Social currency is really about creating a strong and lasting relationships between your brand and your target audience. But in a world of information overload – with millions of new posts, comments and tweets shared each day – consumers need to be more selective in what they choose to read and share. The social currency of a brand develops organically in the network of people – consumers, customers and partners. Social currency is not a communications approach, it is an experiential concept that is at the root of most successful viral marketing campaigns.
Dr. Jonah Berger has been investigating what makes things go VIRAL for over a decade and what he uncovered were 6 fundamental principles that makes something go viral.
- Social currency– we share what makes us look good.
- Triggers– we share what’s at the top of our minds.
- Emotion– we share what we care about.
- Public– we imitate what we see people around us are doing.
- Practicalvalue – we share things that have value to others.
- Stories– We share stories, not information.
Although there are 6 principles we will focus on how social currency can be used to create a viral marketing campaign.
What is social currency any ways?
It is the most important indication of the strength of a product, brand or even an article. It is the extent to which people share a brand or information about the brand with others as part of their everyday social lives.
Jonah Berger explains the elements that make products or ideas contagious.
But how does a brand produce social currency?
Here is one way, you do something to make your customers feels special, and they share the story with others – and include your company in the story. People hear the story it makes them feel good and so they retell it and in so doing spread information about your brand creating brand awareness.
So viral marketing is plainly making use of (social currency) the tendency of an individual to share something they find enlightening, entertaining and amazing. And because of the increasing social nature of the Internet and mobile technologies, consumers, and customers adopt these things quickly and they go viral.
Social currency is not just about conversation, buzz or community. It is all this and much more but it does not impact every brand equally. Certain levers of social currency are more important than others in driving value for brands.
Marketers must understand how people engage with these new ways of connecting, collaborating, and co-creating. These new ways change the way consumers make choices about brands and businesses.
Here are 3 ways that you can earn social currency for your brand:
Engage – The more engaging your company is, the more interactive the customers will be. By acknowledging a customer’s comment or concern in a timely fashion, you show them that your brand cares. I recently had a minor problem where I could not update my credit card on a website called kozzi so I sent of an email, with little expectation. I received a call 2 days later on the weekend from the owner or president of Kozzi who was between flights at an airport, he not only cleared up the problem but spent an additional 30 minutes just chat with me about the industry and his company. www.kozzi.com is a stock photography site and when you download any image from Kozzi it comes with the rights to use that image for non-commercial and commercial purposes. Kozzi service, product and price is awesome, in fact I have an affiliate account but I am not using. I am already winning. So to earn social currency for your brand respond to comments and questions on social media, or your company blog at your earliest convenience.
Identity – Make your blog a resource for your audience by producing useful, and educational information. This is a good way to earn their trust.
Great Customer Service – Creating a positive customer experience is crucial to influencing a prospect’s opinion about your brand. Once again Kozzi.com did a great job convincing me that they care about me as a customer.
Listen to Jonah to discover how to earn social currency and make your content or product go viral