Digital Communities in Social Media - Chapter 4
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Digital Communities in Social Media - Chapter 4



This is Tracy's PPT for chapter 4 of the text, Social Media Marketing.

This is Tracy's PPT for chapter 4 of the text, Social Media Marketing.



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  • Note: These are Tracy Tuten’s personal PPTs. They are not the published supplements affiliated with the text.
  • Though infrastructure, channels, devices, and social software make social media possible, people like you make it a living, breathing part of everyday life. Social media is first and foremost about community: the collective participation of members who together build and maintain a site.Though different approaches exist, we’ll refer to online communities as a group of people who come together for a specific purpose, who are guided by community policies, and who are supported by Internet access that enables virtual communication. Here is a brief sampling of online communities; there may be some out there just waiting for you!• MyLife• LiveJournal• Tagged•• LinkedInIn some ways, online communities are not much different from those we find in our physical environment. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online version, of course) defines community as “a unified body of individuals, unified by interests, location, occupation, common history, or political and economic concerns.” In fact, one social scientist refers to an online community as a cyberplace where “people connect online with kindred spirits, engage in supportive and sociable relationships with them, and imbue their activity online with meaning, belonging, and identity.”
  • All social communities are social networks. Networks underlie the premise of social media. This slide presents the basics of social network theory.
  • Chances are you’ve heard of the game The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. It’s based on the principle known as the six degrees of separation; an observation that everyone is connected to everyone else by no more than six ties. This statement comes from the mathematical model known as a small-world network, which illustrates that most nodes in a social graph are not directly linked to one another—instead they are indirectly connected via neighbors. The principle is highly relevant in social media marketing, where sources of influence can flow throughout the network easily and quickly. It is this connectivity that has given rise to viral marketing where a message such as a joke or bizarre YouTube clip quickly spreads among members of a network. Social networks also have the characteristic of being “scale free.” This means that the more connections someone has, the more likely they are to make new ones.
  • These memes (snippets) may include songs, phrases, ideas, slang words, fashion trends, or shared behaviors. For example, when the TV show The Apprentice caught fire a few years ago, itstrademark term “You’re fired!” made the rounds very quickly.
  • When people form community relationships these affiliations allow them to accumulate resources that they can “trade” for other things. This is “Social Capital.” Social capital tends to be a limited and protected resource.
  • This resource easily accrues online because of our accessibility to people who can help us with a variety of issues even though we may not know them personally. In contrast, our core ties, those people with whom we have very close relationships, may or may not be in a position to provide solutions to some problems we face (or we may not want them to know about these in some cases). Interestingly, through the course of giving and receiving bonding social capital, we may come to develop core ties, or at least significant ties (somewhat close connections, but less so than core ties), with others in the community.
  • In other words, influencers develop a network of people through their involvement in activities. They are active participants at work and in their communities. Their social networks are large and well developed.
  • Influencers exist in all social communities. It is a natural pattern for some members to be more active and to acquire positions of authority within a community. The source of the influence itself, however, originates from the power bases an influencer may possess.
  • We refer to connections in a SNS with many terms, including friend, fan, follower, colleague, and contact. The biggest predictor of whether someone will become active in a social network space, regardless of the site’s primary function, is the presence of a critical mass of friends. Of the four elements detailed on the slide of SNS participation, three are dependent upon the nodes in your network. If your contacts are not active in your experience, your own activity in the network will be stunted because you won’t have people with whom to interact, you won’t receive sufficient feedback, and your content will not be redistributed.

Digital Communities in Social Media - Chapter 4 Digital Communities in Social Media - Chapter 4 Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter Objectives What are the characteristics of online communities? How do ideas travel in a community? In what ways do opinion leaders develop in communities? How do these influentials influence others? What role does social capital play in the value of social media communities? What types of ties do we have to others in our communities? How has social media leveled the playing field and created a source of power for consumers? 2-4
  • Online Communities Online communities are groups of people who come together for a specific purpose, who are guided by community policies, and who are supported by Internet access that enables virtual communication. 3-4
  • Networks: The UnderlyingStructure of Communities A social network is a set of socially relevant nodes connected by one or more relations. Nodes are members of the network. Members are connected by their relationships with each other. Interactions are behavior-based ties such as talking with each other or attending an event together. Flows are exchanges of resources, information, or influence among members of the network. Object sociality is the extent to which an object can be shared in social media. Vertical networks are sites designed around object sociality. Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall 4-4
  • It’s a Small World After All Six degrees of separation is an observation that everyone is connected to everyone else by no more than six ties. 5-4
  • Six Degrees of Kevin BaconSource:
  • Characteristics of OnlineCommunities The interactive platforms of Web 2.0 enable online communities to exhibit the following basic characteristics:  Conversations  Presence  Democracy  Standards of Behavior  Levels of Participation Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall 7-4
  • Influence Network
  • How Ideas Travel in a Community Network structure and composition play a role in the community’s ability to support its members. There is evidence of community culture in the memes that evolve within the community  A meme is a snippet of cultural information that spreads person to person until eventually it enters the general consciousness.
  • Rickrolling: The Meme
  • Group Influence andSocial Capital Opinion leader – a person who is frequently able to influence others’ attitudes or behaviors. 11-4
  • Social Capital Social capital is accumulated resources whose value flows to people as a result of their access to others. Reputational capital is based on the shared beliefs, relationships, and actions of those in the community such that norms, behaviors, and values held and shared by individuals ultimately support a community reputation. 12- 4
  • Strong and Weak Ties Emotional support is one form of social capital.  Core ties – those people with whom we have very close relationships  Significant ties – those individuals with somewhat close connections, but less so than core ties  Weak ties – those individuals with whom your relationship is based on superficial experiences or very few connections 13-4
  • Strong and Weak Ties Power users are those others view as knowledgeable sources of information  Five characteristics help to describe them:  Activists  Connected  Impact  Active minds  Trendsetters 14- 4
  • Strong and Weak Ties The Bases of Social Power  Reward power: ability to provide others with what they desire  Coercive power: the ability to punish others  Legitimate power: authority based on rights associated with a person’s appointed position  Referent power: authority through the motivation to identify with or please a person  Expert power: recognition of one’s knowledge, skills, and ability  Information power: one’s control over the flow of and access to information 15-4
  • Node-to-Node Relationships Your level of activity in a social network is based on:  The mix of people with whom you are connected  The artifacts (content) you create on the site  The feedback you receive from others  The distribution of the artifacts and feedback 16- 4
  • Influence Word of mouse – online word of mouth and a very strong influence on consumer decision making Ad equivalency value - what would the value of the unsolicited online mention be if it had come through a paid advertising placement? Social proof – works by encouraging consumers to make decisions that mimic those of people in their social network 17-4
  • Influence in Social Media Source: Gianluca Fiorelli, September 20, 2011, What social influence is and tools to measure it,
  • Influence Impressions and Posts
  • Recap Discussion Reminder: Visit to read daily news and search for examples related to each chapter.