January 3, 2013

The Atomic Weight of Social Media Interactions

As we continue to create tools to better extract ROI or make social media easier, one of our key exercises has been to break it down into its individual components and their relative values.  To do so we need to catalogue, categorize and evaluate the atomic weight of each social media component.  So here it is, the WIP (Work In Progress), of our order of the weights of social media interactions at the atomic level (aka their value).  We are using these abstractions in our upcoming algorithms to prioritize the conversations we present to wineries.  Please remember that these numbers are not final nor are all the elements catalogued into the table.  We’ve just gotten started and are measuring the relative weight of each interaction.  Take a look.

The major categories for Social Media Elements are:

Vanity –
The vanity category is composed of zero calorie interactions and mostly vestiges of a bygone marketing era.  With uber-brands (Coke, Pepsi, et al) they have a tiny portion of value.  However, for the majority of companies and brands they are as empty as any sugar substitute.

Gestures –
Gestures are the lightest weight interactions.  The participation cost is virtually nothing and thus their brand value is equally as minimal.  Most gestures are a one step process of clicking an object/conversation/etc to indicate a person’s positive feeling about that post.

Relays – 
Relays are also often low weight interactions but with significant value.  Though their absolute # is low, the value of the interaction becomes incredibly powerful especially when coupled with any part from the “Multiplier” categories.  Relays are one of the holy grails of new media; to get a customer to share your message.  As Barry Schuler says, “Content will be the future of advertising, people distributing and creating content for your brand will be the barometer of your advertising success.”

Interactions –
Interactions are the meat of the SM periodic table.  These are the fundamental and most important elements of SM interactions.  In other words, these are the building blocks for accurate and meaningful KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).  The key notion about an interaction is the effort given by the customers (writing one word to thousands of words) and the value of that effort.

Customer Multipliers –
A social media interaction is a multi-dimensional challenge.  Every conversation has three dimensions: core value, customer value, conversation value.  As we’ve stated many times, if you do not have a customer centric strategy, you do not understand the modern internet.  As such the customer multiplier has the most dimensions.  As an example, a conversation from a direct customer who is a large buyer is probably more important than the same conversation from someone who does not buy directly from your establishment.

Conversation Multipliers –
Conversation multipliers are the key contextual elements (what we call texture) that make the conversation more relevant or important.  For example if someone shares one of your posts and lots of other people “Like” and share that conversation as a result, the value of the conversation is even more powerful.  Another example is that a Tweet with LBS at your location is possibly more important than a Tweet of the same content across the country.

Any other interactions that should be included?  Categories?  While the numbers are not finalized the order seems to be accurate to us.  Do you agree/disagree?

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