Thursday, October 14, 2010

CDMP Week: A Layperson's Overview on Social Networks

I'd like to start this entry off with a hodgepodge of infographics just to wean you into the discussion. Do click for maximum effect (hehe!).

If it hasn't been discussed enough in the infographics above, let it be known from here on out that Facebook has now become a force to be reckoned with. If it were a country*, it would have been the third largest, nestled just between India and United States!  In fact, comScore (via Mashable) claims that web users are now spending more time in Facebook than Google, Yahoo, or any other internet what-have-yous out there.

But, what exactly does a social network imply for marketers? Before we go into that, it's best to fully understand what social networks are in its very essence. Perhaps, sociology would be most apt in this discussion. Embedded below is, as the description claims, "a watered down explanation of what social networks are and how marketers could take advantage of such".

I'd like to use Sophia, Aling Nena's target market, in this discourse.

We could assume that Sophia, being a college student, is part of a barkada that interacts on a daily basis. They eat out together, watch movies together, go to parties together, and do normal barkada things together. In this regard, said barkada sans Sophia is part of Sophia's social network. How Sophia relates to her barkada is called social capital - crudely the value which Sophia obtains from the social network - slash, why Sophia is in the barkada in the first place (perhaps, because they belong to the same block or they have the same breaks). With this setup, it's likely that Sophia influences and is influenced by her barkada in terms of so many things. How Sophia manages her time, what Sophia eats in between classes, where Sophia takes her naps (it happens! I take mine in the library, thanks to my barkada's recos)...

*cue Japanese corn stall brand analogy* Sophia perceives Japanese corn stalls, where Sophia buys Japanese corn, what Sophia is saying about corn by-products, how Sophia wants a service delivered - these are the things which enable her and her barkada as potential brand ambassadors for Aling Nena (and competitors)!

Now, how would Aling Nena benefit from such an arrangement?
  1. Research. Social networks are good fodder for actionable insights when it comes to how people act out their day to day lives. Note that social networks empower consumers in a number of ways, one of which is through the gift of gab. Every gabbing consumer out there is bound to touch on a specific industry, product, or brand in a very public manner at that. Should Aling Nena immerse herself in what Sophia and her friends are talking about when they talk about food, corn, or Wakarima-corn, Aling Nena would have had an idea of how her consumers move around in the industry from which to base major business decisions should there be a need to.
  2. Consumer Engagement. Of course, to be immersed in a social network does not just give Aling Nena the power to, uhm, eavesdrop but also the capacity to talk to Sophia and her barkada. This opens up a lot of opportunities for Aling Nena, especially when the ball drops and a detractor suddenly unleashes bad PR on her. Aling Nena could easily nip it in the bud before it starts growing.
  3. Brand Awareness. Lalala. 
Perhaps, as an off-topic takeaway (because it just has to be said), what's also worthy of note is how everything digital has penetrated much of everyone's consciousness and lifestyle that the power once yielded by marketers pre-web 2.0 are now in the hands of consumers the likes of Sophia. One blog post, one tweet, one Facebook status could very well be the kryptonite that could ruin Superman brands out there. All that PR and brand building could only go as far as making sure that consumers are held up to a pedestal sans the bull**** that (usually) comes with it.

UPDATE: Philippine Daily Inquirer claims that Facebook is poised to take over Google's supremacy. How this will all play out in the future would be very much interesting, especially in terms of how Google would set out to pull out all innovative means just to keep its head above water.

*For more "if Facebook was a country" trivia fun, click here and here!
+This post is part of the CDMP Week series, a week-long series of blog posts aimed at explaining digital marketing strategies through offline analogies. This has been partially intended as a fulfillment of one of the requirements of the Certified Digital Marketing Program (formerly known as the Digital Marketing Diploma Program). The CDMP (DMDP) is a one-year diploma course under the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philipppines (IMMAP) and Ateneo's Center for Continuing Education (Ateneo CCE). Enrollees go through a crash course on a number of digital marketing concepts and tactics and, in the end, have the opportunity to be dubbed as one of the few Certified Digital Marketers as recognized by IMMAP. To learn more, visit or go to their Facebook page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails