Developing a brand or presence online is a matter of uniformly spreading your message to as many people as possible on the Internet and allowing them to help you with that task. The problem is usually how to get the rest of the world to find out about you. One of the ways to develop an effective branding strategy is to harness the power of the Social Net Effect.
Social networks have been around since the early forums and bulletin board systems (BBS) as my friend Alan R. Bechtold will gladly tell you. Back then, the socializing was done via telephone line and the connections were not fast, but the premise was the same, people would create accounts and discuss various topics with one another, although the messages were typically written one day and the responses read the next day, once the messages had propagated to all the other computers on the network, and people had responded and the replies had propagated back around the network.
Today, social networks run at the speed of life, with people all over the world communicating in realtime, talking about what each is doing, eating for dinner and planning for tomorrow. With this kind of communication power, business owners are trying to establish themselves online with mixed results. One of the reasons for this is that they are trying to establish themselves as a business instead of a person.
People like to connect with people. I hardly ever get excited when I look in my email and find a message from Walmart. Now when one of my best friends emails me, I open that right away! That is the effect you want to have with your communications, because you want to be known as a person first, and only secondarily as a business owner.
When you start to look at the social networks out there as large oceans, each ocean having distinct boundaries. Something exciting about these vast oceans is how they are interconnected with threads that cross from one ocean into another. For example, Facebook and MySpace have an interface with Twitter, so that every time you post something on twitter (you tweet) the message shows up in Facebook and MySpace on your status.
If you spend a lot of time developing friendships across all of the networks, you tend to have a network of these threads that cross all of the different networks, allowing your followers to keep tabs on your wherever they are, and gradually drawing them into your circle of influence. Even better is the fact that anytime one of your friends on one network tells others about something you said, it helps pull more threads around more new people, until you have a huge net in each of these vast oceans, pulling new people into your circle of influence.
This social net is perfect if you have been branding yourself uniformly in all of your profiles.Â Your profile picture should be very similar on all the networks, you should mention a good portion of the same facts about yourself on each network, so that someone who stumbles on you in Facebook and later in MySpace are not likely to wonder if they have the same person.
With a net like this working to bring you new subscribers and followers, you will soon find that you don’t have any difficulty at all finding new customers.Â Use this with caution, however, because if you mistreat one customer in that net, and you could find an empty net, because word travels fast… and nothing moves faster than a negative message!
As you can see the social net effect is very powerful, and can help or harm a business – depending on the quality of their service.Â So I should point out to the business owners who are spending more time developing new customers than serving their current customers, without stellar service to your current customers, the social net effect is most certainly a way to hasten your demise!
Micheal Savoie teaches Social Net Effect Strategies at seminars around the USA. To find out where Micheal will be speaking, visit http://michealsavoie.com or read Micheal’s blog. You can also follow Micheal Savoie on twitter.