Under(standing) the Influence: UPA Boston 2012

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My presentation investigates causal social influence, social influence marketing, and how to optimally design shareable content within our social networks. …

My presentation investigates causal social influence, social influence marketing, and how to optimally design shareable content within our social networks.

biblio: http://erova.com/blog

More in: Design , Technology , Business
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  • 1. UNDER(standing) THE INFLUENCE Design Implications and Opportunities for Behavior Change within Digital Networks Chris Avore @erova UPA Boston #DUI #UPABOS12Wednesday, May 9, 12
  • 2. disclaimer • I’m a designer, not a social scientist • I’m sharing derivative, empirical work Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12topic I’ve been interested in, reading about, and exploring for years.As an independent consultant I designed social intranets for big pharma and the federalgovernment, and now using similar information in the software and other digital productswe’re building now, including media & sentiment monitoring systems.
  • 3. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Before we get started, I want to put a question in your head for you to think about.About a year and a half ago, Alyssa Milano sent this tweet mentioning the name of NicholasChristakis and James Fowler’s book Connected.Think about how many sales were generated by clicking the link in the tweet.
  • 4. where we are today • mainstream marketplace has redefined influence for convenience • hear, seek out the loudest voices that may not be the most helpful • another way to sell stuff Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 5. where we will be • understand causal social influence • question the score • how to conceptualize, execute, measure social campaigns for business Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 6. Who are our product’s biggest influencers of our customers, and how can we communicate to them more effectively? Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Your boss, my boss, definitely my boss’s boss, could pop on over and be ready to dive into asocial influence campaign. what do you do now?
  • 7. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Designers and marketers have recently found ample resources to understanding principles & theories of psychology and how they can be appliedto their products or campaigns.• Reciprocation• Consistency• Social Proof• Liking• Authority• ScarcityMental notes image:http://www.inspireux.com/2010/07/12/mental-notes-musthave-addition-your-ux-toolkit/
  • 8. Networks are fundamentally changing the landscape that designers design in, so designers have to understand how networks work in order to be able to design for them.  @richradka Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Understanding one person’s behavior isn’t good enough anymore.We need to talk about networks and how to identify who could be helpful.
  • 9. A new knowledge set is required to design for the social web: • social behavior • networks • how people think @padday Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12This is echoed by Paul Adams, Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook and author of Grouped.That paradigm shift requires a shift in our approach as well.
  • 10. Influence 401 • Social Structures • (comprised of) Social Networks • (which beget) Social Capital • (which begets) Influence Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12We need a frame of reference to know how to design for this change in expectation and activity. That frame isthere and ready.How do we answer these questions:Is activity the same thing as influence?Is it worth targeting influentials?Let’s start at the top and work down:
  • 11. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12the groups with little outside influence will likely have a greater trust and affinity with the fellow members of that network, which can be designed to aswell.
  • 12. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12• This is not actually a Lite Brite toy, but a simple illustration of a typical social network• A social network is a social structure made up of a set of actors and the ties between these actors• Social network analysis: Identifying nodes and patterns in the networks• this network is made up of about 150 people, which gets us close to the Dunbar number, the ceiling of social relationships that people can maintain• All of these people are likely more similar to each other than they are different, even if they contain friends from high school, friends from your current job, and friends of your family.• Their race, education, and even gender is probably similar• That concept of sameness is known as homophily
  • 13. Meg MattLarry Riley Courtney Pierre Amy Alice Steve Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12So now let’s zoom into a few people in the network we just saw.Embeddedness: degree to which individuals or firms are enmeshed in a social network.the concept that “individual action can only be properly understood in the context of interlocking networks of relationships” (Watts 244)With a show of hands, who is the most important person in this network, without regard to how these people are connected (family, work, etc)
  • 14. Meg MattLarry Riley Courtney Pierre Amy Alice Steve Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Riley has centrality & betweeness. She’s only 2 steps away from this particular social structure or network.She probably has a great rapport with her friends only a connection away.She has a stronger influence among these people, but she really has about 4-6 strong ties across all her networks
  • 15. Meg MattLarry Riley Courtney Pierre Amy Alice Steve Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12If you’re gauging importance based on the spread of ideas instead of most betweeness, Ron Burt says who is actuallyimportant to identify new ideas isn’t Riley, it’s Courtney.You need to determine the approach you take when determining who to is more important to your business goals:someone with greater connectedness in strong ties, or someone with more reach & access
  • 16. Meg MattLarry Riley Courtney Pierre Amy Alice Steve Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12A structural hole is if Courtney loses touch with Pierre.It’s these details--location, hierarchy, access to new ideas, weak or strong ties, that binds social capital into the network.
  • 17. Meg MattLarry Riley Courtney Pierre Amy Alice Steve Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12A structural hole is if Courtney loses touch with Pierre.It’s these details--location, hierarchy, access to new ideas, weak or strong ties, that binds social capital into the network.
