Social media white paper: the move to micro communications, be cautious


As requested, I have republished the white paper into separate blog posts so that each section can be commented on. This post focuses on the ninth and tenth sections – the move to micro communications and be cautious. You can still download the full paper by clicking the link: Distributed influence: quantifying the impact of social media (PDF).

Links to all sections:

  1. introduction
  2. why is it important to measure online influence?
  3. social media index
  4. defining influence
  5. is influence what we should measure?
  6. should marketers target influencers or the easily influenced?
  7. what can we be selling that is better to buy than impressions?
  8. what are the origins of influence?
  9. the move to micro communications
  10. be cautious 
  11. a formula to understand influence
  12. what makes this actionable?
  13. conclusion


The move to micro communications

The ideal scenario was to use this concept to determine the precise time and place when both the influencers and the influenced would like to be engaged. What the roundtable concluded was that a system equivalent to Myers Briggs was needed for micro-communications. This would enable people to be able to map target media, meme creation, consumption and sharing habits.

Whatever the circumstances of your life, the understanding of type can make your perceptions clearer, your judgements sounder, and your life closer to your heart’s desire – Isabel Briggs Myers

Peter Kim explained that a starting point in this exercise would be to identify the characteristics of the different target audiences which could be explained via Forrester’s Social Technographics ladder.


Source: Forrester report on Social Technographics


Be cautious

With great power comes great responsibility – Spiderman

Nevertheless, there are certain things to beware of that everyone agreed should be top of mind:

  • As we move closer to structuring our communications efforts on a micro / individual level, we have to take care to respect the privacy of those we seek to connect, converse and ultimately do business with.
  • From Google Health to Digitas creating 4,000 versions of the same advert or a new mobile company that’s mining cell phone conversations. The more we know about an individual, the more it is possible to manipulate.
  • Transparency must reign.

We also recognise that individual behaviour isn’t 100% predictable. Indeed we can’t rationalise everything, because emotion and impulse still drive and will always drive a majority of economic and psychological buying decisions.

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