Posts Tagged ‘Six degrees of separation’

I spent the day at the #SocialCommerce Summit in New York City today. It was a packed agenda filled with ruminations and theory on the intersection of Social Media and Commerce. The discussion has me pondering the enormity of the social phenomenon which is touted as just as revolutionary as the emergence of the web a decade ago. Interestingly, it occurred to me, that the broader story isn’t about technology at all but about the basic human need for human connection.

I learned today that the oneset of Facebook has changed the rule from 6 degrees of separation to a norm of now 4.9 degrees of separation. That’s why we,  as marketers,  have moved from mass advertising to micro-location based targeting within communities of users. This social shift has changed the very dynamics of commerce. We are now living in a liquid economy where 100s of users can be a relevant, targeted customer base. Hence the rise of location- based, community-based social communities all geared to making relevant human connections.

For today’s consumer, the WHY matters as much as the WHAT. For example, if I have tickets to a concert, I can sell to the highest bidder on Craigslist, but I would rather sell to a friend. There is more being exchanged than money in this transaction. In today’s economy, you need to think about the full economics of the transaction beyond the dollar value. To today’s digital buyer, the connection matters more than the end service or product and therein lies the secret to these new business models.

In fact, the contextual relevance matters so much that communities are developing story-based engagement models. I want to engage, learn, buy from others I trust in my circle. A story is formed around me and those who ‘like’ me. They matter to me more than commerce, more than material ‘things’.

Do I want to go to that ‘Kings of Leon’ concert? Buy that new ‘Chloe’ bag? Drink your brand of ‘Starbucks’ coffee? It depends:  are you my Friend?

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