If you’ve been paying attention to the commentary about monetizing social networks lately, you’ve probably noticed a shift in the conversation. The dialogue—which previously was limited to how businesses grow audiences of Friends, Fans and Followers through creative presence on social sites supported by campaigns and contests —has evolved into the “how tos” of driving real engagement and measured by new customer acquisition, loyalty and the holy grail of social, advocacy.
We’ve all learned that “language precedes behavior”. To us, this shift is indicative of something larger— we call it the second generation of social.
The first generation involved an important transformation in the way people share and interact. Facebook was designed and is optimized for this level of online behavior. Suddenly people were sharing, connecting, participating in and ultimately building personal networks and also connecting to brands they want to affiliate with. The level of online attention and activity exploded and boggled the mind. Because more and more companies were doing a more systematic level of listening (through technologies like Hootsuite and Radian 6), Brands felt the need to hitch their wagons (any way they could) to the social game, build a following, and participate in the conversations. But in the midst of this flurry of activity, did they develop insight into the audience they had developed? Or better yet, learn how to harness fleeting interactions that were flying around in the social web?
The second generation of Social is about truly understanding who these Fans, Followers, and Friends are—what do they care about, what influences their behavior, and what patterns of insights and value can they bring to companies and their fellow customers, such that online experiences are more productive for all involved in the conversation.
In the first generation of social, companies were focused on building their audience. In the second, they’ll need to gain insight into that audience in order to build authentic relationships that drive true business value.
This observation is supported by market research conducted by The Incyte Group, which suggested that there is a gap between the way customers want to connect with companies they care about online, and the way that brands are actually using social networks.
Join the CEO of Get Satisfaction, Wendy Lea, in her Pivotcon workshop on October 16th at 12:15 as she unveils the findings and explains the implications they have for your social strategy. The workshop will be held at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan on the Fourth Floor – 401-402.
This presentation will be followed by panel discussion featuring Nakia Hansen, Director of Social Strategy of The College Board, and Stephanie Agresta, Executive Vice President of Digital at Weber Shandwick, about the best practices of driving social customer engagement.
The implications of The Incyte Group findings are not a one size fits all solution for social engagement. Rather, the research went a step further to provide insight into four consumer market segments that have high propensities to join customer communities when making purchasing decisions and explained the best ways to nurture a relationship with them.
To understand the demographics of these segments, as well as the best ways to reach them, check out the infographic below:
©2015, The Tomorrow Project, LLC