How Do Crowds Work In Social Media Networks?

Wed, Jan 21, 2009
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How do social media crowds work? Who are the social media influencers? What leverage can I gain by implementing social media strategies for my clients? These are the questions being asked every day as social media gains more and more PR attention across the industry, your clients are probably asking, even your agency staff, and there was a great post by razorfish strategist Tim Richards with a new take on some great insight originally from forrester that helps to dissect some of the questions. (click here to download this social media crowd chart by Tim Richards)

So what is a crowd & how does it work? A crowd is a bunch of people taking a particular level of interest in any specific topic online, within this social media crowd you’ll find near the center, what’s known as the social elite – the people who are writing blog posts, creating content, uploading videos and doing the thinking around these topics, these are the social media influencers of our networks.

From here, the further from the center of the crowd you get, you’ll find a declining level of skill and knowledge in the crowd, these people are more inclined to participate, rather than create – they rate posts and comment of articles and products, go out even further and you just get the users who tag webpages and use RSS feeds to get updates… Step out just a little bit more, and you’ll find your self sitting with the spectators – the web users who just read, watch and listen…

So when your looking at social media optimisation and launching campaigns, your looking to target the social influencers within networks, but the bigger the crowd, the harder the center is to find, which means leveraging those key influencers gets harder, because they are probably more of them. But find the right one, and they are your marketing ticket to success!

Some interesting stats from the chart:

  • 13% of social crowds are Creators
  • 19% of social crowds are Critics
  • 34% of social crowds are Collectors & Joiners
  • 33% of social crowds are Spectators and
  • 52% are just inactive

What I really recommend, is that you click here to read the full post, it’s a great read and no matter who you are, you’ll learn something, or you’ll disagree with a flurry of comments!

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