  • 18. Meg MattLarry Riley Courtney Pierre Amy Alice Steve Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12A structural hole is if Courtney loses touch with Pierre.It’s these details--location, hierarchy, access to new ideas, weak or strong ties, that binds social capital into the network.
  • 19. SNA recap • a network graph can recommend business decisions based on targeted people and their peers in the network • Look for bridges and those around them--they have access to new perspectives, ideas • strong ties share info & have greatest influence over each other (4 strong ties average) • The tighter a network is, the greater closure, where trust is greater but access to new info is more difficult Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 20. Social capital • The investment in social relations with expected returns in the marketplace • The advantage created by a person’s location in a social structure • “Influencers” aren’t the only people with social captial. Why? Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Lin 19. Burt 4.information, influence, social credentials (‘standing behind’), reinforcement of identity& recognition
  • 21. Because social capital exists in our myriad networks of friends, colleagues, & contacts. Our friends & strong ties are our greatest influencers Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 22. Social capital Social Capital is the Wild West of academic work. There are no skill or intellectual barriers to entry. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 23. Social capital Social Capital is the Wild West of academic work. There are no skill or intellectual barriers to entry. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 24. • Social capital is easily mistaken for reputation • Activating social capital is not like a financial transaction. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 25. Social capital Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12It’s really more like a river, where if you do something for someone else, you haven’t reducedyour holdings like you don’t have noticeably less water. nor will you have significantly morewater if you pour a cup or bucket into it either...yes, if a river mouth is blocked, or climate changes, the amount of water can change, butthose are greater events to create a change in social capital, much like a network change.
  • 26. social capital is the catalyst to influence @briansolis Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Understanding the network means we can begin to see patterns of influence.
  • 27. Causal Influence How peer behavior changes one’s expected utility and thus changes the likelihood (or extent) one will engage in that behavior @sinanaral Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12We need to emphasize CAUSAL influence--events that occur because someone else triggered it.Correlation is a likely mutual relationship between 2 things, but that may not necessarily be caused by one or the other
  • 28. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12It’s easy to look back with hindsight and create a compelling story.It’s comfortable to think that by targeting those with the highest scores we can get moreefficient business outcomes.
  • 29. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 30. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 31. Influencers TWO-STEP FLOW MODEL OF INFLUENCE Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12similarly, we thought this was basically the way influence spread in a controlled, hierarchical flow from the top down.This flow, theorized in 1955, has been the dominant paradigm of media sociology since the late 70’s.It’s been a “guiding theme for diffusion and marketing research”
  • 32. Influencers NETWORK MODEL OF INFLUENCE Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Recent research indicates that the diffusion or flow of information goes back and forth from opinion leaders to followers, and propagate for manysteps, not just two.
  • 33. Diffusion Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Diffusion is how, why, and what rate new ideas spread throughout networks and ultimately cultures.It’s what much of Malcolm Gladwell discusses in The Tipping Point, where one person, or a few people, can create huge waves of influence.He uses the story of local boys William Dawes & Paul Revere. Paul was one of the connected influentials as he rode into history through Lexington and Concord butWilliam Dawes is relatively unknown.They’re looking for the match that started a forest fire.
  • 34. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12But to continue the forest fire analogy, it’s difficult--if not impossible--to peg a single event that actually triggered a viral event, online or offline, recently or hundreds of years ago.There are thousands a year, but only a few become roaring monstersThis gets to influenceability--the environment has to be right for a forest fire.Likewise, the network has to be right to be influenced, based on the size and structure of the network and the experiences of the people in the network.In other words, it’s really tough to prove causal social influence.
  • 35. Diffusion Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12But to continue the forest fire analogy, it’s difficult--if not impossible--to peg a single event that actually triggered a viral event, online or offline, recently or hundreds of years ago.There are thousands a year, but only a few become roaring monstersThis gets to influenceability--the environment has to be right for a forest fire.Likewise, the network has to be right to be influenced, based on the size and structure of the network and the experiences of the people in the network.In other words, it’s really tough to prove causal social influence.
  • 36. Diffusion • lightning • high winds • dry air • heat wave • drought • volcanic eruption Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12But to continue the forest fire analogy, it’s difficult--if not impossible--to peg a single event that actually triggered a viral event, online or offline, recently or hundreds of years ago.There are thousands a year, but only a few become roaring monstersThis gets to influenceability--the environment has to be right for a forest fire.Likewise, the network has to be right to be influenced, based on the size and structure of the network and the experiences of the people in the network.In other words, it’s really tough to prove causal social influence.
  • 37. Influencers NETWORK MODEL OF INFLUENCE Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Ideas diffuse through networks of strong ties talking to friends, not from a butterfly effect,not from a Law of the Few.These networks influence where people go, what they do, and what they buy.
  • 38. What’s your score? Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Who here has a social account: facebook, twitter, linkedin (raise hands)Keep your hands up if you haven’t heard of Klout, because you have a score.Put your hands down.Now, a new show of hands, how many people know within a point or two of their Klout score? You can admit it.
