Facebook Cred.

Ahh, the joys of social neworking. Many times during the day (moreso than I’d like to admit), I find myself drifting off into socialsphere to check up on my “friends” to see whats new. Instead of the old fashioned method of bringing their contact up on my cell phone (who remembers numbers anymore) and calling at a reasonable hour to see whats new, maybe even grab a cup of coffee – I stare blurry eyed into the monitor I sit at all day and peruse though pictures, video, who-said-what-to-whom updates, and “omg! can you believe ____ is listed as single”-isms. Believe it or not – this is valuable market research.

Facebook is my poison of choice, and an apt begining for starting to explore the box social. Not the first social networking site (you win Friendster) – Facebook started around the same time I was a freshman in college. As soon as I heard about it I was rip-roaring and ready to go. Got to keep in contact with all those buddies from high school – even elementary school – that had already started to fade into obscurity. I got to learn about their interests, events they were attending, and communities that were surrounding them.

Some of my friends became leaders of their communities, starting groups and organizing events “outside the box” (i.e. in the real world). But so what? Who cares about the guy/girl that really hates cars that look like cop cars (actual Facebook group that I am a part of – I hate cars that look like cop cars….) – well I do.

These internet influencers, or opinion leaders if you will – hold a very important place in the niche marketing universe. They are gatekeepers to consumers and customers, and they directly translate to publicity or cash. An example: I was working on an intiative in NYC concerning healthy foods – this intiative gave money to replace unhealth street vendor food with healthy vegetagbles in underserved communities. My task was to find who on the internet cared about any of this. In addition to the traditional media blitz – there was going to be an effort to gain favor with the internet markets.

The first thing I did was look up groups on facebook, find out who the creators or admins of the group were and contacted them with the opportunity. In the process we were creating a forum for the intiative – and if they chose to help – they would become moderators on the forum run by the City of New York (a feather in the cap of any internet dezien). By an overwhelming number – we were able to contact al of the members of te facebook group – and (through this intiative and others) gain unprecedented responses to the forum. For those interested, it ended with a blowout celebration that all everyone wan invited to, when we compared the emails collected to the emails signed up fo the forum – they comprised 20% of the people at the gathering.

Facebook – for all it’s destraction power, can be a powerul tool for the new media marketer.

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Published in: on October 11, 2008 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

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