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
Author Paul Adams is a social media domain expert who, as a Google employee, pioneered some of the concepts now embodied in Google+, and created a broadly influential presentation, "The Real Life Social Network" ([...]), that was viewed more than one million times (between two versions) as of December, 2011. Having also worked at Facebook since early 2011, Adams is uniquely well-positioned to understand and explain social web dynamics and their significance for relationship-centric business.
"Grouped" is an unusually ambitious book, only approximately 160 pages long, but deftly integrating themes from books such as "Connected" (Christakis/Fowler), "Incognito" (Eagleman), and "Thinking, Fast and Slow" (Kahneman) into a compelling narrative. In addition to addressing topics such as how our relationships and brains influence us, "Grouped" also clearly explains social web implications for marketing and advertising.
The book is likely to be an eye-opener for anyone exploring social media, and it also provides insights into how exceptionally well-positioned Facebook is today, in terms of its potential for advancing the state-of-the-art in marketing and advertising.
Adams expands on his thinking in Grouped. His approach is thoughtful and purposeful leaving the reader with a framework of how to approach social marketing. Unlike a lot of other self-styled experts in the field, Adams grounds his ideas in research, not 140 character sound bites or meaningless industry jargon. The content gets to the point quickly -- beginning with how the internet itself is shifting from content to relationships to the basis of relationships. Adams then builds his case for how how only close friends truly have an impact on our decision making process, while weaker relationships can broaden our horizons of information. He goes on to debunk a number of myths about influencers, instead suggests ideas get spread through a combination of "innovative" and "follower" hubs. This is an important distinction to make because spreading of ideas isn't merely a one-step process. It is a combination of art and science that requires more than people with large followings. The last parts of the book go deep on the impacts our own physiology and environment have with respect to our information-processing and thus decision making abilities. (hint: we do a lot of unconscious processing). At the end, he wraps up permission marketing and how it is the gateway to creating trust, credibility and ultimately loyalty.
Some books are quick reads if they're well-written and make you want to keep flipping pages. Grouped had a slightly different effect on me. I anticipated reading each chapter, but the more I read, the more I found myself pausing and thinking about what relationships I had, why I had them and how my own network influences my decisions. I would say I got as much out of reading the book as I did with the self-reflection one goes through when applying the thinking. And that's where the beauty lies in Adams' writing; by creating content that is compelling and relevant to the reader, he's practicing what he preaches. His writing is clear and concise -- just as he is in person -- making concepts easy to digest. He also couples theory with quick tips from his work at Facebook, making his points are more credible and practical. At the end of each chapter, he includes a summary and a further reading section that act as informal footnotes that encourage the reader to dive deeper.
Whenever I'm reading a book I really like, I often slow down towards the end, to savor each page before reaching the end. Grouped was no different, with one exception -- It made me want to go out and apply his thinking at work. It's at a level where most practitioners of social media can grasp conceptually and has relevance for strategists looking to make social the core of their company's offerings. Highly recommended.
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.