Being generally an early adopter of various platforms launched on the Internet, I was on Facebook in the days when you were in a meeting and someone, you didn’t know very well, asked with marvel, if you were on Facebook too, if you were, you made friends.
As Facebook became more the norm I was using it for “real friends” and to catch up with some UK friends. So I did a cull of the more faceless people from those early days. It still left some 150 people connected to me from random parts of my life.
The content I post on Facebook is generally far more personal and Twitter is more business focused. I wasn’t that comfortable with posting things I was doing with my family to some of my Facebook friends whom I knew in a business environment. However, un-friending people doesn’t go down well. So I de-activated my old account and set up a new one. I have since deleted my old account permanently and my new account has 50 or so friends only.
This is what I learnt.
- The reaction when I de-activated my initial account resulted in emails and texts asking me what an earth I was doing. I was surprised by the ferocity of the response. I re-activated my old account, thinking I would use it to post more business pieces. It didn’t work, as the mix of “friends” were getting content out of context from me.
- Transferring friends to my new account was a strange task. My criteria was:
Personal friends BUT ONLY THOSE who I regularly banter with on Facebook, not all my friends. Just those that over the years I engage with most on Facebook, not in the rest of my life.
This in itself leads to issues as it forces you to categorise and delineate between how you and your personal friends communicate online and offline.
- INFLUENCE IS BUILT IN EVER DECREASING CIRCLES
I am coming to believe the social web is sub-dividing into ever smaller decreasing circles. As a result these small groups of “people like me who are people like you” share likes and dislikes and provide pockets of small eco-systems of enormous influence. This affects our purchasing decisions and perceptions and our referral and sharing patterns.
My 50 friends on Facebook are far more likely to comment on my posts and take seriously what I post and likewise me to them. So if I recommend a business, brand, product or group, they are far more likely to join me or act on it. Likewise if I complain bitterly about a company, product or service they are far more likely to comment and take this on board in terms of their own purchasing decisions. This is because we are all highly engaged with each other, far far more so than my original 150 Facebook friends or my 2000 + followers and following on Twitter.
These small eco-systems of people can self-organise on different platforms of specialist forums focused on shared likes, dislikes and hobbies, as we see our social selves gather in more and more granular places, aside of Facebook. We can see a shift as we turn our backs on mass consumerism and determine our own consumerism by our peers.
This challenges the business as usual model.
Organisation’s that integrate and account for this society shift across their whole operational structure are the organizations who will move with their people and their customers and stand to gain most profit from the new economic era, the booming digital economy.