On average, consumers “like” or “follow” 4.6 companies (or brands) on Facebook according to Tonya Garcia’s ”Research: Social Media Users Follow Few Brands on Average” http://bit.ly/axCkMJ. This means that it is very important to connect and push through the thousands and millions of brand and company pages to make sure yours are part of that 4.6. A good place to start is with Brian Solis’ “Three C’s of Social Content: Consumption, Curation, Creation” http://bit.ly/aUQ0sW. In his blog post he positions people into categories, the main ones being the creators, the curators and spectators. The creators are the ones publishing content and influencing a large majority of social conversations. Curators are those who function as collectors, and in the Forrester’s The Social Technographics Ladder are the ones who use RSS feeds, vote for websites online and add tags to photos and web pages. Those that consume are the spectators. Sounding familiar? He goes on to mention how Forrester groups social catalysts into two categories: Mass Mavens and Mass Connectors. Immediately Malcolm Gladwell’s ”The Tipping Point” comes to mind and his discussion of mavens and connectors as being two of three groups necessary for the spread and acceptance of ideas to happen.
Mavens are those who accumulate knowledge and connectors are those who know a lot of people. Mavens communicate their information to connectors who spread the idea (and in Gladwell’s book Salesmen are those who convince non believers and get them to follow and join in too). Ideas are really ideologies, and social media is thus the spread of ideologies. Ideologies being doctrines, etc. on which a particular political or social system is based according to Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus. Social media already uses this in basic ways and now Facebook is adding a ‘Mention’ feature that makes use of it in a new way (see Oliver Chiang’s “Facebook Testing New ‘Mention’ Feature on News Feeds”http://bit.ly/9ftNLF). Acting as a Connector, Facebook’s ‘Mention’ feature collects certain phrases within feeds and combines them into one story. Basically if two of your friends comment on the same thing (person, place, etc.), Facebook will relate that to you in your feed with their updates shown below. A very interesting play on this basic idea. The social realm is a whole new dimension for the spread of ideologies. As they say, the possibilities are endless.