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  • 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
    • Last.fm
    • LinkedIn
    In 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.
  • Virtual communities do not develop and thrive without a foundation of commonality among the members. Just as your offline communities are based on family, religious beliefs, social activities, hobbies, goals, place of residence, and so on, your online communities also need commonalities to create bonds among the members. These groups come together to allow people to share their passions, whether these are for indie bands, white wines, or open-source apps. Communities are made up of people who share some reason to join together. As we said, this basis can be a location, a shared characteristic, a hobby, an occupation, or any number of other activities that people share.
  • Researchers estimate that only 1 percent of a typical community’s users regularly participate and another 9 percent do so only intermittently. The remaining 90 percent just observe what’s on the site, so they don’t add a lot of value.
  • 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, its trademark 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.
  • Sociologists have recognized that technological innovations actually can help us to maintain and support a number of community relationships despite physical distances and other limitations. A Pew report showed that the more we see members of our network in person and talk on the phone, the more likely it is that we will also communicate with those people online. So, the more connected you are, the more connected you will become!

Transcript

  • 1. MKT 380 Introduction to Social Media Mar keting Week 4
  • 2. Chapter Objectives • • • W hat ar e the char acteristics of online communities? How do ideas tr avel in a community? In what ways do opinion leader s develop in communities? How do these influentials influence other s? W hat r ole does social capital play in the value of social media communities? W hat types of ties do we have to other s in our communities? How has social media leveled the playing field and cr eated a sour ce of power for consumer s? www.dogster.com for an example of Visit social object a community or ganized around a 2-4 •
  • 3. Online Communities 3-4 Online communities ar e g r oups of people w ho come together for a specific pur pose, w ho ar e guided by community policies, and w ho ar e suppor ted by Inter net access that enables vir tual communication.
  • 4. Networ ks: T he Under l ying Str ucture of Communities 4-4  A social networ k is a set of sociall y r elevant nodes connected by one or mor e r elations.  Nodes ar e member s of the networ k.  Member s ar e connected by their r elationships with each other.  Inter actions ar e behavior-based ties such as talking with each other or attending an event together.  Flows ar e exchanges of r esour ces, infor mation, or influence among member s of the networ k.  Object sociality is the extent to w hich an object can be shar ed in social media.  Ver tical networ ks ar e sites designed ar ound object sociality.
  • 5. It’s a Small Wor ld After All Six de grees of separation is an obser vation that ever yone is connected to ever yone else by no mor e than six ties. • Based on the mathematical model of small-wor ld networ k. Play six degrees of separation by clicking here
  • 6. Characteristics of Online Communities 6-4 T he interactive platfor ms of Web 2.0 enable online communities to exhibit the following basic char acteristics: • Conversations • Presence • Democracy • Standards of Behavior • Levels of Participation
  • 7. Conver sations. T hough social media pr ovides an online space for digital conver sations, these conver sations ar e not based on talking or writing but on a hybrid of the two . 7-4 Characteristics of Online Communities
  • 8. Char acteristics of Online Communities 8-4 Pr esence r efer s to the ef fect that people experience w hen they inter act with a computer-mediated or computer-gener ated envir onment.
  • 9. Char acteristics of Online Communities Democr acy is a descriptive ter m that r efer s to r ule by the people. • Media democr atization means that the members of social communities control the creation, delivery, and popularity of content.
  • 10. Characteristics of Online Communities Standar ds of Behavior. V ir tual communities need nor ms, or r ules that gover n behavior, in or der to oper ate. Some of these r ules ar e spelled out explicitl y but many of them ar e unspoken. 11-4 • Open access sites enable anyone to participate without registration or identification. • The social contr act is the agreement that exists between the host or governing body and the members.
  • 11. Level of Par ticipation. For an online community to thrive, a significant propor tion of its member s must par ticipate. Otherwise the site will fail to of fer fr esh material and ultimately traf fic 12-4 Char acteristics of Online Communities
  • 12. How Ideas Tr avel in a Community Networ k str uctur e and composition play a r ole in the community’s ability to suppor t its member s. • A meme is a snippet of cultural information that spreads person to person until eventually it enters the general consciousness. • http://www.knowyourmeme.com • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggl2voBzeS8 • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57oUeO_OJMg 13-4 T her e is evidence of community cultur e in the memes that evolve within the community
  • 13. Group Influence and Social Capital 14-4 Opinion leader – a per son w ho is fr equentl y able to influence other s ’ attitudes or behavior s.
  • 14. Group Influence and Social Capital Opinion leader s ar e extr emel y valuable infor mation sour ces because: • They are technically competent • They prescreen, evaluate, and synthesize product information in an unbiased way • They are socially active and highly interconnected • They are likely to hold positions of leadership • They tend to be similar to the consumer in terms of their values and beliefs • They tend to be slightly higher in terms of status and educational attainment than those they influence • They are often among the first to buy new products 15-4 •
  • 15. Social Capital • • Social capital is accumulated r esour ces w hose value flows to people as a r esult of their access to other s. Reputational capital is based on the shar ed beliefs, r elationships, and actions of those in the community such that nor ms, behavior s, and values held and shar ed by individuals ultimatel y suppor t a community r eputation.
  • 16. Strong and Weak Ties Emotional suppor t is one for m of social capital. 17-4 • 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
  • 17. Strong and Weak Ties Power user s ar e those other s view as knowledgeable sour ces of infor mation • Five characteristics help to describe them: Activists Connected Impact Active minds Trendsetters 18-4 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • 18. Strong and Weak Ties • 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 19-4 T he Bases of Social Power
  • 19. Node-to-Node Relationships Your level of activity in a social networ k is based on: • The mix of people with whom you are connected • The ar tifacts (content) you create on the site • The feedback you receive from others • The distribution of the artifacts and feedback 20-4 •
  • 20. Influence Wor d of mouse – online wor d of mouth and a ver y 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 adver tising placement? • Social proof – wor ks by encouraging consumer s to make decisions that mimic those of people in their social networ k 21-4 •
  • 21. T he Evolution of Online Communities “Modern society makes it more difficult to connect with others….” 22-4 Do you agree or disagree? Why?