My post take as reference the books: $OCIAL CURRENCY. Why brands need to build and nurture social currency and SOCIAL CURRENCY 2012. How brands and businesses can prosper in a digitally connected world from Vivaldi Partners Group & the speech of Brian Solis about social capital and social currencies.
“In the long history of humankind […] those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Charles Darwin, 1809 – 1882.
Nowadays, the consumer and its behavior had been changed. A few years ago, this consumer was passive and uninvolved. Subservient and targeted; obedient, gullible and trusting because of its ignorance (uninformed). But now, with the availability and the spread of the Internet and the social and digital technologies, the information is much more available (infoxication) and the world is much more democratic, this is what have changed and will continue to change customer behavior profoundly. The consumer has been empowered. Now is not only a vocal, but also an e-vocal, because is always connected and is media savvy. So, consumers evolve from passive bystanders to active participants thanks to that technologies and social platforms that they integrate in their daily life routines and contexts.
That’s quite interesting for the companies. Because, how much important it’s for you other people’s reviews about brands? People are talking about companies on the Internet, they are making networks where to share content, opinions… According to a 2011 study by researcher IDC, the 75% of all information on-line is generated by individuals (so imagine today!). So, the question is: how can brands and business take advantage of this source of information? What motivates people to engage and disengage with brand and businesses on social networks? What we share what we share?
WHAT IS SOCIAL CURRENCY
We are going to start by defining what is social currency, a quite new marketing term. Vivaldi Partners Group define it as the degree to which consumers share brands or information about those brands with others, as part of their daily social lives. Those things we share on-line have an effect that can be measured (people reacts, likes, comments…). As a company, social currency provides us a new perspective on how to grow and evolve and build strong brands. Because, nowadays, business must well-known the social processes that make consumers share a brand or information of it with others. In short, they need to develop social currency. Why? To be more social and know how they have to interact with their consumers.
We need to clarify, that social currency is a means, not the end; is about creating meaningful experiences around the brand.
In terms of communication, social currency has a significant impact on brand equity, it drives brand performance in terms of consideration, purchase and loyalty (engagement). Also, build strong brands is today a huge revolution, the main challenge of all companies, because brands are becoming one of their most important assets. That means that social currency is, today, one of the most important strengths of a brand; so, in today’s age, build social currency is, probably, one of the most important investments a company can make to create value.
Instead of targeting, messaging and positioning, the social currency model is based on interaction, conversation, collaboration and co-creation. This change the way consumers make choices about brands and businesses.
STEPS TO BUILD SOCIAL CURRENCY
There are 4 crucial steps for building, nurturing and managing social currency:
PERSONAL BRAND (by Brian Solis)
We have, as persons, three types of life: the public, the private and the secret life. The problem here, with the spread of social media, is that discerning between the limits of them is becoming more complicated. But nowadays, we need to understand the power of social media and the implications they will have. We need to understand that our on-line reputation it’s already working for us or against us.
For example, a 60% of universities in USA check social networks before accepting a student. Also, employers check Facebook before contracting any candidate. So, as an advice, you should check twice what are you sharing on your social media! You don’t have to say everything you think, because it’s there, it’s index, it’s searchable, it’s findable.
So, make sure that what you say here contributes to improve your social capital and invest in it like you have something to gain!
“Social capital can be measured by the amount of trust and “reciprocity” in a community or between individuals.” Robert Putnam.