Fundamentals Of Social Networking
Posted By: DSG
Social networks such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn etc, are primarily people oriented, providing an eco-system of peer to peer connections. Through reciprocal virtual sharing, networks founded can foster personal or professional relationships whereby connections made, typically share a common frame of reference.
Through social networking the hypotheses of “six degrees of separation” is made tangible and expanded upon by the theory of 3 degrees of influence.
3 degrees of influence is described as the persuasion that actions in a social network have on “friend of friends”.
Herein lies the true power of social networking and the opportunity that corporates have to influence and persuade target audiences. Society has always been known to embed itself within social networks, the only difference today being that now these networks are virtual.
A brand’s social influence, if managed correctly, can be a contagious virtual presence that elicits emotions and relationships that spread. The more viral the relationship the more effective the brand will be in creating emotional affiliations throughout the social network.
In order to tap in to the purest form of influence that a social network can invoke, to follow are 6 Social Networking fundamentals;
• Once engaged, avoid taking the conversation to an offline medium unless details shared infringe the protection of personal information (POPI).
• Wherever possible, facilitate 1st line resolution in the open forum so as to facilitate group learning, sharing and transparency.
• To build lasting relationships with your customer, follow up on past engagements. Conversations continue long after initial contact was intercepted even if the sentiment or theme changes over time.
• Engage in both negative and positive conversations regardless of how futile or insignificant. Acknowledging digital attention is the first step to building reciprocal relationships that influence brand association and future conversion.
• Manage engagement expectations. Detail your intent to network, whether it is with the purpose of extending customer service or to serve as an informational value added channel. Detail when the page will be attended to and how frequently the audience can expect to be communicated to.
• Produce a clear guideline defining the brands rules of engagement. Detail tonality, language and the brand persona or style in which outbound communication and community management should be shaped by.