Grouped: How small groups of friends are the key to influence on the social web (Voices That Matter) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2011/11/21
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The web is undergoing a fundamental change. It is moving away from its current structure of documents and pages linked together, and towards a new structure that is built around people. This is a profound change that will affect how we create business strategy, design, marketing, and advertising. The reason for this shift is simple. For tens of thousands of years we’ve been social animals. The web, which is only 20 years old, is simply catching up with offline life.
This book pulls together the latest research from leading universities and technology companies to describe how people are connected, and how ideas and brand messages spread through social networks. It shows readers how to rebuild their business around social behavior, and create products that people tell their friends about.
Paul Adams is widely recognized as one of the leading thinkers on the social web. He is a researcher and designer, currently working as the Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook. Prior to Facebook, Paul led Google’s social research team, where his work influenced the direction of Google+, and where he also worked on Gmail, YouTube, and Mobile. He has worked in the user experience field for the last 11 years, as a product designer with Dyson, a consultant for clients including Vodafone, the BBC, and the Guardian, and as a researcher in the fields of social behavior and technology across Europe, the U.S., and Asia.
For more information on Paul’s work, visit his site ThinkOutsideIn.com
What role do the social networks, and especially Facebook and Linkedin play in this transformation? How can we leverage them to grow our business?
Paul combines product design experience at Google and Facebook with an outstanding skill to lay out complex topics in a simple and easily understandable language. That unique combination of experience and skill ideally positions him to write a book about social networks and about the best ways to use them for business growth.
He makes three key points that have profound implications:
1. The Web is being rebuilt around people and moving away from being built around content.
2. We can now measure social interaction.
3. Independent small groups of friends determine how people are influenced (not the influencers).
The application of Paul's points to marketing and advertising are straightforward: Permission-based marketing trumps traditional advertising or interruption-driven marketing. Precise peer-to-peer based advertising is the most effective and efficient advertising. Marketing campaigns need to support conversations instead of merely sharing content. Advertising content must rely on people remembering relationships and not - details. For example, using experts in marketing campaigns can lead to over-promising and under-delivering.
On the other hand, effective permission marketing seeds multiple groups with ideas and avoids targeting a few trendsetters. It focuses on emotional arousal and gaining trust through word-of-mouth endorsement. Marketers need to focus on preparing content that is "shareworthy," customizing data around people's social connections, reinforcing their message by having multiple people within the same group repeat it, and then showing others' behaviour to influence people.
A separate chapter focuses on helping people change their behaviour:
1. Change people environment: trying new things in a new environment is easier
2. Minimize cost of change - break it into small manageable tasks making the new behaviour easier to perform, and so more likely to be repeated and therefore forming a new habit.
3. Ensure that people observe others doing the desired behaviour and then see the rewards
Other ideas focus around choice reduction and helping people to feel that they are getting something for free and now.
All-in-all, a great and concise book for marketing professionals and business owners looking for modern ways to grow their business.
The book is small: only 160 pages including title pages, credits, and index. I read it completely and even revisited a couple sections over two nights before bed and a flight from LA to Houston. So don't use time as an excuse. You have the time to read this. In fact, I think it is professionally irresponsible for marketers to NOT read it.
I liked the first half of the book best. The first half focused more specifically on the social web, The second half got into human behavior and how our brains work. I've seen much of that research before so it was more review for me than enlightenment. I see the value of it though. Sharing it together with the earlier observations makes sense.
The third topic featured (small, independent, connected groups) is the MOST IMPORTANT one. It's kind of referenced throughout the book. If you're searching for influencers to carry your message, you're on a fool's quest. There are no influencers. There are only small, independent, connected groups. If you buy this as a marketer (and I do).... How will you change your messaging? How should you change your campaigns? Can you effect a real change from interruption marketing to marketing that creates and guides conversation among small, diverse, connected groups? This is the urgent challenge. This is the immediate opportunity.
GROUPED is about sharing research. It is light on solutions. It focuses on simply describing what is happening and providing context for why it is happening. The solutions that are suggested aren't so much "solutions" as they are conversation starters. I think that's perfect.... Starting the conversation with research based insights is fantastic. We are at the dawn of this transformation to a web built around people. It's gonna be awesome.
P.S. This book would be worth the price if you bought it simply for the extensive footnotes in the "Further Reading" sections. So many great citations. I cannot wait to dig into the detail on some of them...