  • 39. Scoring Online Influence • Is a RT or mention the best we can do to measure who we influence and who influences us? • Are reach, amplification and frequency really indicators of influence? • Are scores capturing the ability to drive action or about the ability to drive a response? Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA Boston • --a measure of activityWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 40. Scoring Arms Race Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12We like numbers, lists, rankings. We want to know our place in the universe. Klout is the first step towards putting a quantifiable number on just how effective your online presence isThe Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action.Every time you create content or engage you influence others.The Klout Score uses data from social networks in order to measure: 1 True Reach: How many people you influence 2 Amplification: How much you influence them 3 Network Impact: The influence of your network
  • 41. People who buy into the game are willing to manipulate their social media practices to get high status in these systems. But as they play the game — and as the companies respond to their gaming — those who are uninterested in the game end up getting written out of it. @zephoria Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 42. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12But if it’s just a game people won’t get upset right?
  • 43. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12But if it’s just a game people won’t get upset right?
  • 44. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12But if it’s just a game people won’t get upset right?
  • 45. It evolves to be centered on the players. @zephoria Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12If we think we reach out to people with a high score help our campaign, it’s natural to think,after spending themoney and effort, that it was probably more successful than it was.
  • 46. Scores lead to confusing causation with correlation Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12It’s easy to look back with hindsight and create a compelling story.It’s comfortable to think that by targeting those with the highest scores we can get moreefficient business outcomes.
  • 47. Social Influence Marketing • When a marketer identifies, seeks out, and engages with selected people in support of a business objective. • Give them free stuff or access to events & hope they say nice things • Turn the people talking about your product into your brand advocate Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12How are people using scores? Basically through Social Influence MarketingThese folks, such as the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, define an influencer as:A person who has a greater than average reach or impact through word of mouth in a relevant marketplace.These are the people who maintain that you can reach out to 1 or 100 people, offer them stuff, and hope it spreads, rather than hiring a celebrity endorser.
  • 48. Influence Smackdown Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12So let’s talk about the 2 camps, and how we can design for either.One the social science side - RED corner-- we have Paul Adams, Duncan Watts, and others who have researched that influence spreads through strong ties in our networks,and that causal influence is difficult to wage a marketing campaign behind.In the Blue corner, we have Brian Solis, Joe Fernandez (CEO of Klout), Malcolm Gladwell, and scores of marketers who claim that identifying people who talk about topics,who get retweeted alot, or trigger other interactions, should be given special promotions or access to inspire activity among their masses of followers.Despite how at odds are with these two camps, there are still themes we can design for.
  • 49. Make sharing simpleWednesday, May 9, 12Put sharing tools at the bottom of your content, not just topSupport conversations, not just broadcasting[pic of tools}Beware Frictionless Sharing: Washington Post Social Reader, Spotify music playerShow the default sharing message & make sure it’s editable; no surprise messages
  • 50. Social Network AnalysisWednesday, May 9, 12many intranet systems can visualize social connectionsdetermine if network has structural holes and how to bridge themambient awareness: activity streams & updates can create bridges
  • 51. Allow people to establish credibility/specific authorityWednesday, May 9, 12people have different levels of authority & credibility in their livesPersonalize that authority as necessary
  • 52. Market to Emotion not Rational ThoughtWednesday, May 9, 12People generally share, remember--and socialize--about emotional experiences, not rational facts, figures, or features.It can even be in messaging, not slickly produced ads, videos, etc. The copy should reflect emotion.
  • 53. Magic MiddleWednesday, May 9, 12people with high scores may be difficult to influence, so if you’re using scores, don’t just reach for the top, look to the middle where you’ll likely find the realpeople who may share your story.
  • 54. Surface Similarity Denis Goodwin, Owner, TruVal Appraisals LLC You share 23 connections from University of MarylandWednesday, May 9, 12• emphasize similarities• most basic info may not cut it• reduce the WTF moment• weight looser ties accordingly: a Group membership probably isn’t a strong tie as School or same previous employer
  • 55. Ethical questions • a Klout score isn’t a FICO score • yes, marketers have ranked demographic markets for years • brands must encourage full disclosure • if you live by the score, prepare to die by the score Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 56. Testing Influence • Test with real social content, don’t ask “would you share this?” • Monitor the cowpaths: are people sharing in ways you aren’t providing them? Tweeting your content if you’re not on Twitter? • Data informed design, but some metrics run same risk as scores Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12This is the UPA, after all. So we can still talk about usability.
  • 57. Guesses? Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Christakis said, “I think that the ability of Twitter to disseminate information is different than its ability to influence behavior.”AM: 0TOR: 1SF: 3
  • 58. Wrapping up... Chasing influencers is often futile People need to be influenceable Those with ‘high’ influence are often more difficult to influence themselves Close, strong ties are primary influencers Influecenability based on social network, life experiences Ethical influence cannot be a choice Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12
  • 59. Chris Avore @erova #DUI May 7 2012, UPA BostonWednesday, May 9, 12Want more, read more! Full bibliography will be posted to my website this week.
  • 60. THANK YOU Chris Avore @erova erova.comWednesday, May 9, 12