweeting will be automatic).
8. KEY INFLUENCER CONTENT SUMMATION: Summarize what the 30-50 top influencers are saying in the Twitter accounts. This would be “culled” from their latest 100 tweets. Value: This is a very powerful option, that will give branding teams insight into what top influencers are talking about.
9. KEY INFLUENCER ENGAGEMENT: Engage and nurture relationship with Key Influencers. Results sought: (a) Getting the Key Influencer to follow you back (b) Getting the Key Influencer to re-tweet, share or post a message originating from you (c) forming a business partnership with the Key Influencer for mutual benefit and the benefit of the customer (customer-centric business).