Using Trust Rather than Volume in Social Media, Part IV

Posted on February 26, 2010. Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , , , |

The Resolution

So let’s note that individuals are seeking to fuse themselves to tribes that express parts of their identity, and can do so in incredibly quick, fine-grained and extensive ways. From the perspective of tethering your brand’s value, we can see that broadcasting out from a Facebook page or Twitter feed is far from ideal. Nor should you spend your time seeking to unduly influence credible sources.

Instead, the counter-intuitive “concrete-fluidity” of tribes and clusters of tribes recommends you work hard to understand and identify what an “abstract,” temporary, recurring influencer in a tribe or cluster looks like; the template of what a person with credibility, or a credible presentation, would be like. And then reach out to that sort of person.

It’s not that difficult to do; Using media monitoring software, you can identify A-list, B-list and even long-tail blogs talking about specific issues and products, and monitor them closely to identify the correct targets.

The best way to reach out is to pitch things such a person really might be interested in. (Popular freelance blogger Lindsay Robertson offers some tips on how to do this here.)

High value content for blogs, message boards, Twitter feeds and even Facebook groups and streams filters out of individuals and core groups into larger networks as much or more than it filters the other way. It has to, because messages that tether to the mind come from sources who, though ‘small’ in reach, are trusted as excellent filters.

In contrast, broadcasting your message to high traffic sources who lack credibility, such as a tweet stream, or to those who don’t view you credibly, can only rarely do more than create fleeting true opinions, in one ear, and soon enough, out the other. And as we’re constantly reminded, credibility is and will always be a major issue for social media.

One last thought; the fluidity in tribes allows for the possibility of multiple concurrent or consecutive efforts at tethering to the members of a tribe via credible people. And if a brand becomes established, it not only maintains its position in the tribe, but it increases the chances of being carried over into other tribes and clusters as people move on. Some of these people will not occupy credible-source positions in their new tribes, but others will.

Damien DuPont is a report writer and quality assurance specialist in the Dow Jones Media Lab and is based in New York.

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