Rule number one in social media marketing is – find the influential users and get their buy-in. To be honest it doesn’t have to be rule number one if you’ve found a better rule, because social media are mostly unpredictable. However, it turns out that influential users reliably generate 20 to 50 percent of site traffic. Further, those who visit a site based on recommendation by influential users have already built up a level of trust. They are more likely to engage with the brand than random visitors from links or stumblers. But like the proverbial needle in the haystack, it turns out that less than one percent of a site’s visitors are likely to be influential.
In a plethora of marketing studies, the “one percent rule” bears out. This is the group that picks up on an idea or a product and begins turning the wheels that eventually generates interest or sales as the case may be. In social media marketing this group will most likely consist of people who can be defined as early adopters and rebels. Though not the law-breaking type of rebel, but more like the motor cycle gang – it often seems like so many aspire to the motor cycle gang comparison. Regardless, they spread the word via Tweets, Facebook or YouTube. And people listen.
And while it is often thought that large companies aren’t agile enough to use social media in this way, Ford is proving otherwise. They’re using social media – Twitter, Facebook, Scribd and Flickr – to “humanize” the Ford brand. To “create relationships” rather than to sell cars – but they’re still selling cars. They’re banking on this strategy to engage the public. Thefordstory.com features stories involving Ford vehicles, including their contributions to a food shelf, fuel economy discussions, and the Ford F-150 that stood up to fire.
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