Mar 17 2009
Tonight’s class is on Ben Rigby’s book “Mobilizing Generation 2.0,” a great survey of the many social media tools available to nonprofit communicators.
In our Groundswell class, we examined Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s Forrester Social Technographics profile, which classifies online users in a ladder:
This taxonomy really makes it easy for marketers to grasp the social web community. At the same time, it offers a top down approach from the view of the influencer. In many ways, while an accurate portrayal of the way information flows from an influencer, this image still has a bit of a command and control ethos to it.
Going back to the community principles from Now Is Gone, and based on our experiences working in social media, we suggest an inverted approach. This service-oriented model puts the community (spectators) on top, followed by joiners, collectors, critics and finally the creator, who is the source of content.
The above pyramid demonstrates the service oriented model, and does so using hot and cold colors in deference to Marshall McLuhan. Blue represents low levels of participation (or cool media) versus orange and red “hot media” participants.
From this perspective, the corporate content creator or social PR person uses the tools outlined in Rigby’s book provide valuable content, ultimately meant to serve spectators — specifically, an organization’s stakeholders. In this model, they have the power to participate (or not), and as such they should be kept on top or given the most power in the overall community.
When content and social media marketing is approached in this way — as opposed to top down — serving the community becomes the top priority. Value creation, inspiration, research all help drive how to best get all participants interested and participating. This in turn creates the best approach towards social media communications from an organizational stand point.
Quite frankly, this is how I blog, participate, and design any social media strategy. The community is the ultimate driver and authority. Even if you compel creators, if the community doesn’t buy into it you have no tangible return on investment. And thus, social media tools should be selected with the end community — and thus your strategy — in mind.