The other day I was having a conversation with my 13 year old son and we ended up on a topic / issue that we needed more info on – my response was to “Google” it, he chose to “You Tube” it. I realised at that point that we had different ways looking for information, learning answers, and engaging with the internet.
If we extrapolate this interaction into the corporate sphere we need to ask ourselves if we are on the correct social media platforms and using them appropriately to connect with a demographic of users who see the internet and social networking differently depending on their age.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Tipping Point” compared the spread of a viral epidemic to the way things become “crazes”. He identifies 4 key factors.
You need a Sticky Message. This is like a virus, something that is easily transmitted from one individual to another and sticks. Many businesses or business users use social networking and media to communicate business updates – like a live version of an outdated monthly newsletter (in fact many just copy and paste from the newsletter in social media).
We need to rethink the content we are sharing and design it to be fit for purpose for the platforms we use.
The sticky message needs to be in multiple formats too….
- Text for Facebook and Reddit
- Image intense for Pinterest, Tumblr, or Instagram
- Short video for Facebook Live, You Tube, Vimeo, or Vine
- Multiple channels need to be covered with appropriate presentations of the same message.
The message then needs to land with three distinct groups of people. We should know who the key individuals are in each group and seed them in parallel if we want the Sticky message to take root and be shared in social media. The aim is to have your message SHARED not just READ – if it isn’t shared it hasn’t worked.
Connectors are individuals who know lots of people – these may extend to a 3rd or 4th degree of connection. Connectors give the sticky message penetration into the social network.
Mavens (named after the old ladies in New York Yiddish culture who are approached to find out who else has children of marriageable age) are individuals who are acknowledged as being “experts” or “brainiacs” within the social network. They are approached because of their smarts and are used to give the sticky message credibility.
Finally, Sales People are the ones who engage with the sticky message in one context and share it into another. They propagate the sticky message by moving it across boundaries and from one community to another.
A short exercise (the whole process should take no longer than 20 min)
- Choose three social media platforms (across the different types).
- Find your businesses presence on the platform.
- Review the message – is it Sticky?
- Look at how the community has responded to the content you have posted.
- Can you identify the Connectors, Mavens, and Sales people? How did they interact differently?
- What two things would you suggest changing, fixing, or working on?
- Send a tactful message to your social media department with your feedback