The underground of the communication strategy.
Internet is evolving fast and instead of dreaming to be first on Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) you might choose another goal and develop your own communication strategy.
Strong and weak relations
In 1973 Mark Granovetter wrote “The strength of weak ties” explaining the difference between strong and weak relations from a sociological point of view. His analysis is particularly interesting nowadays as is applicable to the type or relations that are observed between people using social networks. He divides the relations in two groups.
STRONG RELATION takes place among people that are deeply acquainted with each other. In this case the message is usually specific and understandable by the participants only.
WEAK RELATION in this case the people involved have a superficial knowledge of each other and the messages from and to the participants are generic and understandable by almost everybody.
Social networks – a theory.
If you look to your Facebook contacts, you will notice that some of your “friends” have more than 1000 contacts and others have less than 50. What does it mean? You choose the number of your contacts when asked and the majority of people will accept your “friendship” request. This means that when people have a lower number of contacts is because they do not want or need to be popular.
Two important elements not included in Granovetter analysis are pleasure and gratification. As suggested by Piaget and Desmond Morris pleasure is imprinted during the first three years of life throughout physical contacts with ones’ parents. During adult life when something limits the enjoyment of physical contact, gratification, the rationalization of our aptitudes and desires, can be a substitute of pleasure.
FIRST: the pleasure. Desmond Morris, on his book “Baby”, a manual for parents, explains that children learn faster by copying the passions of their parents rather than spending their time into several different activities such as dance, music, gym or else. An example is Mozart born in a family of musicians became a composer at the age of five.
The children see pleasure that the passions give to their parents and try to reproduce the emotion that they observe using a coping mechanism. I assume that this seek of pleasure remains intact during our whole life and that is, somehow, the final goal of any of our action, behavior, moral rules, etc.
One important characteristic of the pleasure is that it is grasped only through physical contact.
People need to talk, to discuss, as part of their human nature. But on Internet there is no physical contact and, on the social networks, no privacy, no intimacy. For these reasons it is not possible to receive pleasure.
So why millions and millions of comments and posts every day?
My answer this question is: to fill the gap. The gap that people try to fill through the social networks is between the desire of pleasure and its achievement.
SECOND: the gratification.
Gratification becomes the substitute of pleasure. By writing concepts, ideas, arguments, jokes, we reinforce our vision of life and feel a little bit better, while waiting for a physical contact.
FINALLY: The gap is filled by a never ending flow of messages, comments, “likes” and shares striving to get together in a real place where physical contact can happen.
By stimulating the feeling of gratification you will expand your audience and by offering a physical place to the gathering of your customers, you will give them the possibility to experience pleasure and achieve the strongest loyalty.
Mine is just a point of view.
I hope it will help your reasoning while planning a communication strategy on the social networks.
Following, some practical tips.
When planning your social communication strategy in order to reach a big audience you should first answer to some questions:
- What should I talk about?
In other words you should answer to another question: what do I like?
As I wrote above, we reproduce the pleasure of people that are important to us. Talking about your passions, rather than any other insignificant subject, is the way to share your pleasure.
- Who can do this?
Think about your employees and figure out who could take care of your weak relations. If you are not used to weak-type communication you will not be the one. Remember that people are mainly attracted by two types of messages: super soft (as “What a beautiful day!” or “My cat is saying MEAOW!”) or more meaningful (as “Social responsibility should be on the top of any business plan”).Find the right listeners and write a catchy sentence is not a common ability.
Of course you can talk about whatever you want, but your business has a goal (renting rooms, selling chairs, …) that is the main reason of your presence on Facebook and company.