This is the first in a series that expands on the skills of a Digital PR Agency
Public Relations practitioners are familiar with the concept of identifying and building relationships with stakeholders. (Anyone who might have a material impact on your business.) Social media has extended the reach and influence of your stakeholders – they’re on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and they’re connecting to each other.
The Social Graph is the representation of our relationships. In present day context, these graphs define our personal, family, or business communities on social networking websites – Jeremiah Owyang, Industry Analyst, The Altimeter Group.
Your stakeholders are sharing information and having conversations about you. Vendors are talking to customers, customers are talking to bloggers and one another. Journalists have Twitter feeds and Facebook pages where they ask questions openly and directly. And they’re getting answers.
The Value of a Fan, Friend or Follower
As people become more connected and able to share information easily, reliance on friend’s opinion has only increased. We’re social creatures. We like to share and discuss our ideas and get feedback from people “just like us.”
The social graph allows us to create a context for our actions. What are my friends ‘liking’? Who went to this movie? What did they think?
This is, of course, not a new phenomenon. What is new is how connected we are and how fast the information moves along the social graph. When a new movie comes out those at the first screening are texting their opinions before the movie is even over. The tastemakers give it up a thumbs up or down.
Fashion houses are making it possible for a much wider audience to see their collections online and, in the six months between a runway show and availability in stores, they tap into the social graph and adapt their offering based on how their followers respond.
Some companies have put a monetary value on their fans and followers: according to the 2013 study from Syncapse the average value of a Facebook fan is $174.17. How did they get that figure?
“The value of a Facebook fan was determined by comparing actual fans versus nonfans across key criteria that determine enterprise value. In our study, the fan value calculation considers: One, product spending within the past 12 months. Two, loyalty and purchase intent in the future. Three, the propensity to recommend the brand to other potential customers. Four, the media and messaging value that is inherent with fan membership. Five, the propensity for fans to organically lure more fans. And Six, the emotional draw felt by brands or brand affinity.”
The Digital PR Agency needs to be able to map out this social graph and discover who is in each node of the graph and who they’re connected to. They need to find the influencers in each sector and build relationships with them. They need to create and nurture a loyal, supportive community of fans and followers so that the social graph becomes an asset.
A successful Digital PR program must start with a deep understanding of the climate in which that brand operates. Knowing who is in your social graph is a necessary first step.
Check out my new book on Amazon – Special first weekend price $5.00