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The 10 C’s of Social Media

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Yesterday, Marketing magazine held its Interactive to the Max Big Day at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Toronto (disclosure: I work for Marketing). The Big Day is the culmination of a month-long, cross-Canada, roadshow that explores emerging topics and trends within interactive marketing.

One of the speakers at the Big Day was Steve Rubel. Steve was speaking about the impact Web 2.0 will have on the Canadian marketing landscape. Steve introduced a trinity of concepts that business (and their agencies) should reference when considering how to involve themselves in social media.

Essentially, it boiled down to three “C”‘s:

  • The Client: What do they need? What are they looking to get out of the Web 2.0?
  • Content: What does the client have/want to say?
  • Channel: How are they going to disseminate that message? What are the most appropriate tools (blogging, podcasts, etc…)?

Steve suggested that too often companies jump straight to ‘channel’ without first considering the content and can lead to problems.

I’m certainly not in a position to disagree with Steve. In fact, I think he’s offered a useful and straightforward framework for considering social media in a corporate context.

I’d like to add a few more “C”‘s that either came up as part of Steve’s remarks or that I’ve considered in my own musings on the subject:

  • Community – What social media builds. Generally a community of interest, but can be philosophic or other demographic/psychographic communities.
  • Connected – Social media creates networks. Agents within the network have influence over their peers. That influence has no geographic boundaries.
  • Conduct – Social media participants take the process seriously and a breach of the communal code of conduct is viewed as sacrilege.
  • Conversation – What social media is all about – a dialogue, not a monologue.
  • Concentration – In the sense of mass – how many like-minded people are part of the network.
  • Commoditize – The big question for marketers – what is the value of a blog? A big question is how traditional media is going to handle the rise of social media. Brendan Hodgson of Hill & Knowlton has some interesting thoughts on this.
  • Cost (of entry) – not just a financial cost, but a reputation cost, a time cost and so on

The other salient point that came up was that measuring the effectiveness of social media endeavours is not about ‘how many’, but rather how many of the right people were reached and how many times were they engaged.

I hope to return to these concepts in future postings and would welcome any thoughts on the subject.

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Written by Jonathan Dunn

November 3, 2006 at 10:48 pm

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