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Crystal Ball Gazing

Photo courtesy of Stuntbear on Flickr

Saw a great article this morning regarding trends to watch in social media, via Harvard Business Review:

David Armano, from Edelman Digital pulled together a a good list of social media trends to watch for the coming year. A couple of items we found really interesting:

“According to Nielsen OnlineTwitter alone grew 1,382% year-over-year in February, registering a total of just more than 7 million unique visitors in the US for the month.”

That number is stunning, but not really surprising. We hear more questions about Twitter than any other social network service, and it’s important to differentiate between a social network and a social network service.

A social network is a group of people–your co-workers, your softball team, your bridge club, and the people you went to school with are your social networks. A social network service is a platform that connects those people, like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Armano points to increasing exclusivity in social media that highlight this, positing that the trend will be toward more segmentation of your social network into more well-defined groups. Given what’s happened over the last 15 or 20 years in offline media, it makes a lot of sense that social network services will become more targeted–and therefore more relevant–over time.

So how can marketers leverage this trend? We think it is very important to identify pre-existing social networks that are relevant to your brand, and to engage with them directly. That’s what we do here at Raidious.

It’s also hugely important to monitor both the networks you know about and those you don’t. Your company may never be able to scale appropriately to deal with all of them (although as Armano points out, Best Buy has done a pretty good job of scaling via their Twelpforce program) but at a minimum you should be able to easily  identify two key metrics:

1. Influence

2. Sentiment

How do people feel about the brand in general, and which people have the most influence over the brand? Once we know that, we can plan for response, moderation and governance of your brand’s social identity. We cover all of this in our Groundwork planning process.

Need help putting together a plan for your 2010 social media program? Or better yet, wondering how you’ll find the resources to execute it? Give us a call or an email. We can help.   317-203-9807

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